Thing 11

Thing 11: Get my Full Licence

That’s right, I was a little slow on the uptake when it came to driving.

I mean, when my Mum or my friends were perfectly capable of driving me around – why did I need to learn how?

Sure, it was painstaking at times, relying on others or being forced to take public transport / ride my bike / walk to my destination, but I got by.

Growing up I lived in a small city where getting from A to B was not really an issue for me. I don’t remember even thinking about going for my learner licence when I turned 15 (which was the legal limit in New Zealand back then). I think a handful of people I knew could not wait to be able to drive, but me? Not so much.

In my 18th year living on this earth, I moved to a slightly larger city to study. I lived in a student-populated area and everything I needed was within walking distance, so getting a licence was still not something I thought about. Sidenote: by this stage, most people who got their learner licence at 15, would already have their full licence by now.

It wasn’t until I was 19 or 20 and was required to leave the city boundaries multiple times a week as part of my studies, that I really started to question my non-driving status. I mean, why did I wait so long?! Geez.

Public transport was a possible but not ideal solution for me, so I was forced to put my ‘big girl’ panties on and get cracking on that licence.

I totally wasn’t ready to drive an actual car, having had little practice; so my Grandad offered to help me buy a scooter. I was approved for my learner licence one day, and got my scooter the next!

I didn’t end up going for my restricted licence until I was 24 years old.

I can’t even tell you how free I felt when I finally plucked up the courage and passed the test. All of a sudden, I could go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted (between the hours of 5am and 10pm, of course). I really kicked myself for not getting it sooner. I absolutely love driving and had a blast turning my music up loud and singing along nearly every time I got in my car – my own little car-concert.

Although that did not stop me from taking longer than necessary to get my full licence. But, I finally did it at age 27 – two weeks before moving to Australia.

I don’t have a car here, so unfortunately haven’t had much opportunity to flaunt my full licence, but whenever I go home to visit, I’m the first to grab the car keys and jump in that driver seat!

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