I really really really hate driving. Partly it is stem from the fear of the action itself and partly because I’ve been in a car accident twice.

Twice the car accidents are of no fault to the driver sitting beside me, rather obvious it was the other party’s fault – one being a drunken driver and the other being a mother who did not buckle up her children in car seats, distracted her from seeing the traffic lights turned red. I reasoned that we are producing so much carbon monoxide that harms the environment and with so many accidents on the road due to carelessness and arrogance, you don’t need another driver like me. I’m happy being a passenger in the back seat.


Being in both Singapore and Shanghai, I really have no need to drive a car. Singapore, being such a small island, I can comfortably take public transportation like the buses and the trains to get from Point A to Point B. In fact, when I tell my foreign friends that you actually can travel one end of Singapore to the other end within an hour (minus traffic), they always look at me with disbelief. End to end, we are about 50km.

As for Shanghai, the land of the luxury, for one, their public transportation system is almost as good as Singapore and for two, their cabs are really cheap. Yes, in Asia, one luxury that we always take for granted is we hop unto a cab without considering the cost. Try doing that in Europe!

So there has never been a real need to learn driving and, unlike in the States where a driver’s license equates to the proof of your identity, in Singapore we are issued with identity cards upon 15 years old. This isn’t the case in countries like England the rest of the U.K., so that encourages them to learn to drive earlier. Plus, driving lessons in Stockport and other towns and cities are readily available and affordable. With an ample transportation system, I can get away with not learning to drive.

However, when I’m in Kuala Lumpur, the train systems are so bad that it doesn’t really take you anywhere. The buses are just as bad with zero punctuality. I would’ve loved to walk if weather permits but the pavements are not well kept and often end suddenly with no pedestrian crossing allowance. Hence, for the past 2 years, I have been living in KL, my mode of transportation is Uber. Thank you, Uber!

But my rides with Uber needs to end soon. As they say, all good things always come to an end. I have a baby in mind. While she is cosy and safe in a baby car seat in Uber (I refuse to take any car rides without her strapped into a car seat), she is getting too big for our current 2-in-1 stroller cum car seat. And that leaves me a need to get a car seat meant for 2 to 7 years old. Those bigger car seats don’t convert into a stroller, which means either I have to lug the heavy car seat when I’m out with her or forgo the car seat. My only option now is to get myself a car so as to permanently fix in her new car seat. To get there, I need to learn how to drive.

I have been flying in and out with my little diva back and fro KL to Singapore (a miserable 45mins flight considering I’m flying alone with a screaming baby) in order to take my driving lessons in Singapore. I am determined to learn the right way (not by my KL driving instructor who hints ridiculously at a bribe to get my license) and Singapore offers international driving license which means I can use my lifetime license almost everywhere in the world.

The first few lessons are mind nerving. I get sweaty palms (had to wipe my hands on my jeans a couple of times in the aircon blasting car) and I was jerking my car (braking too hard and too fast) causing neck strain to my driving instructors (sorry!). I have a lot of respect for that four-wheel machine. While it is a tool to get to my destination, I know it is a machine that can hurt myself, my loved ones and worst, a stranger. This fact causes me to be nervous and anxious when I handled the steering wheel.


After my 10th lesson, I can now manoeuvre the vehicle around turns smoothly, change lanes without jerking and stop panicking whenever I see a jaywalker. All thanks to my patient instructors. I still have another 20 more lessons to go before I can take the final driving test to get my license.

The key is that I finally take a step towards something that I had absolutely detest and in order to conquer my fear, I remind myself the reason why I needed to complete this milestone. My daughter is the motivating factor and I want to be able to tell her one day how much she means to me and her safety is my top priority so much so I am willing to learn a skill that I never wanted to learn, conquer a fear and hatred in driving.

If I can do it, so can she and so can you. Have you conquered your fear/hatred of something? Share with us in the comments below.

