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city life vs. small town life: making the most of it

April 19, 2011

Bike ride in Munich

It’s no secret that I love city life. If you’re been reading here for a while, you probably know that my heart belongs to ‘the city’ and not the ‘small town’. I’ve lived in five countries and in everything from a small twelve-house village in Germany to bigger urban settings in the US, Canada, and Europe. I feel that this has given me the chance to compare life in different types of places and I have found that I’m happiest in a busy, colorful, and eccentric urban setting. What I love about being in a city is the easy access to museums; film festivals; the zoo; parks and large green areas that are full of people, dogs, kids, and cyclists; the opera; concerts and plays; and a varied selection of restaurants, cafes, and pubs. Sigh…  (And I’m well aware that some of you reading this could easily list just as many reasons as to why you prefer a small town and why life in a larger urban setting doesn’t appeal to you).

Unfortunately, life takes you places you don’t always choose for yourself. Right now I’m living in a small college town in a very rural Midwestern state full of farms, cornfields, and cows. My commute to work takes about ten minutes by bike and I often feel like I pass the same five houses there and back. While some might use the words idyllic, serene, quiet, peaceful, safe, or charming to describe this type of place, I have lately been using a lot of words to talk about my surroundings that aren’t fit for small children or a general family audience.

Particularly now that Spring is arriving, I’m nostalgic for the wonderful ways that I was able to enjoy my days in Munich last year – a city very much in line with my ideal place to live. But while I realize that it’s nice and even to be expected that one looks longingly and nostalgically back at times spent in a ‘happy place’, I know that dwelling on it and wishing I were there doesn’t help make my current situation better. So here are my alloted five minutes spent reminiscing and pining for Munich last Spring…

Munich

Bike ride by Marienplatz Chinesischer Turm in Munich

Spring in Munich

Spring in Munich

Bike ride in Munich

Bike ride along the Isar

Bikes in Englischer Garten Ice cream bike in Englischer Garten

Bike ride along the Isar

Bikes in Munich

Ok, reminiscence over, nostalgia back in check.

I’ve had a few really good conversations with my husband lately about what constitutes happiness and how to make the most out of every stage in life. We feel very fortunate to have each other, our health, our baby on the way, and our home. And we’re big believers in happiness being what you make of a situation. I may not be in my dream place but I am with my favorite person in the world and that trumps everything else. So this Spring and Summer, I’m putting my words into action and making the most of my small town layover. Besides revisiting places I discovered and loved last summer, like the nearby lake and the bike trails just outside of town, I plan on biking to the small farmer’s market in town on weekends, exploring any festivals or events coming through our area, taking a bike tour/bike date through our state capital (only a half hour away from us), and enjoying the best of what this area has to offer.

I want to spend more time living in the moment and less time wishing I were somewhere else, somewhere ‘better’. Wishing that doesn’t actually bring me to another place, it just brings me to an unhappy state of mind. I want to live in the now and enjoy the things that make this stage of my life special and unique. And a big part in accomplishing that will be finding the things I enjoy doing in whatever incarnation they exist right here, where I live today. So I’m forseeing a lot more bike rides, a lot more outdoors adventures, a lot more exploration of this area as the weather warms up and the academic semester ends.

I’m curious – do you live in your ‘ideal’ place and what makes it ‘ideal’ for you? And on a scale of 1 to 10, how important is location in determining your happiness? ~ S.

37 Comments leave one →
  1. April 19, 2011 08:11

    I live in a suburb of NY, less than an hour from the city, and it’s been an excellent place to raise a family, a good school system, beaches nearby, and room for kids to grow. I do not regret my choice one bit. However, with my children all really grown, I am most likely changing my address shortly. I agree and follow much of the same philosophy you do – by making the most of our days (moments) we are in charge of our happiness. And wherever I am, I focus on the beauty of the area – whether it’s the architecture of the skyline, the peeling paint on a door, the crimson leaves, or cotton candy skies. Continue to enjoy this very special time in your life, and plans to the state capital sound like a great diversion for you right now! Go for it!

