Here's our story...
A couple of years ago my wife and I were living in a large city. Running the rat race every day, paying too much for rent, making 2 car payments, working way too much to enjoy life. I worked 70 hours a week in a management job, and was miserable. We wanted to start enjoying life again, wanted to have another child, did not have time for anything.
We inherited a small cottage in a remote location. A very small town in the middle of nowhere, where we knew no one. With no jobs in this area we thought we would have to sell the cottage. We struggled with the decision, but finally decided I would quit my job, sell everything we could, and try to make a major shift to the simple life.
Fast forward 2 years, and it is working out great. I was lucky to find a 32 hour a week job close to home. Just enough to pay our minimal bills. We've got a big garden, we do some canning, and freeze food. Trying to do everything DIY and as simpley as possible. We were able to have a beautiful baby boy. Now we are a family of 4, still adjusting to rural life.
We sold the SUV and just kept 1 car. We began to use our bikes for everything, the car would sit weeks at a time. In our small town we have a small grocery store, a library, a clinic and hospital with emergency room. We shop online for household goods. 2 months ago we decided to try car-free. It's been easy so far, but the winters here are very harsh, lots of blowing snow and very cold. That worries me. We haven't gotten rid of the car yet, but we want to.
Everyone here thinks we are insane. They all drive HUGE pickups, this is farm country. We are 25 miles of wind-blown, rolling prairie away from the nearest larger shopping area. 60 miles of the same to the nearest Wal-Mart. Not that I want to shop there anyway, but just giving you some perspective. If you don't drive here, it's because you had too many DUIs and they took your license away. They lynch people who talk about the environment. There is no public transportation of any sort.
Our biggest issue is culture, entertainment, etc. Our daughter is not happy about not being able to go to museums, etc. anymore. There is an Amtrak station 25 miles away, but I can't imagine loading all of us on the bikes and trailer and riding that far. Our daughter could not do it, and I wouldn't take the baby on that narrow, hilly highway.
For now we are still ignoring our car, but it's starting to look like we may have to settle for car-lite.