Six people who found the good in goodbye

Mar 1, 2023

Bolt best breakups

Cars are red

Emissions are blue

I’m out of fuel

And so are you

Here are the stories of six people who broke up with their cars to start living happier, healthier, and more sustainable lives. 

They are parents, CEOs, environmentalists — people from all walks of life — who realised that a life without a personal car has more to offer than life with one. 

Meet Hendrik, a 30-year-old photographer and father of two

Meet Hendrik

Hendrik saw his future through the lens of the stereotypical suburban dream — a life on the edge of the city with two cars. But the plan changed, and the family ended up living in the city centre instead.

That allowed Hendrik to drop their second car and rekindle an old flame from a decade ago — a cargo bike. This practical vehicle could fit the family’s groceries and their two kids. In fact, in Hendrik’s congested home town, the preschool is closer by bike than by car.

Hendrik believes his kids could be in the first generation that doesn’t rush to get a driver’s licence as soon as they turn 18. And that in 10 years, cargo bikes could be a widely used means of transport on the streets.

Read Hendrik’s full story here.

Meet Silvia, an environment-conscious executive coach

Meet Silvia

As an executive coach with expertise in sustainable performance, Silvia had always prided herself on building teams that put people and sustainability first.

The COVID-19 pandemic and remote work created a good moment for Silvia to rethink travel and let her sustainable side prevail. She moved back to a smaller, walkable university town and sold her car.

“Sustainable can mean multiple things,” said Silvia. “It’s used in the context of climate, but it also means that a person feels well and can move around in natural surroundings.” 

By spending at least one hour outside every day, that’s exactly what she does. And in our overstimulating world, that’d make a great habit for just about anyone.

Read Silvia’s full story here.

Meet Liina, an international executive who found a shortcut to a social life

Meet Liina

Watching her car sit idle for 95% of the time, yet needy for maintenance, Liina realised that the 13-year-long relationship with her Citroën was coming to an end.

Liina felt she’d been living a wasteful life and wanted to be a better role model for her teenage daughter. Getting rid of her car was part of a bigger plan to become more sustainable. 

All of a sudden, a whole new world opened up. She often met old friends while biking to work and, as an outgoing person, started making new friends on public transport. Since going car-free, she’s received and given more compliments than ever.

Liina doesn’t push her decision on anybody but has inspired people around her to consider going car-free.

Read Liina’s full story here.

Meet Kadri, a tech entrepreneur who cut costs and doubled her step count

Meet Kadri

Kadri is the CEO of a technology company focused on learning and well-being. On her own path to designing a happier life, she quickly realised that a personal car doesn’t fit the agenda.

When Kadri lived in the suburbs, their family had two cars to reach jobs in opposite parts of the city and to drop off their daughter.

After moving to the city centre, Kadri decided to depart with her cute Fiat 500. That fit nicely with her minimalist lifestyle, which helped her focus on the important things.

Kadri enjoys travelling by electric scooter as it allows her to experience the changing seasons through smells. Plus, she can breathe fresh air, which boosts her mood for the whole day.

Read Kadri’s full story here.

Meet Anna-Greta, a mother of four who won back all her lost time

Meet Anna-Greta

When Anna-Greta had her third child, she sat at home for months, as did their Subaru Legacy. After returning to work, she found she enjoyed using her bicycle more and so she got rid of her car.

Some would assume that for a mother of four, that’s a logistical nightmare. But for Anna-Greta, life became easier — no more trips to the carwash or acting as the family driver. 

She could finally take back all the time lost on the road or in traffic, which was more than six hours per month based on her calculations. Anna-Greta repurposed the newly found time to expand her tech company in the forestry sector.

Read Anna-Greta’s full story here.

Meet Aivar, a car guy turned into a happy passenger

Meet Aivar

Aivar has lived a colourful life in his 61 years. He’s been an athlete, an actor, an entrepreneur, and a mentor. He’s helped many people realise their potential and loves being around his fellow citizens.

Aivar used to be a big car enthusiast who’d get new models straight from the factory. But as he got older, he started seeing more value in moving and being among people. He thinks owning a car has become sort of a cult that justifies paying any price for the illusion of freedom and status.

Aivar’s conscious switch to public transport reduced the family’s expenses and allowed him to read and arrive well-rested.

He left the car cult a little over a year ago and found the effects immediately liberating. Aivar calls himself a happy passenger, as he made the change willingly. “I’ve learned through personal experience that people develop by getting out of their comfort zones,” he says.

Read Aivar’s full story here.

Discovering a better way to live

Only a few innovations have defined the 20th century as much as the personal car. Seen as a ticket to independence and freedom, the number of cars is rising globally.

You want to ‘officially’ become an adult? Get a driving licence and… buy your first car. (Sigh).

However, the car-centric mindset is changing thanks to new car-free city policies, and people like you read about above.

At the same time, more and more people are breaking up with their cars and embracing the freedom of choice: to use public transport, ride-hailing, electric scooters, or shared vehicles. 

At Bolt, we see that by offering better ways to move, people are more open to breaking things off with a personal car and transforming their life.

So, there’s light at the end of the tunnel (for pedestrians, not cars).

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