We’ve lived in Missouri for over a year now. In that year, we moved from a huge townhouse in a small town to a tiny (third floor) apartment in a large city. While I prefer the large townhouse, I don’t exactly miss the small town. In cities, it is easier to walk around town. Our current location does not afford that. After a year of being forced to drive places (because of poor sidewalk systems and large hills that separate me from my destinations), I realize how important walking/biking is to me.
When we lived in Utah, we lived in an apartment that was within walking distance of several parks, stores, doctors’ offices, downtown restaurants, the local library and schools. After I had Andrew, I started to walk everywhere to cope with postpartum depression and it grew on me. So when we decided to cut our gas budget in half, just enough to transport Ben to work and back, I learned to use my stroller to get everywhere. I went over a year without using a car except for big shopping trips and when we needed to get somewhere that was further away than 2 miles.
This kept me and the kids healthy. We slept better, ate better, and felt better because we were outside for the majority of the day.
I miss that.
Since we’ll be moving in less than 5 months, I am keeping my eyes and ears open for the best locations to move to. I am looking for homes with good schools, parks, and stores – all within walking distance. I’d like to use my stroller again.
Is walking important to you? Do you prefer it over driving your car? What do you think about planning green communities that will, hopefully, limit the amount a person needs to drive?