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Old 12-04-2014, 02:06 PM
 
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How many of you, thrive on a balance between city/metro area life and country/nature/outdoors life??

And for those of you who prefer a balance, in which way do you value one or the other.

I'll give my own example, but feel free to skip over this if you already understand what I am talking about.

My own personal life experience growing up.

Grew up in the Chicago suburbs, took a lot of road trips with family (two week road trips every other year, and a 3-7 day road trip alternate years).

As a little kid getting to see the country in the 80s in the family station wagon, basically I find I peer into my childhood upbringing when I watch the Griswolds in National Lampoons Vacation series!! ha ha.

Developed a strong love for natural sciences, identified wild animals and plants at a somewhat early age, joined boy scouts at 11 because wanted to go camping on a more regular basis.

Went to college and grad school in fairly rural and remote college towns (one in upper midwest northwoods, one a cowboy town in intermountain west). thinking I would like going to school in these places, similar to the kind of places we would have stopped on our road trips touring national parks/monuments, etc. where I developed a love for natural sciences and the outdoors, hiking, etc.

However what I learned that those experiences looking back, although in a lot of ways I cherish those times and experiences of living in those towns and regions, is that from a social dynamic perspective I felt like a fish out of water looking back. I feel rather easily self conscious, I hate people asking me specific, probing questions that they are not asking others. The underlying sense of reserve and even mild vague suspicion of outsiders, the fact that all the girls already seemed to have boyfriends, practically engaged to high school sweet hearts, insecure about my masculinity because I don't follow sports and don't understand the big deal about the second amendment, and not understanding why people can't just enjoy nature for the beauty why d do they have to shoot or catch something that moves? etc., etc. Bottom line, I realized that as far as people are concerned, I am more at home around people that spent most of their lives in metro areas.

Fastforward to today, I live in Southern California, but I love living in western cities, where I can explore the states endless natural wonders and public lands, but find that as a home base I prefer an urban area (There are certain more remote small towns that are very popular vacation destinations and are known for natural beauty, etc. that are popular with tourists, transplants, and artsy types but they tend to have housing costs just as high as major metro areas, they don't have the jobs of bigger areas, and everyone wants to live there.

However . . .

I have also known a lot of people that are the EXACT opposite. People who were born and raised in a small town/rural area, and a house in the country is what feels familiar to them. Yet they love all the culture and excitement of a large city, may have lived in a few, but after a while came back to what they are more familiar with. But would rather vacation and get their fill of city culture, and don't have so much of an interest in backcountry hiking camping, road trips to national parks, and just like their own "ranch" of 40 acres or whatever.

Do you know where I am going with this?

How many of you are city/metro area as a familiar homebase who plans which national parks to tour and hiking trails, and natural features to see.

How many of you prefer the homebase of a rural area or small town and plan on which city to get your fill of?
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Old 12-05-2014, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee
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Grew up in a small city, then rural (out in the woods). Couldn't wait to move to some place bigger. Early on after college, ended up travelling a lot around the country, due to both work and side interests (being in or booking tours for bands/exhibits). Still felt I would end up in NYC or San Fran, but compromised years back with Milwaukee. Live in a higher density area of a near-downtown neighborhood, and it's been fun. But I find myself travelling whenever possible to the woods, or a lake, or a river, or anywhere there aren't dozens of people doing people stuff. I have far less interest in exploring cities after a couple decades of doing a lot of it, in fact it seems like the last thing I want to do when the weekend hits.

It's around 50/50 for me staying in Milwaukee on a weekend and doing "city stuff" or heading out of town to the opposite at this point, tilting closer to the former. I'll be retiring soon, and even though I'm young (still in my early 40s) I'm getting out with the lady and we're going to live in the middle of nowhere, hopefully. After a short time, I'm sure I'll be dying to take trips to Minny or Chicago or Milwaukee or St Louis or wherever again. I never quite found the right balance, I guess.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:20 PM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
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Considering I was raised in the Pittsburgh area, and my parents were raised in rural northern Missouri, and I have friends in rural south Georgia, I enjoy aspects of both big cities and small towns. The natural setting of Pittsburgh helped me appreciate nature too, as did being a Boy Scout and spending many weekends camping in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
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I don't think I fit either of your profiles. I like a small town, but one that's big enough where I don't run into people I know regularly when I'm shopping.

And I like that town to be right in the middle of a nature area that I enjoy, so my day to day life includes enjoying the nature right where I live.

I do love the occasional show, which would be my only reason for venturing into an urban area with traffic from hell. I'd do this for a Bette Midler concert, should she ever decide to do one again - loved her mermaid routine, or Bonnie Raitt. Or the Lipizzaner stallions, always wanted to see them perform in person.

