Why my husband deserves a gold medal


He taught me how to drive stick shift on vacation.


Getting to drive [almost] every day, I became a lot more confident in driving a manual transmission. And since it was a rental car with all sorts of insurance coverage on it, I was a little less nervous about breaking the car.


He was a very patient and encouraging teacher. Just like that time he taught me how to snowboard.

Let me say this, though. I sure wish I’d learned this when I was 16 and learning to drive. It’s far more stressful learning later, when you feel like you’re starting all over again. Plus, having your almost 5-month-old baby in the backseat adds a whole new level to the anxiety of shifting and stalling and driving through traffic and hoping you don’t cause any accidents.

We were lucky though, and Theo slept a lot of the time [thank you, buddy!] and that helped a lot.


I now feel a lot more confident in driving what is here a normal car. I still feel like it would be helpful to practice more, and thinking of driving in Hamburg with all this traffic makes me extremely nervous. But if worse came to worst, I could do it if I needed to. Whereas before, my inability to drive was definitely a handicap. I’ll admit, I still prefer automatic, though.

Can you drive stick shift? Which do you prefer?

9 thoughts on “Why my husband deserves a gold medal

  1. That is really cool! I am so glad I learned driving with a shift car! You should check out driving schools in Hamburg and ask them if they would do some lessens with you. You would have to pay the normal price but you don’t have to do all the tests. But driving in Hamburg is a challenge on it’s own, so I could imagine driving with the security of a driving instructor could take away some of the stress 🙂

  2. I learned using manual – it’s standard in the UK. I’ve never driven an automatic! We drove down to the south of France this summer, and then also a couple of weeks ago we hired a car in Italy, and since my husband doesn’t drive I had to… for the very first time on the right hand side of the road. Now *that* was a learning curve!! 😉

  3. Hubby taught me to drive a stick shift when I was 17 and we first starting dating. Now we both own manual vehicles and it feels really weird to drive an automatic. We are definitely in the minority here–very few people drive manual cars and a lot of people don’t know how.
    Practice is absolutely the best thing you can do. The more you drive, the better you’ll get and you might end up like me and preferring a stick shift!

  4. I learned on a manual and prefer to drive one as well. I just feel like I have more control over the car. Good for you for learning! Driving in Hamburg wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Parking on the other hand was worse!

  5. I prefer stick shift- most of my cars have been manual transmission, not automatic. The funny thing to me is that most cars in the US *are* automatic transmission, and you sort of have to go out of your way to get a new car with a manual transmission.

    I’m in the process of car shopping right now, in fact, and I’m about to buy this one- with a manual six speed transmission.

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