  2. Andreea permalink
    April 19, 2011 08:41

    Munich is my ideal place to live too. I’ve been there twice and I can’t get enough of it. It’s green, clean, bike friendly, it has a great architecture, people are different than in other places from Germany and the main reason I like most is that Munich has one of the best infrastructure I’ve ever seen. Plus good beer, best sausages, wonderful “bier garten” and so on…From my point of view the location it’s not so important as long as you have great people around you, love what you do and do what you love.

  3. April 19, 2011 09:18

    A great post! I live in Slovenia, I was born here and apart from my few very precious summers spent in Britain I’ve never lived anywhere else. After five years at the university in the capital my husband and I returned to live in our home town (we both come from the same town). We are fond of this place even though I miss the things that come so natural in bigger cities (theatre, music concerts etc.). We live close to our parents and our children see their grandparents on a daily basis. I sound quite happy, right?
    Having said that, I must say that there’s a feeling deep inside of me that I’ve been born in the wrong place. I’m very much in love with Great Britain and that’s where my heart lives, to be honest. Had I not met my husband at a young age of sixteen, I would most probably have left Slovenia to live in Britain. But, I quite agree with you, it’s much more important to be with the person you love with all your heart than be in a place you love with all your heart. We can always go on holiday to my precious island or decide to live there in our old age. And with the internet era, Britain is only a click away (mentally) – I have many friends across the Channel (albeit we’ve never met – so far :)) and I love reading blogs from my British friends, but I would never want to leave what (read: whom) I have here – I carry ‘a little piece of Britain’ in my heart anyway…

    • June 9, 2011 14:10

      Just a small side note, I grew up in Portugal always in love with the English countryside, academic stereotype brought to us sponsored by the BBC and the Oxbridge duo, Jane Austen books, and 19th century fortunate lives such as Darwin’s. I visited London for the first time in the end of the 90’s and loved it. Even the rain! (Autumn and Winter are my favourite seasons in Portugal). I didn’t really plan it this way in the end but I somehow ended up with an opportunity to do my PhD in the South of England. I couldn’t believe my luck! 3 years on and I can’t wait to leave! Like S, I realized recently that being with my best friend, healthy, and attempting to pursue the things I like and make the best of what I have right now is the best way to go. No use longing for the past or even live too much in the future for that matter as all the life we have is right here and right now. I know exactly what you mean but I guess what I mean to say is that growing up, sometimes we build up ideas of places we visit that are formed around the special moments we spend there, the great time, the great people who come with us. We only know and remember the happy times and how nice it all was (which we then reinforce by finding people or virtual examples that confirm our impressions). But it’s not daily life. I think you might be glad to know that it’s not all London and BBC english/behaviour around here. It can be pretty nasty in some places. The winters are dreadful with only a few hours of light a day (and I live in the “sunny” south), it’s always pretty cold, and you can never, but never, trust the weather.

  4. Nikki permalink
    April 19, 2011 09:26

    I had always considered myself a city girl. I grew up in St. Paul, MN, which isn’t on the scale of NYC or Chicago, but when combined with Minneapolis, the Twin Cities have many wonderful amenities found in these larger metropolitan areas. I loved growing up here. I felt like there was endless things to do and I could bike anywhere and go independently. This past summer, I did some extensive touring of the United States and realized that I could learn to love almost anywhere and this really surprised me. I guess I think that every place has some wonderful attributes, though I might get sick of not having some conveniences. In the end, I’m going to give location importance a 3.

