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“Giving Up Driving My Smartest Move Yet”


Traffic in Toronto – Photo by Nariman Haghighi 

Our friend Nariman recently posted a photo of traffic congestion in Toronto with the following caption:

“Giving up driving close to 10 years ago was my smartest move yet. Few things are more effective for your well being.”

Indeed, driving in this city is detrimental to our mental and physical health. But do people in Toronto think a young professional like himself is crazy for not owning a car? He follows up:

The craziest thing I hear is, “I need my car for work”. If you put your health first, you will do your best work. Nothing about a two hour commute each day is healthy. I am just as shocked by them as they are by me.

Explaining how being virtually car-free for almost 10 years has improved his wellbeing, Nariman expands:

I think there’s a soothing element to nature, to just being outdoors and breathing in open air, to slowing down, that has been completely lost in western society. People who sacrifice this for a ‘more efficient’ lifestyle don’t know what they’re missing.

I feel the same about people who shun natural environments around them for the convenience of indoor gyms. Pursuing health that’s disconnected from nature seems like a paradox to me.

All for the chase of more possessions? In my experience, it’s precisely the opposite that’s true — less is more, or better yet, just enough is more.

Nariman’s lifestyle choices have certainly brought him much inner tranquil and peace, something that is hard to find in our fast-paced society. Reducing our reliance on automobiles and indoor gyms is one way to better connect with our natural environment, which is healthy for our bodies and our minds.

Nariman is founder and CTO of FiveAces, Inc, a Toronto startup building next generation social platforms that fairly compensate contributions and treat members as owners rather than simple commodities sold to advertisers. You can visit FiveAces @

James D. Schwartz is the Editor of The Urban Country and is based in Toronto, Canada. You can contact James at or follow him on Twitter.

i share the road

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