When I told my sister we were not taking a car seat, she flipped out!!
It sounds crazy, right—International travel with two babies and no car seats? But we were not going to have a car.
In our hometown in the USA, we don’t have taxis (well there are, but you don’t use them). There are always friends or family to take you somewhere if you don’t have a car. Needless to say, I had some cultural & practical adjusting to do. When we got to Africa we used trains, taxis, buses, and walking as our modes of transportation. We had our stroller for Bub and our baby carrier for Honey-Beart, which worked out great.
Trains—were for traveling long distances. Think “Harry Potter train compartments”. 🙂 Pretty cool. We used these to travel between Lang City and Work City for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Petit Taxis—they are cheap and we use them most often. The down side of the taxi is that they are only allowed three people, so we always have to take two. Yes, Grandmas and Grandpas, the kids sit, facing forward (or looking out the window) and are VERY safe!!
Grand Taxis—these travel in between cities. We’ve used them a couple times as a whole family. They pack you in like sardines: 7 people/taxi. It paid to have a family of ‘four’ so we could get a full, spacious back seat to ourselves. If you want a romantic time, you can squish in the front seat with your love and it be totally culturally appropriate; not that I would know…
Buses—these were the cheapest, but you have to be very time flexible. Often times we would wait for 15-30 mins for a bus to arrive. We didn’t take them too often because they would be SO full we couldn’t fit us all in.
Walking—this mode of transportation is free! We loved exploring Lang City by walking around to get to know shops, people and cafés. Bonus: I got a good work out with a growing weight strapped to me. 🙂
Not having a car has proven to have some disadvantages, but we wouldn’t trade it. We have meet so many people, seen and experienced so much more of our cities that we wouldn’t have if we’d driven everywhere. The kids love going outside—people always stop to give them kisses or candy! We get to practice our language more whether we’re in a taxi, packed bus, or on a train with someone for six hours. Also the majority of people don’t have cars so that gives us a little more inside to their normal lives.
The worst thing about not having a car is getting directions from people who’ve only had a car!! lol