    As an aside, I’m not sure where you live in the Midwest, but I would highly suggest a trip to the Twin Cities. I think you would enjoy it. We have really wonderful opportunities for biking and we have some of those things you’ve been missing from Munich– though it certainly lacks the charm in comparison ;)

  5. Sophia Katz permalink
    April 19, 2011 09:55

    I’m so on the same page as you. I’ve always lived in or near a big city and have recently re-located to a small Midwestern town for graduate school. At first, it was really hard to feel positive about my new town. But in the last few months I’ve been trying really hard to appreciate the place for what it is. Since I definitely have to live here for two more years I don’t want to let it get me down. I keep trying to remind myself that I’m within a days drive from a number of Midwestern cities that I’ve never visited and that I should take this opportunity to get to know a part of the US that I’m unlikely to spend much time in again. On the plus side, living in a small town is allowing me to practice riding my bike in traffic without the fear I would have in a larger city!

  6. April 19, 2011 10:09

    I grew up in a tiny Iowa town of around 1500 and went to college in a town that sounds quite similar to where you’re living. With the university, the population was around 10,000. After college I moved to a city of just under three million and have been here for 17 years. There are parts of small town life that I yearn for. I had such an idyllic small town upbringing and there’s a big part of me that wishes my kids were living that life and at the same time I’m so happy for the access to so many activities, foods, cultural experiences that they get in the city. We had those things growing up but only by driving two hours and with the very intentional planning on my parents part.

    So we tend to get our balance by vacationing “back home.” We spend time at the lake and with family and do RAGBRAI from time to time. I’m always so excited to go home and so excited to get back to the city.

  7. April 19, 2011 10:14

    I was born in the suburbs of Portland, and now live in the city itself, though I have also lived in Lithuania for a short period (a year) and have seen some of the UK, Germany, Spain, Hungary, Latvia, The Netherlands, Japan.

    I also love city life, though there are certain things about rural life that really appeal to me – though if I were going to live in a small town or village, I think I would definitely do it in Europe, as many small towns in the U.S. (at least in Oregon) seem to have basically become tourist stops on the freeway (gas stations + strip malls). Many European small towns though have retained their old town center and still function just as normal small human dwellings, catering to the people who live there.

    We’ve kind of pondered Munich as well, and would love to at least visit – but the dream (and a dream we are likely to give a try eventually) is to live in Amsterdam. Not just because of bikes, but because it’s just an incredible place. Maybe from there we would also try living in a smaller town in the Netherlands, we’d just have to see.

    That being said, we enjoy our time in Portland, it’s a beautiful city with a lot of really wonderful things, we have family here that we love, and some friends we would be very sad to leave. I think you’re right though – it’s the people, not the place that have the biggest impact on your contentment (I won’t say happiness, because that changes minute by minute sometimes). I always feel more at home in a place where there is a *person* that means something to me.

  8. April 19, 2011 10:36

    I live in a somewhat rural area of Vermont, which lopsidedly splits the difference between my husband’s work and my finishing a graduate degree. I love my state, love my husband and am very excited to start our family here (just a few months after you!). I feel like the community constantly strive to look to the future and providing a healthy place for future generations to grow up, while balancing practicality and budgetary concerns.

    However, my ranking of our current house changes based on the season. In the summer and fall, I would place it at an 8. We are close to so many places we love to be outside, and a short drive from places in Northern/Central Vermont where festivals, concerts and lovely entertaining events occur. In the winter, it’s around a 6. We both get a bit mopey when the weather turns gray and it gets difficult to get motivated to head out in icy conditions. In the spring, it would be between the two, but winter seems to be holding on this year on our hill. When I see some bulbs come up, I am sure it will improve my opinion of it.

    But, as other commenters have said, my heart and home will be where my family is. And as soon as we get the chance, we might be taking that little bubble to a new country, or several.

    Given that, I am also working lately on enjoying the moment, the place, and the state of my life instead of constantly yearning for more. If you haven’t read it, “The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less”, by Barry Schwartz, is an interesting read on how people make decisions and how choices affect subjective satisfaction.

