For generations, living in big cities has been portrayed as the pinnacle of achievement and culture. This concept has been reinforced through popular television shows, such as “Sex in the City” and “The Big Bang Theory”.
Many characters we’re familiar with share similar backstories – they were born and raised in a small town and moved to the city in order to chase and make their dreams a reality. So, it should come as no surprise that a lot of young people tend to gravitate towards larger cities in search of employment opportunities, especially after graduating from their university, seeking to make a name for themselves in their chosen fields.
Traditionally, people would live in the city while they are young and establishing themselves in a career. As they grow older, however, they would move house to the suburbs or a small neighbouring town to settle down and raise a family.
For a while, many young adults rejected this lifestyle and focused wholeheartedly on city living, but in recent years more and more young people have been moving to or showing an interest in, smaller towns. The cause of this city exodus appears to be a mixture of rising living costs, the stress-inducing, fast-paced lifestyle, and advances in modern technology allowing for reliable remote working.
If you are among the growing number of people that would like to exchange their metropolitan city life for the peacefulness of a small town, then this is the article for you. We will explore the good and bad sides of small-town life, as well as provide a step-by-step guide on how to adjust to your new lifestyle.
Reasons people move from a big city to a small town
When you leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind, a series of unexpected benefits will be revealed. There is an untold number of reasons why people move to small towns, but the most common are:
- You will find that you have much more free time
Your social calendar will no longer be besieged by countless event invitations. This will allow you to invest more time into a hobby you really enjoy.
- The slower pace of life will allow for reflection on life choices and goals
This will help you figure out how to reach your future milestones.
- There are more opportunities than you may think
Many people move to a city for the employment opportunities they provide, but small towns can still offer attractive career options with less competition. It is also often easier to stand out with exceptional skill since the talent pool will be smaller. Even if your town doesn’t offer suitable employment opportunities, there’s still the option of remote working as most towns have reliable Internet connections.
- You will no longer be just another anonymous person
One of the defining features of small towns is that everyone knows everyone else, and it’s refreshing to walk into a shop or pub and be greeted by name.
- You can make some substantial savings
Housing costs, rental rates and the general cost of living are lower in small towns than in cities. If you could only afford to rent a one-bedroom, shoe-box sized apartment in the city, don’t be surprised if you can rent a two or three bedroom house for the same price (or less) in a town.
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How to move out from a big city to a small town
So, you took the plunge and moved into a small town and away from the big city, but now that you’re here, it’s…different.
People smile at you, talk to you on the street and your new neighbours came to introduce themselves when you moved in. Don’t worry, people who live in small towns are generally quite friendly and the culture shock fades over time. To adjust to your new environment a little quicker, follow the steps below.
- Get to know the locals
Introduce yourself to the people in the shop, the local pub, the school staff (if you have children). Take every opportunity to make new connections with the locals as they will be able to help you adjust to the town and can let you know about upcoming events.
- Learn to strike up conversations with strangers
For a city dweller, this may be difficult at first, but almost all small towns operate on the basis of six degrees of separation. By continuing with the old habit of keeping yourself to yourself, you might miss out on opportunities, such as job offers or making new friends.
- Introduce yourself to your new neighbours
Getting to know your neighbours when moving to a small town is essential as they will be able to fill you in on local events, attractions, job opportunities, and the latest gossip.
Tiny pieces of happiness you only get in small towns
Along with the major benefits of living in a small town mentioned above, it can also present some little joys, which are otherwise easily overlooked.
- Your daily commute will be shorter if you work in the town
No longer will you have to sit in horrendous traffic or squeeze yourself onto packed public transport for an hour or more in each direction.
- There is less crime
As small towns experience much less crime than big cities, you won’t have to spend as much mental energy worrying about it. Plus you don’t have to listen to sirens every ten minutes.
- Weird and wonderful traditions and events
While you might not be able to attend ultra-chic gallery openings as often as before, many small towns host a variety of strange events, such as River football or rolling cheese down a hill. These events may not be as cultured as their big-city counterparts, but they are darn good fun.
The downsides of living in a small town
As with all things in life, where there are good points, there are also bad points. Thankfully, the downsides of living in a small town are not as serious as those found in the city.
- Everyone knows everyone else
This was raised as a benefit earlier in the article as it helps create a sense of a close-knit community. But this also means that what you, and everyone else, say and do will be subject to the scrutiny and rumour-mill of the town.
- Lack of services
You now have the peaceful life you were dreaming of but, if you want to go out shopping, visit the cinema, or order takeaway, you may find that you have to drive to a larger town as certain brands and stores are hesitant to open branches in areas with a small population.
So, there we have it, your introduction to moving to a small town from a big city. Overall, if you are looking for a slower pace of life, a sense of community and the chance to attend some weird local events, then moving to a small town might be the answer you have been seeking.