When I was growing up, part of me hated living in a small town. A town of approximately 2,800 in northern Wisconsin, I hated that everyone was in my business; I hated that I had to drive 20 minutes to go see a movie; I hated that there was never anything to do. When I went to college, I moved across the state and vowed never to live in a small town again. Now, five years later, I am back in my little town. Why? Why in the HELL would anyone want to live in a small town?
You see, I learned a lot about myself in those five years. I traveled frequently and experienced the big city life and was in awe of the fast, paced, exciting lifestyle. However, I learned that although I absolutely love visiting big cities, I could never live in one.
It turns out that when I was away at college, I missed everything about my little community and always was excited to return home. I missed running on the empty country roads and seeing deer cross the road. I hated that I was a stranger and that nobody knew my story. I hated that I couldn’t walk anywhere by myself at night because it was unsafe. I hated that it took me half an hour with traffic to get to Walmart even though it was only a few miles down the street. And most of all, I HATED paying for parking.
Living in a small town certainly is not for everyone. I completely understand those who feel that it isn’t a fit for them. I do admit, it sucks that the closest Starbucks is 30 miles away. But just like every other choice in life, there are pros and cons to both sides. As for me, I love living a quiet, simple life.
Here are 9 reasons why I root for small towns.
1.) No traffic
I never have to worry about traffic. In fact, my town doesn’t even have a single stoplight. I don’t have to worry about being late for work, getting a cab, or using public transportation. Instead of seeing dirty streets, I get to drive on country roads surrounded by beautiful fields. Driving with the windows down and the radio up is one of the best forms of therapy.
2.) The sense of community
Through tragedy and good times, I have seen my community unite together. People in small towns are very welcoming and always willing to do whatever they can to give each other a helping hand. Just the other day, a community member lost their dog. Just through word of mouth to keep an eye out on the dog, the pup was eventually found in the woods a few days later.
3.) It’s safe
I have never NOT felt safe in my little town. We don’t lock our doors during the day, and I’m not afraid to walk by myself somewhere. I know that bad things can happen anywhere, but I feel a lot safer in a small town where I know most of the people than in a big city. The crime late is extremely low, and we all look out for each other.
4.) Everybody knows everybody
At first, this is what I hated about small towns. But I same came to realize that it was something that I took for granted. It’s so nice to be able to walk into the bank and be greeted by your name, or run into your old teachers at the grocery store. The same people who serve you in the community, like police officers, firefighters, grocers, post office workers, etc. are usually family friends.
5.) The grocery store is less than 5 minutes from your house
The other day, I was baking cookies and realized that I didn’t have enough eggs. I was able to make it to the grocery store and back in ten minutes. (Yes, I know that’s what neighbors are for, too! But you get the point!)
6.) More rural areas for outdoor activities
Growing up, I lived in a rural area where I could run around, play, scream, and just be a kid. (The above picture is of my parents’ backyard!) It was awesome. My dad would go hunting in the woods behind our home, and my mom would spend her days in the garden. My sisters and I could lay and look at the stars at night, breathe the fresh air, and swim in our pond. I don’t think I could have had the same opportunities if I lived in a big city growing up.
7.) The supporting of local businesses
Overall, there was less competition between businesses and more community support. Most of us would rather pay a buck or two more to support locally owned businesses than drive to the city where we could get a cheaper bargain. That’s just the way we live.
8.) Despite size, there are still great opportunities
Even though our community was small, I still had an abundance of great opportunities growing up. My high school offered college-credit classes, division 2 sporting teams, and a state-of the art performing arts center. Our Tech Ed, Agriculture, and Choral departments were nationally known. If kids wanted to play sports, they didn’t have to worry about not making a team at all; between the JV, Varsity and freshman teams, almost everyone could play.
Just like a family, all small towns have unique traditions and special annual events that bring the community together. My town hosts a large Memorial Day Weekend celebration every year where there are softball bar league tournaments and a carnival. Talk about fun!
Even if you would never want to live in a small town, I still want to hear your thoughts. I appreciate differences! Please comment below on why you agree with me or disagree with my opinion.
Have a wonderful night!