  9. April 19, 2011 11:17

    My husband and I have been in a large Midwestern city for almost 5 years, but our parents live in rural Pennsylvania. Over the past five years, we have realized that we love this place and feel depressed and oppressed by the climate and culture of rural PA. I especially have had to come to grips with my dislike for the area where my parents live and whether I am willing to let my dislike (really, disdain) control the next step in our life. Will I really insist that we never return there? Even if it means my kids will not get to see their grandparents as much? After becoming a mom, I came to see how selfish I was being (character building is a fringe benefit of parenthood), and I am now open to the idea of returning to that area. Now that my husband has finished grad school, we realize our time in our beloved city might be over. And the next place will probably be much less interesting. But, like you, I want to choose to be content, even in a situation that is less than ideal. And family is really important to me. And no one likes a complainer. :)

  10. Marie permalink
    April 19, 2011 12:18

    Wow! Munich looks AMAZING!! I currently live in a medium sized city but am really trying to make a move to a big city. One thing I’m worried about, though, is that I still want to be able to take leisurely bike rides, which I can easily do where I am now. I lived in Seattle for a while and there was so much traffic that it made me too scared to ride a bike. Most of the people on bikes that I saw were hard core bike commuters with the spandex and everything, and I just love to take leisurely, recreational rides. I would love to move to Europe if I could, but it seems really difficult as an American to find a way to move over there. Anyway, great post and I love the photos!!

  11. Jennifer permalink
    April 19, 2011 13:39

    I grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland and returned to live here after spells living in Aberdeen, Regensburg, Düsseldorf and Melbourne. For me, Edinburgh is pretty close to my ideal location and it would take a lot for me to move away for any substantial length of time. It is a beautiful city to look at which, for me, adds to my enjoyment. It has Summer arts festivals, cinemas with character, parks and hills, quirky cafes, access to beaches nearby (of the wind-swept rather than sunny variety), and reasonable bike riding facilities. All these things make me happy, as does the fact that my family lives here too.

  12. syd permalink
    April 19, 2011 13:55

    The lovely Munich pictures made me reminisce about spring in Austria, which was the highlight of the year I spent there, especially coming after the grey winter. The sun came out and I spent all my free time reading in the garden and biking to the lake and around town. But it was a fairly small town, at least by my standards, even though it was also the capital of the province (Klagenfurt, with 90,000 people was about the same size as the college town I’d lived in as an undergrad). After lamenting the lack of things to do for months, the gorgeous spring weather was all that made it bearable. These days, though, with so much time and energy taken up by teaching and dissertating, I think I’d be a lot less stir-crazy in a sleepy Austrian town than I was in my early twenties. In fact, I wouldn’t mind spending a year or two lounging by the lake and going to the market every afternoon…

  13. Erin permalink
    April 19, 2011 14:55

    I think you and your mister have the right idea. Your happiness is in your hands!

    And besides — there’s a good chance you’ll look back at your current situation and be very thankful for experience. You’re always preparing for something, learning something — it just takes some hindsight to realize what the lesson was. With time!

    It’s definitely not Muenchen, but summer in the Midwest is quite lovely. :D

  14. April 19, 2011 15:51

    I could have written this post! I am not in the kind of community that suits me. Cities, complete with cafes, newspaper racks, noise, lack of parking and sirons, are where I really thrive. But this is where we are for now so I have to make the best of it. I am also trying to live in the moment and appreciate things that I would otherwise not be exposed to had we not moved here (birther bills and the possibility of guns on a college campus not being among them). I would never have taken up bike commuting had we not been out here and I now am passibly competent at cross country skiing. We have to tell ourselves that this is not forever and remember that there is something to be learned, even in less than ideal circumstances.

    • April 19, 2011 17:02

      Karen – you make a great point. I only started bike commuting in this small town because it felt so safe and approachable. I was too intimidated to start while living in a bigger urban setting, although my husband had suggested it back then too. Now I don’t mind cycling in a city, but I needed to get my feet wet first in a more approachable setting. And now bike commuting is such a big part of my life, so I guess that’s one very cool thing that’s come out of living here.

