Well, instead of pimping my existing ride, I got a new one. That still counts, right?
The reason I wanted to write about this is because we have this horrible habit of taking wonderful things for granted once they become the norm for us.
It happens with everything from relationships to technology to cars. We're really excited for this new thing at first, so we go out of our way to treat it nicely, and then by the six-month to one-year mark, the novelty has worn off and we return to how things were before.
I'm not going to fool myself into thinking that won't happen. No matter how much I want to hold onto this feeling of "oh my god this is awesomeeee!", it's going to happen eventually.
But at least I'll have this to refer back to.
How Awesome Is This Ride?
So, exactly how awesome is my new car? It's pretty awesome. Check out this setup:
The #1 criteria for my car search was the ability to sleep in it. Why? Because I don't want to just focus on traveling overseas. The U.S. is home to some pretty amazing places, and I figured having a car with me would be more practical than trying to rent one or Uber. And since I can sleep in it, I'm saving lots of money on lodging.
At first, I was kind of skeptical. I'm fairly tall, and a lot of the wagons and crossovers that were initially on my list seemed too small to fit me comfortably. Plus, telling salespeople that car camping was a goal of mine was met with some weird looks. Oh well.
What I ended up with - a Subaru Forester - wasn't even on my list because of how it had ballooned over the years. It used to be a short, boxy station wagon, and now it's essentially an SUV. However, the price point was right on target, I enjoyed how it drove, and I fell in love with the colors of the one I ended up getting.
Tell me I'm not pretty!
Why I'm Happy
I can safely say this is the first time I've ever been this excited about a vehicle, but I think that reflects where I'm at in life more than anything.
I was originally happy with my '02 Civic Coupe because it's adorable and sporty (and Honda's are great), but as the years went on, it was clear it wasn't very reliable to drive. That held me back more times than I realized. I didn't enjoy driving, and as a result, I stayed home more. (And without a commute, that can be dangerous.)
Contrast that with yesterday... I got home and became restless for the remainder of the day because I wanted to go on a road trip right then and there and put this baby to the test. (Unfortunately, it needs an inspection and real plates, so that didn't seem like a good idea.)
Instead, I took it for a spin at night to see what a difference having new lights made. It turns out, a world of difference. My eyesight is horrible and I'm usually not super comfortable driving at night. My old car had been in an accident (not by me =)) and as a result, the driver's side headlight was a bit wonky. The lights themselves weren't very bright, either. These were crazy bright, and I can tell the high-beams will do just fine on creepy back roads.
As I continue to drive it, I'm discovering all sorts of useful things about the car that I never had before. The biggest plus is heated seats (I'm cold 90% of the time), the extended sunroof, and the aux input for my phone + Spotify. (I had a lame ass cassette tape audio jack connection thing before.)
But nothing beat the excitement of blowing up an air mattress, laying down, and realizing how perfect everything had come together. (My face says everything.) I pictured myself turning on the overhead light and reading with a view of the nighttime sky through the sunroof, being curled up in the middle of nowhere with some music playing softly...it's just so cool to think my car can double as a hotel room.
Oh yeah, and it's AWD, so I don't have to worry about road conditions as much as before. My Civic was nimble, but horrible in the snow and rain.
Overall, while my heart may have dropped a few times thinking about how much I was spending on this, I can say that excitement won out in the end. Cars are a depreciating asset - I would never consider its worth in my total net worth (especially since I'm going to drive it forever) - but I can view it as an investment in the lifestyle I want.
It's another symbol for this new chapter in my life, and I can't wait to see where it will take me.
Here's a hint of it (more or less me being silly):
I fail at hiding.
Look at all this SPACE!! What is this even?!!?
Just sitting back here. Chillin. In my car. Because I'm a total nerd.
Do you have any car stories to share? Do you think I'm insane for being excited to sleep in my car? Let me know. =P