I’ve been driving for ten years now (January 25, 2006); I got my permit shortly after turning 21 and my license just before turning 23. I used to walk or ride a bike places, both of which come with their own challenges, but learning to drive definitely opened up some doors and brought some sense of freedom. I’ve had a few different jobs that only became possible because of driving, gone on a few road trips in which I did some or all of the driving, including to several states I’d not been to before, and it allowed me to meet people I probably would not have met otherwise. I’ve been able to explore the world a little more as a result, so learning to drive has been worth that much. Additionally, I’ve been able to purchase a vehicle that’s served me for more than half that time.
On the downside, I sometimes get tired of driving to places, especially by myself, and dealing with traffic. (I really don’t like being stuck for extended periods in a small space, such as a driver’s seat, unable to move my body much.) I’ve also had two parking tickets, one speeding ticket, and a non-contact accident (don’t ask), but I guess that’s a pretty good driving record for the length of time I’ve been allowed to drive.
Here’s to ten years of driving and whatever lies down the road ahead… as long as it doesn’t stop my car.