U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Rural and Small Town Living
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 12-20-2009, 12:29 PM
 
5,617 posts, read 13,901,020 times
Reputation: 2775

Advertisements

I can tell you only from MY opinion and what happened to me. I moved to a very remote and rural area. Coming from NJ being practically a suburb of NYC so it was a big difference. Did I fit in, YES in alot of ways I did. What I felt was the big difference was the lack of visual stimuation, lack of mental sitmulation but the biggest where I did not fit in was , I was not used to the rural poverty and save everything mentality. I did not expect people to live so poor. This was a big shock. Not all rural areas are like this but where I moved to was one of the poorest areas of the country. You see it also is a big vacation /resort area (the Adirondacks) so there are two classes of people. You see in the summer or ski season the second home owners but you dont realize they dont live there all year round. So when you are with the people who are there full time, they are scrappy pickins. Its hard to stomach that when you are so not used to it. I went there to retire and live FULL time, well it became very clear that I did not fit in for the money reason. They were the nicest people in the world but I soon just felt like I was living in an extremely depressed area. It got to me, so I moved back to NJ, and go there on vacations/weekends.

I think if I picked a better area in the rural catagory I might have made it. I could not hack it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-23-2009, 11:46 AM
 
4,049 posts, read 3,360,182 times
Reputation: 11863
A lot of small towns have the social continuity that is just not part of city living anymore. Many folk here in my town have known each other from business dealings, school functions, church, and hobbies. they aren't so much stand-offish as they are just at a loss for something relavent to say. We that came here recently know that and don't take any offense to it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-27-2009, 01:50 PM
 
Location: North Cackelacky....in the hills.
19,556 posts, read 19,536,882 times
Reputation: 2499
Why is there a need to 'fit in'??

As a person who came to this country over 22 years ago I have never really cared too much about being 'accepted' by others,I guess I don't find the need to be.

When we move to WNC and live there,we will be the outsiders from SC and to be honest I don't really care...we live our lives for us, not the acceptance of others.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-27-2009, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Rolla, Phelps County, Ozarks, Missouri
1,069 posts, read 2,254,978 times
Reputation: 1259
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenTap View Post
Now on Town Meeting Day, the one day a year this town conducts its business, all 52 of us in the family (and counting) get together and decide what occurs in a town of 120 people. The reality is, the meeting is actually held days in advance, as family and friends gather at the farm and we decide what accounts are getting what, and who is taking which roles. 52 people sounds like a minority but throw in a few friends of the family and we sway the vote quite a bit.
In other words, your family forms that good ole boy network in your community that people complain about.

Are you a benevolent or a bullying oligarchy? Have you been able to enrich your family with public money, contracts, etc.?

We always were taught here in Ozarks schools that you folks up in New England in your town meetings operate in a truly democratic fashion, kind of like a lynch mob.

I say more power to you. I wish I was part of an oligarchy like that; we'd keep the outsiders/transplants/wannabes away for sure.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-30-2009, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
10,234 posts, read 14,172,126 times
Reputation: 25899
Quote:
Originally Posted by Str8Arrow View Post
What's with this? I always half considered it a yuppy indicater.

I like to read through the various state forums and there are always posts by people who move to an area, especially rural areas, lived there for years, and say they still don't feel welcomed.

I can claim that I've lived in various rural areas peppered across the US and always felt welcomed, almost like an old friend in areas.

What do you make of it? How really hard is it to fit in?

I remember western North Dakota and having to repeatedly explain that I don't plan on staying, I'm just here for the job. Sorry, I have a good girl waiting for me at home, and things of the such. My problem has always been NOT fitting in too much.

I believe it is just a rural mindset and set of values. Someone from the sticks of Kansas should have no problem fitting in in the backwoods of West Virginia.

I'm from the woods of northern PA and I know my little town always welcomes newcomers. That being said, of course you're not going to fit in if you're a self-centered, self-gratifying, big mouthed, problem maker.

