27 Jun 5 Reasons to Move to a Small Town
A recent article in New York Magazine was titled “5 Reasons Cities are Getting Better, and Everywhere Else is Getting Worse”. According to the author, Kevin Roose, “choosing to live outside a major city is tantamount to opting to live in the past.” Seriously?
Now, I don’t mind that city-folk are proud of their backyards. I would expect nothing less. But, this type of tunnel vision stems, in my opinion, from a lack of understanding of:
1) the ample resources already in rural and small towns that draw new residents,
2) how many Americans crave more elbow room than our densely populated cities can provide, and
3) how tech’d up many of us living outside the “Cities” already are.
So, in the interest of providing some counterpoint, here are my 5 reasons Why Rural and Small Town Living Beats Big, Crowded Cities:
Our Neighbors Actually Know Each Other.
Rural and small communities are full of people who are barely one degree of separation apart. If there’s someone you want to meet in a small town, you already know someone who can make that happen.
Everybody’s Famous In A Small Town.
Not only do you know your neighbors, but they know you. And your kids. And your spouse. And probably your dog. That means that you’ll be asked to participate in activities that fit your skill set and it’s a lot easier to manage life’s demands, particularly for families. It also means that there’s usually someone you can call on to help in the event you need it.
Space breeds creativity, creativity spurs innovation, and innovation builds prosperity. This is where technology has been a game changer. Pre-internet, opportunities tended to be limited to the back yard, but not anymore. Now, as a result of e-commerce, remote health, and distance learning, entirely new opportunities are sprouting up everywhere, even in rural and small towns. Maybe that explains why 98% of U.S. counties have at least one high-tech business?
It’s amazing what a walk in some clean, quiet air can do to clear the mind and unleash new thoughts and energy. Try that in one of those fab Big Cities.
I’ve noticed many of my friends in big cities love to discuss “the environment”. I’ve also noticed how few of them actually spend much time outdoors. For most of us in rural and small places, the outside is often where we go for entertainment. Not the mall, not the movies, not the museum. Just outside.
We haven’t even begun to talk about the number of people who have started successful tech companies or the innovators who are building alternative energy solutions or the creatives who are writing and performing out here in rural and small towns. We also haven’t addressed the can-do spirit, brain sex, and lower income disparity that characterize rural and small towns, because I’ve written about all of that before. If you happened to miss it, here you go!
I know it must be so hard to imagine that all of this happens without Uber and an official “innovation hub”. But we get by. If your Big City ever gets too crowded, loud, or impersonal for you, check us out. We’ll leave a light on for you.