  15. April 19, 2011 16:26

    I grew up in the middle of nowhere here in Upstate New York, about 500 feet from the Adirondack Park line.
    When I was 22 I needed a job, and found one in a small city, Johnstown
    I also met my wife at that job, so in this city I stay.
    It’s not a very artsy city, one tiny playhouse, a bunch of dive bars.
    If I were to live in a city I’d prefer it to be a larger one.
    I don’t think that happiness is determined by situations that come your way.
    I’d like to believe that this is just a layover here too, but I am fine here for now.

  16. Melissa @ HerGreenLife permalink
    April 19, 2011 16:27

    The “ideal place” question is a hard one for me, because I see benefits and drawbacks to various possibilities, including small town, big town, or rural. I can pretty confidently rule out suburbia, though!

    I’ve lived in a fairly small town (pop. ~ 27,000) and a mid-sized city, St. Louis. I’ve only visited large cities, like Chicago and New York, and, most recently, London and Rome.

    From my recent travels, big city benefits include entertainment options, and, ideally, transportation options, including the density for walkability and good public transit.

    Big city cons: The same density that brings benefits also has downsides, including pollution and poor air quality, because even in places with good transit, the sheer number of people = a decent number of cars. I also noticed in London and Rome that escaping second-hand smoke was almost impossible. There are just so many people — you walk down the street at any given time and are constantly breathing noxious fumes (which was extra distressing since it was exposing not only me, but my unborn child).

    Many big cities lack infrastructure for alternate transportation, such as biking, so even though the distances are bike-friendly, the roads are not — at least that’s what I observed in Rome or London — I would be terrified to bike in either place.

    St. Louis, as a mid-sized city, has many of the entertainment, dining, and cultural options of a big city, but lacks the density for public transit to work well. I can plan a decent bike route to almost anywhere within the city.

    While small towns lack the glitz and excitement of big cities, they are often (but not always, depending on location) offer less pollution and better air quality. Most truly small towns should be easily navigable by bike, or possibly even by foot.

    I’m really not sure about rural — my husband’s attracted to the idea, and I’m on the fence. I understand the appeal of wide open spaces, but I think I would be unhappy with the amount of driving involved, even if we tried our best to minimize things. I’m not sure if isolation/boredom would be an issue.

  17. April 19, 2011 16:38

    I grew up across the water from Portland, moved to Seattle, and now live in Portland, so even when I didn’t live in a big city I’ve always had one nearby. Portland is ideal for me because the city is great and full of things to do, but just 40 minutes out of the city and you have some of the most amazing things nature has to offer (the Columbia River Gorge, the Oregon Coast, etc.) so I feel like I get the best of both worlds.

    But I agree with everyone else, I could be happy living anywhere so long as I’m with my husband and pups, but I would definitely miss the Northwest if I had to move away.

  18. April 19, 2011 19:03

    I live in small-town New Zealand, close by the biggest city of Auckland. I grew up in an extremely isolated but staggeringly beautiful small town in the Far North (Kaitaia, fact fans). I spent 8 years living in the city (Auckland) initially for Uni and later for work. I moved to my current small town when I was 8 months pregnant with my first child. I absolutely LOVE it, and it’s like those 8 city years never happened. The natural beauty of my gorgeous homeland is incredibly important to me, and I am very much at peace with my lack of sophistication thank you very much! ;)

    Actually, you know what, have a look at some facebook photos. I mean this is where I LIVE every single day! How lucky am I?
    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/fbx/?set=a.10150217662543573.356476.671418572&l=c3bf7bd2f9
    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/fbx/?set=a.10150165932773573.348381.671418572&l=9cab4bced2

    • April 20, 2011 11:31

      Nadine, I can see why you love it there! It’s beautiful! We do not have those kinds of breathtaking nature spots around here, if we did, I think that would make my longing for a city much more subdued :) enjoy your beautiful surroundings!

