Living as I now do in the midst of a natural playground (SO many beautiful places to go hiking and exploring!!), I tend to think of the great outdoors when I think of exciting new experiences. Recently though, I’ve plunged right into what has to be for me one of the most exciting adventures I’ve had in a while… I bought a car!
Having never owned a car myself or dealt with any of those pesky things like car insurance and whatnot before, this has been sort of like trying to swim underwater through a murky lake – I had an idea of where I was going (Car! I need to own a car!), but I really couldn’t see how far away that goal was or what little or big obstacles might pop up out of nowhere to hamper my progress.
Prime example: When I learned that I needed to buy a car sooner than expected, the first overwhelming question was “Where?” Should I try to find one up here in Mendocino? Should I try to find one in the Bay area? Should I try to find one back home, where hopefully there might be some better deals hanging out? Should I look on Craigslist? Should I go to a dealer? Ahhhh!!!
But I dived right in, feeling my way around, asking people with more experience for advice. Of course, I hadn’t taken any positive direction one way or another, but at least I was orienting myself, right?
Well, lo and behold, out of the blue, my housemate found me a seller in Fort Bragg that she had a good connection to! AND, wonder of all wonders, it was exactly the kind of car I had been hoping to find - a Honda CRV! Not only that, but it was in great running condition and had under 100,000 miles on it! AND it was in my price range!!!
Then came lots of uncertain paddling through lots of unknown territory – go talk with the seller, look over the car, pretend like I know what I’m looking for/at, take it to a mechanic, listen to said mechanic’s advice like a lost child desperate for directions… Upon deciding to go through with the deal, the seller and I both sort of waded through the paperwork as newbie’s on the scene, mostly certain that she had all the papers necessary. Then I realized last minute that the car needed to be smogged before the DMV would process the change of ownership. Thank heavens someone in my gym class knew where to get that done. And when I made it to the DMV, I felt so wide-eyed and clueless, standing there in front of the lady at the desk sort of stammering. She was wonderfully patient though, and all the documents were in good order. (Yay!)