Otherwise, I'm good right where I am, in a medium sized town in the middle of nature.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:51 PM
 
11,184 posts, read 22,407,581 times
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Grew up in a smaller area and spent a ton of time in rural and natural areas and loved it. Moved to a large urban area over 13 years ago and it's home, definitely feel best in the middle of a large city. I do love doing national parks and a driving vacation once every year or two. Just spent 10 days this fall driving around Arizona, Utah and Colorado to parks and small towns. Amazing and I'm still talking about it non-stop, but for every day life I have to be in a busy city.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:58 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
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Urban all the way. I haven't tried it, but I don't think i'd enjoy being out in the wilderness/country/rural area for more than three days straight. I'd much rather be in a tiny box in Hong Kong, Manhattan, etc than have acres in the countryside.
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:13 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,241 posts, read 24,468,192 times
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I grew up in the Southland. I think my experience there was about average compared to others that grew up there, but there's more that I didn't like about it than I did. Nature was that thing we drove to see during the summer.

At the age of 20, I moved out to a small desert town (25K pop, nothing else within 75 miles in any direction), and looking back, I liked a lot of things about living in that type of environment, though at the time, the isolation killed me. Nature was abundant, but I didn't take nearly as much advantage of it as I could have.

Now, I live smack dab between the downtown of a major metro, and nature (about 15 minutes to either downtown or mountains). It is a good blend, really almost the best of both worlds. My neighborhood is comparatively quiet, almost a small town feel. I can be at a sports stadium/arena or in the mountains by a creek within minutes. However, there is something missing from this environment, but I don't know what exactly it is.

I once lived in a medium-sized city (210K pop) set IN nature, and that IMO was the perfect balance of everything. When I lived there, I lived on a dirt road a mile from downtown (small skyscrapers/etc). I was walking distance to a river for rafting/swimming (it had nice waterfalls too), and there was forest everywhere. Incredible views all over said city.

OP, I think you'll find that most small-town folks don't like the city as much as you think. Many of the folks I know from small towns think the city "is too much" for them, and many have no use for it.
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Old 12-07-2014, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,712 posts, read 33,740,349 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Aguilar View Post
I grew up in the Southland. I think my experience there was about average compared to others that grew up there, but there's more that I didn't like about it than I did. Nature was that thing we drove to see during the summer.

At the age of 20, I moved out to a small desert town (25K pop, nothing else within 75 miles in any direction), and looking back, I liked a lot of things about living in that type of environment, though at the time, the isolation killed me. Nature was abundant, but I didn't take nearly as much advantage of it as I could have.

Now, I live smack dab between the downtown of a major metro, and nature (about 15 minutes to either downtown or mountains). It is a good blend, really almost the best of both worlds. My neighborhood is comparatively quiet, almost a small town feel. I can be at a sports stadium/arena or in the mountains by a creek within minutes. However, there is something missing from this environment, but I don't know what exactly it is.

I once lived in a medium-sized city (210K pop) set IN nature, and that IMO was the perfect balance of everything. When I lived there, I lived on a dirt road a mile from downtown (small skyscrapers/etc). I was walking distance to a river for rafting/swimming (it had nice waterfalls too), and there was forest everywhere. Incredible views all over said city.

OP, I think you'll find that most small-town folks don't like the city as much as you think. Many of the folks I know from small towns think the city "is too much" for them, and many have no use for it.
What I think is funny is calling a place with a population of 25,000, a small town. I think a small town has less than maybe 3,000 people. There are actually some city people who call a place with a 50,000 population, a small town. I would never live in a place with a population of 50,000. That's way too big for me. I don't even like to visit cities.

By the way, I technically live in a city on paper and the population here is 30,000 and it sits on 85 square miles of land meaning low population density. We have our own schools, fire, police, utilities apart from the County.

I wish we could all agree on the definition of a small town and of a city because I don't think we're always talking about the same thing.
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,241 posts, read 24,468,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
What I think is funny is calling a place with a population of 25,000, a small town. I think a small town has less than maybe 3,000 people. There are actually some city people who call a place with a 50,000 population, a small town. I would never live in a place with a population of 50,000. That's way too big for me. I don't even like to visit cities.

By the way, I technically live in a city on paper and the population here is 30,000 and it sits on 85 square miles of land meaning low population density. We have our own schools, fire, police, utilities apart from the County.

I wish we could all agree on the definition of a small town and of a city because I don't think we're always talking about the same thing.
The people of said town also refer to it as a small town. There is nothing of note in any direction for 75 miles. It is an outpost in a vast sea of nothing, in the most populated state. Compared to Los Angeles, 3 hours to this town's south, it is a small town. Most Los Angeles area zip codes exceed the population of this town.

But you can call it a city if you'd like.

Former mayor Dan Clark:
Quote:
Everyone is very shook up and concerned in Ridgecrest," he said. "This is a small town and things like this just donít happen here."
from Ridgecrest shooting spree suspect threatened to 'wreak havoc' - Los Angeles Times

"A good deal in a small town", review of a local restaurant.
A good deal in a small town - Review of Kristy's Family Restaurant, Ridgecrest, CA - TripAdvisor

Another one:
Mon Reve - Ridgecrest, CA | Yelp

Local economic development bureau:
Ridgecrest | Kern Economic Development Corporation
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:42 PM
 
3,280 posts, read 3,844,990 times
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I'm a lifelong suburbanite and have no desire to change that. It's really the perfect balance for me. I get the amenities of a larger metro area, but don't have to deal with inner city problems. Recreation is also really nice. I can have a much larger house than I would in the inner city.

The country...eh. I would totally live on a ranch in CO or WY, but I prefer to not be on a septic tank.
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