      S.

  19. April 19, 2011 20:50

    Beautiful post. So often we forget that happiness is really just a measure of your reactions to the things that happen you stumble your way through life.

    I grew up in a small town in Wyoming but just hit my 10 year mark in NYC. I think 8 or 9 was enough, but I have a wonderful job so I think I’m here for at least another year. I’d been daydreaming of Portland for a while (funny how many PDXers responded to this post) and little by little I’m finding that while I can’t have all of the things I crave about that city (slower pace, nature just steps away, affordable housing) I can start to adopt the lifestyle. So, this year I’m expanding my fire escape garden, hosting more potlucks, and starting to bike to work. I’ve even figured out how to rig a hammock onto my fire escape to get some much needed “outdoor space”! It’s not quite like being there, but in realizing that I can have much of “that life” anywhere I live it’s taken a lot of the pressure off determining an actual move date. And, in the process, I’m really living the way I want to, not just waiting for the right time—or place—to start.

    • April 19, 2011 22:29

      Jessica, I love how your turning your city spot into the green, outdoor space that you crave as much as you can. I think that perfectly captures the ethos of my post and what I’m trying to do more of in life.

  20. April 19, 2011 21:16

    wow, can i relate to this! i had a short stop over at a town near you just out of college ~ we did appreciate it and had experiences we remember fondly, but then it was time to leave. fast forward to years later…our path took us away from the place we loved dearest in our hearts, my hyggelig. the day we left was the most painful, the saddest, the most difficult. to leave a place you love – it reverberates throughout your being in ways you can never imagine. i struggled with happiness and depression for the first two years here. i deflected my pain instead of absorbing what was good. i missed out. and then i woke up, i began to find happiness, and i started to look around me. i may not be where i eventually want to be, but i am here now and these days pass too quickly. you are right to focus on the good, but there is nothing wrong with keeping a little light alive too for the future. it is balance, it is achieving a true happiness, it is learning about ourselves.

    • April 19, 2011 22:43

      Sigrid,

      thanks for your candid answer to this. I think that I was too threatening to fall into more of a depression about this and less of a realistic assessment about what is good and what is bad about this place. It was also overshadowing any of the things that I could embrace and be excited about here, because this “here” wasn’t where I wanted to be. I’m hoping to nip these feelings in the bud by talking about them and reflecting on them, especially since I am bringing a baby into the world here and I want to be a good and positive role model to her.

      I’m glad to hear that with time you’ve ‘woken up’ from your state of depression at where you live and I hope you continue to find contentment with where life has you now.

      S.

  21. April 20, 2011 07:50

    Growing up in the Midwest, I’ve always been something of a small town / rural gal, but I did enjoy a summer in NYC and two weeks in Munich (work sponsored training in town nearby, took the train into the city).

    I think location preference can also be affected by region as well. For example, I’m still living somewhat rurally now, but in the Southeast, and it isn’t nearly as comforting and “open” feeling as I’m used too. I feel suffocated and isolated here… more and more we are thinking if we stay in this region, we’ll end up moving closer to the metro area.

    Not being happy with your location makes it hard to stop and smell the roses, but thanks for the reminder. :)

  22. April 20, 2011 20:19

    I grew up in a very small farming community in the Midwest but did both my undergrad and grad degrees at a Big 10 university in a medium-sized city that had a decent amount of things going on (at least in my opinion, although my big city friends would disagree). Sandwiched in between my degrees were two years in a small town in Ukraine with the Peace Corps.

    This past year, I moved to a small, rather isolated college town in northern Appalachia and found it rough going at first. I was used to having easy access to a variety of stores, not to mention various cultural perks of being at a large university. However, even as I complained about it to friends and family, I kept finding that I was adding, “But they’ve got a great farmers’ market and bike trail!”, so much that I laughed at myself. For me, what made this community start to feel like home was when I was able to put down some roots–I made friends with some of the international grad students, became a church pianist, and was able to play hostess when some grad school friends came to visit.