Is it a vibe, a feeling? I know people who I meet who I fully trust within minutes of meeting them. Just the way they are. Then there are others that I need to feel out for a week, a month, a year. Some just kind of linger in that feeling out period forever and I never really get a good grasp on who they are. And I'll tell people who are close to me, I wouldn't trust that guy.
Perhaps you're more adaptable than many people, and you are very fortunate to be that way. I think that sometimes what makes newbies feel 'unwelcome' are high expectations to begin with. But only sometimes.

It can also have to do with a township's attitude. Good example: The hippie town of Bolinas in California is well-known for NOT wanting newbies or even visitors in their their private coastal town. You cannot find road signs to Bolinas because the residents constantly take them down, have for decades. And they really do dislike outsiders.

A cultural change that's not to your liking will take time, too.

In '75 I moved to Texas from California. I've always been friendly enough, if a loner. But, see, I didn't hate blacks, didn't hate gays, looked/dressed differently, and to make it matters even worse, I was a ~ gasp! ~ Californian! So I was pretty well thought of as a blacksheep, and really did feel like a square peg in a round hole. I tried to adapt to the culture but, really, I didn't like the people in general. I stayed three years then left.

I don't exactly share Oregon's liberal politics, and I'm not wild about the weather. But there are other things I like here, so I don't feel so out of place.

I grew up in a small farming town in Central California, and that sense of community still exists. I love to see the old timers still there whenever I return, and many of the kids I grew up with have remained to take their places.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-31-2009, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Rolla, Phelps County, Ozarks, Missouri
1,069 posts, read 2,254,978 times
Reputation: 1259
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluesbabe View Post
and to make it matters even worse, I was a ~ gasp! ~ Californian! So I was pretty well thought of as a blacksheep, and really did feel like a square peg in a round hole. I tried to adapt to the culture but, really, I didn't like the people in general. I stayed three years then left.
Typical Californian's attitude: Move to a place, dislike the people and the culture, and then blame it on the locals because you're "--gasp--a Californian!"

We see that in the Ozarks. Californians move to small towns here because the land is cheaper than in California. They want to start a new life in "Mayberry." Then they start complaining in grocery stores that the selection isn't anything like what they had in California; the oranges aren't as fresh in Missouri. Then they want a Starbucks and we don't have many of them in Southern Missouri. And most of all, they complain because there are no malls in the small towns for "serious shopping."

Now if a real Missourian, either a native or a transplant like myself who has been here for decades (I moved my family from Georgia back in '53), attempts to reach out to a Californian by inviting the newcomer to church or to a bluegrass concert, we're seen as backwards, ignorant and trying to push our relationship with Christ onto others. If we suggest to a newcomer that a good way to get involved in the community is support our young people by going to high school football, basketball, volleyball, baseball games or wrestling matches, or to concerts by the high school vocal groups or bands, we're laughed at as provincial and told "You people just don't grow up, do you?" Our natural reaction, then, is to shrug and move along and leave those folks alone and be wary of any other newcomers we meet. Of course, they complain that we're stand-offish. We can't win.

It used to be that I would suggest here on city-data that Californians (and anyone else) considering moves to Missouri, just stay away, and I got mean-spirited a time or two or a dozen. Now I welcome newbies, and I call them all Californians no matter what their origin, but I offer these suggestions:

Any Californian wanting to move to Missouri should choose to live in either St. Louis or Kansas City. Any Californian insisting on living in outstate Missouri should settle in the twin cities (Springfield-Branson) or in Lake of the Ozarks. Those areas have large enclaves of Californians and offer plenty of shopping and Starbucks; you can live amongst yourselves and enjoy your favorite activities--all without coming in contact with a real Missourian.

I suspect the same advice could be adapted to other states.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-31-2009, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
10,234 posts, read 14,172,126 times
Reputation: 25899
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozarksboy View Post
Typical Californian's attitude: Move to a place, dislike the people and the culture, and then blame it on the locals because you're "--gasp--a Californian!"
Actually, I was there against my will. I married a Texan who decided he wanted to return.