For more stories about my life in Kuala Lumpur, these articles might interest you:

My Life: Kuala Lumpur vs Singapore
20 things only those who relocate will understand

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40 replies on “Conquering My Hatred Of Driving

  1. You should come to India miss kally. Where driving is an art and a craft and a test of patience.. Parking here requires a certain chutzpah that only seasoned Indian drivers seem to possess!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Like many things we learn, when you have to concentrate and pay attention it takes more energy and causes anxiety. Soon enough you’ll be able to pay attention to the road and where you are going and less on the actual operation of the car. I’m confident you’ll get there and be happier for it. Congratulation on taking that step to more freedom and increased options.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I conquered my fear of heights this year. I did some indoor rock climbing, and while this doesn’t sound so challenging, it was for me. I was able to break free of the fear of heights and am looking to take my rock climbing outdoors now.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh my! What an experience. It’s a good thing you’ve conquered your fear. I conquered my fear of driving because of my husband’s encouragement and my children are my motivating factor too.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I hope 2018 will be the year of your driving licence. I learnt to drive when I was over 40. I am glad that I did but it took a lot of effort to overcome my dislike of driving. Personally I would love to see more emphasis on excellent public transport services but that is not yet the case in my city.


  6. Kally, what you said about a great transit system and not needing to drive is true for Hong Kong as well as Taipei, where most of my family lives. I am not too keen on driving so while I do have a license, I haven’t felt the need to get a car, much less a scooter.
    I also found your KL examples hilarious. I’ve heard other people talk about KL’s bad pavements and the corruption. I’ve only been to KL briefly so I don’t know too much about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey! Happy New Year!!

      Yeah, it’s ridiculous that the Malaysia Government are proud of their public trains when the stations doesn’t lead to anywhere. It’s like if you exit a shopping mall, you’ll need to take a bus or taxi to reach the train station in order to take a train home.

      I’ve been to both Hong Kong and Taipei, I agree you don’t need to drive in these two cities, the public transportation are well covered to get you from Point A to B.


      1. It’s surprising Malaysia are proud of their trains though I’ve only taken them in KL.
        I noticed KL’s transit system is not that extensive but also that it has 2 different train systems which was kind of confusing. In general, as a tourist, I found KL to be alright but not as convenient or interesting as Singapore or Bangkok.


  7. Great post. We have been in car accident (not our falt) also, but we are not afraid of driving. I have driven since 1972 since 1300000 kilometers / 807783 miles. In Finland, we must also learn to drive in winter, in snow and on ice in the dark night. We need it really. People also bike in snow and it is good teacher for traffic.

    We love driving. We both have had long work trips. Mine was 86km/ 53.4mi and my wife 82km / 51.0mi. Any weather, we had to drive to work (fog, snowfall, frozen icy road) and You must remember that in winter we have short daylight meaning long nights. One example from early winter morning:

    Once at night there was a heavy snowfall and our village road was covered by snow about 40 cm, meaning that the road was blocked. The nearest main road was at 200 meters. No problem.

    I shoveled snow off (a bit wider area than the width of the cars) from our garages to the village road including seven meters long area of snow from the village road. I said to my wife that it is enough for us. Start driving with gear one and then rapidly change to gear three directly and follow my tracks. I drove first, long lights on and I hoped that no one would come against us in the same way. My wife followed me and doing the same and we managed to drive to main road.

    Have a good day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences! Your comment made me think I’m fortunate that South East Asia doesn’t have winter so I won’t be driving in snow anytime soon. If I see snow, I probably go crazy and jump out of the car to make snow angels (always wanted to do that) hahaha!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Brave woman!
    It took me 46 lessons, driving in all kinds of weather, but passed the test 1 one time. Put me in any car and I drive it. The freedom it gives me, would never give that up anymore.
    So, good luck! But I am sure you will do fantastic 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your words of encouragement, Patty. I’m taking my time in learning all my lessons step by step. Hopefully, like you, I’m able to pass my test just one time. But now at least, I don’t hate driving anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve just read this post and want to let you know that you are not alone!

    Despite having a car at home for so long, I never showed much interest in driving it. My parents and my brother had driven me around almost all my life. Even after I got married and had a kid!

    Hard to believe isn’t it?

    I like to drive but somehow, didn’t felt an urge to hit the road. I enrolled myself twice in a driving school but scared my mother twice when I asked her to go with me for a test drive. That scared me up too and I didn’t sat behind the wheel again.

    Until recently……

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Big hugs, Hammad! I am not alone! My friends and family kinda make it that I’m a little weird hating driving so much. I just think if it is not necessary, so why drive?


      1. Thank you very much for the hugs, Kally. I don’t hate to drive actually, it’s just that I didn’t showed much interest in it. Despite living in a country where one should learn to drive in his/her mid-20s, I kinda acted lazy till my late-30s to get behind the wheel 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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