    I’ve had some major moves in the last 10 years, enough that someone once mistakenly called me a vagabond. I’m not. I’m a deeply rooted, often-transplanted small tree, and I find that putting roots down wherever I go makes it much more livable. My 1-10 scale? I’d put location at maybe a 4. Out of the last 10 years, the happiest have been in a small town in Ukraine with no hot water and (for most of the time) no home Internet!

    • April 21, 2011 12:16

      Sally, I love the tree metaphor you use, such a beautiful way to describe it.

      S.

  23. April 22, 2011 12:28

    Yep, I’m late to the party again, but…

    Right now I have to say Portland is my favorite place for living, and I’ve had 10 years of experience! It’s urban, with most (most) of the things you’d want from a city. And just like seejenbike mentioned, we have great access to natural and scenic areas.

    My ideal for living is an urban area with access to nature and possible wilderness. And this nature needs to be somewhat easily accessible by alternative transportation. While getting to most of the natural wonders surrounding Portland is impossible by public transit, it isn’t by bike! I know there are many cities with easily reached rural areas surrounding it, but a lot of that is farmland, rather than a more natural state.

    So I’ve basically painted myself into a corner if I ever want to move! There’s not a heck of a lot of other cities with the same closeness to nature like Portland. Seattle, yeah. Bay Area, I guess. The Midwest is a toughie, I can see living in Minneapolis if I could think I could hack the winters. Thank god I don’t want to leave Portland!

  24. STL Mom permalink
    May 1, 2011 20:11

    I’ve lived in rural Minnesota, Minneapolis, two suburbs of Minneapolis, Des Moines, near New York City (very urban, commuting to Manhattan every day), a suburb of St. Louis, and a suburb of Chicago. There was something to enjoy and appreciate about every location, and also plenty of annoyances and inconveniences. When you live in an urban apartment 3 doors from a fabulous bakery, you hear people screaming on the sidewalk at 2 a.m. and garbage trucks at 5 a.m. When you live in a sprawling house on a wooded half acre property, you may feel like you never see or hear your neighbors — which can be nice or spooky, depending on your mood.
    There are certainly places that I enjoyed more than others, but I think that moving around has taught me that I can be happy anywhere.
    Once you have a baby that’s crawling around, most of your life will center around your own and other people’s family rooms, with trips to parks in good weather. With a toddler, you will be putting most culture on hold for a year or two anyway, so enjoy your small town!

  25. Pati D'Amico permalink
    May 28, 2013 09:03

    I’ve lived in cities since I was 21(Prov RI and New Orleans)am almost 60 now.I’m from a suburb about 40 miles outside of NYC in the Hudson River Valley.
    3 years after Hurricane Katrina we moved to a small town in northern Mississippi.
    It was “culture shock” I was use to a short commute(by bike) to work(in New Orleans ) and a 9 mile commute by car in Providence(my choice -I’m not a big highway driver-like country roads or city driving-not hurried) I was use to diversity of culture..but there are plusses and minusses about everything.And Mississippi is changing.
    I still miss the city but if you can visit it easily by car or train it helps to buffer the change.
    We live 20 miles from a college town-(that always helps)The landscape is quite lovely and green with rolling hills. My biggest problem here is the lack of public transportation….though that may be changing(Hurrah!!!)
    It’s extremely affordable to live here. As an artist that means alot.too.
    Help make your town a better place to live. A group of us started an arts council and that has brought a lot of good things to our town.
    I’m not retired so I’m still working and volunteering quite a bit. In a smal town-that is also a way to meet and connect with like minded souls.
    Take care-Ms D

  26. January 3, 2014 21:35

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your efforts and
    I am waiting for your next post thanks once again.

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