But, like I wrote, this was 1975. And I did have a few friends. And my best friend, who was also a co-worker in the office I worked for, was not afraid to admit that people in general thought I was too different, and she complained about that a lot.

I did learn to enjoy some things about my new, if temporary, home. I did develop a mild liking to Country music and went dancing often. Enjoyed the foods, many of which was new to me. It's also where I drank my first Hurricane, which was better than many of the ones I've since had in New Orleans. But I wasn't about to start adapting to the I-hate-gays-and-blacks mentality just for the sake of "fitting in". I had a male who was BOTH, and people thought I was a freak for it.

Three years later I was pregnant and made the decision to move west with or without him. But, actually, my husband was ready to leave his home state, anyway. (And that one experience was the last time that I would ever relocate to a place I know I don't want to be. If that makes me sound selfish then that's fine ~ I'm selfish.)

At least I left.

P.S.> By the way, I grew up on a farm in a small town in Central California where it's community did, and still does, thrive on the very same things you described about your own town. People "out there" assume that ALL of California is San Francisco and L.A., and you a part of that statistic.

Last edited by Bluesmama; 12-31-2009 at 11:39 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-15-2010, 04:44 PM
 
7 posts, read 26,344 times
Reputation: 16
Suspicion/alienation of newcomers to rural areas is a real issue, particularly if one comes from a city (hence the "yuppie" title). I hear "Townie" more often. I wonder about the statistics of transplants from urban to rural who make it beyond five years.

The newcomer, being generally nice and kind, or helpful, or giving, will not encourage others to bring you into their social network. Living rurally (as a former transplant) is a hard life for anyone needing to feel a sense of belonging or a "sense of social purpose", if you will. I'm sure there are many, many exceptions but these are the facts as they relate to my experience.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-15-2010, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Pelham Pkwy (da Bronx)
966 posts, read 2,130,490 times
Reputation: 553
Quote:
Originally Posted by bettydover View Post
Suspicion/alienation of newcomers to rural areas is a real issue, particularly if one comes from a city (hence the "yuppie" title). I hear "Townie" more often. I wonder about the statistics of transplants from urban to rural who make it beyond five years.

The newcomer, being generally nice and kind, or helpful, or giving, will not encourage others to bring you into their social network. Living rurally (as a former transplant) is a hard life for anyone needing to feel a sense of belonging or a "sense of social purpose", if you will. I'm sure there are many, many exceptions but these are the facts as they relate to my experience.

I can relate. Living in a rural community as a perceived outsider is not easy. What makes it easier for me is to focus on the positive or supportive people and a hobby or past-time that can be pursued with passion, regardless of whether I am accepted or not. On a tiny South Carolina sea island, I wrote, tutored/mentored a young teenaged girl who sought me out to help her with her writing, I studied for and passed with flying colors the Praxis (National Teacher's Exam), and I babysat and found fun things to do with the children in the family and the neighborhood.

Here in Madison (not exactly a small town, but one with a small-town sensibility), writing and teaching have once again helped me to have a sense of purpose--even at those times when I feel that I just don't fit in--at least not yet. I have made at least one friend in a writing workshop and a couple of friends at work. It is enough. Better to have a few good friends than a thousand mediocre or unsure friends--friends who are not intimidated or put off by my differences.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-21-2010, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Memphis, TN Metro Area
79 posts, read 180,624 times
Reputation: 113
As mentioned previously, there is a big difference between being "accepted" and being "welcomed" to a new locale. I am "accepted" in this small town I live in mostly because I don't make trouble, mind my own business, and do my best to be a helpful citizen.

I don't really fit in with my town, and it has nothing to do with me not liking the residents or vice versa. The town I live in is very conservative, and I am pretty much a raving liberal. Most of the people here are Southern Baptists; I am Wiccan. I also don't fit in culturally...sports, cookouts, and hunting do nothing for me...oh yeah, and I am a vegetarian, too.

I don't see it as a problem or as anyone's fault...it just is what it is.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Rural and Small Town Living
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top