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Old 04-02-2008, 03:43 PM
287 posts, read 260,533 times
Reputation: 59


Did anyone on this forum move from a big city looking for a change of pace, and move to a small town and hate it?

Or, hey, vice versa?

I moved from a rural town of 7,000 in southern Illinois to the suburbs of St. Louis 7 months ago and don't regret it one bit. I feel a bit of guilt because I took my son away from everyone, but I don't miss the lifestyle of living in the sticks.

My town had like 10 fast food restaurants, 10 gas stations, 5 car washes (literally), Wal Mart, etc...you had to drive 20 minutes to get to a sit-down restaurant or a movie theater with more than 2 screens where your feet didn't stick to the floor. St. Louis was the nearest city at about 90 miles away.

I had a friend who did the opposite; he moved to a small town (where I lived, where I met him a few years ago) from the city.

He went from Chicago, to Las Vegas, to San Diego, to southern Illinois. 3 years later, he is back in Chicago. His wife told me that they thought they would like the change of scenery, the quiet, the peace and tranquility of small town living, the slower pace. They moved back to Chicago.

Anyone have any stories to tell?
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:44 PM
Location: Great State of Texas
86,068 posts, read 74,000,351 times
Reputation: 27598
Just the opposite here. Moved from NYC to a small Texas town of 7K. After the sticker shock wore off I loved it. Now this town has grown to 17K and I miss the small town feel. I had my share of "big city" stuff and am quite content in a smaller town where you get to know so many people.
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:52 PM
1,839 posts, read 4,519,432 times
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I'm a small town guy who served my time in the big city and now I want my small town back. I'll be out of debt soon and can start life over in a small town debt-free within one year. One looooong year.
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Old 04-02-2008, 10:54 PM
Location: Heartland Florida
9,324 posts, read 24,107,220 times
Reputation: 4917
How can anyone prefer city life to rural life? I work, eat sleep, and drive. That can be done anywhere. The difference is that in a rural area you can have the space to have fun at home. What's the drawback of rural living?
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Old 04-02-2008, 11:18 PM
Location: Great State of Texas
86,068 posts, read 74,000,351 times
Reputation: 27598
There is less of everything in a small town. You may have to drive over 1 hour to go to the movies. No deliveries of anything..that means no pizza or paper.

Some people don't like the inconvenience of everything not being within 5 minutes.
Others find the quietness and solitude is not what they really want.

Quiet country life with plenty of space turns into loneliness and a sense of entrapment.

Plus jobs are harder to find.
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:15 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
23,798 posts, read 41,457,887 times
Reputation: 25661
as a farm kid and avid driver, I actually learned to enjoy a bus / taxi / subway ride so I could read / sleep and not have to stress over driving everywhere. Eating out everyday for $4, with a choice of hundreds of places to eat within 20 minutes (many tiny food stalls every few meters) Awe... the city life. (no fences to fix, no houses to paint, no bawling calves, no flat tires and broken equipment.) Weekends FREE

but... back on the farm... no bumping into people rushing here and there, no sirens, honking, pile drivers, NO SHOPPING (yeah), no queues !!! (waiting in line). Hawks gliding the sky is about as noisy as it got today. but... plenty to fix, and weekends ARE NOT free

There is plenty to enjoy in each place, and a time for everything, tho not the case for all, some folks will hate either / or both. For them - I suggest "Dairy Farm Boarding School", no time to whine. 5AM milking, 5 PM milking; 7 days / week, plenty to do in between. Does wonders for your pride, showing up at school or church or cafe, smelling like ... And your old car / pickup always has crud hanging from it, and a 'fresh' change of clothes + muck boots. (and gloves and twine, calf bottles...) just gotta try it all!
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Old 04-03-2008, 08:55 PM
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,619 posts, read 15,801,641 times
Reputation: 10135
When I lived in the city, I had way too much to do to visit museums, the theater, etc. Yes, they were there, and I COULD have gone, but rarely did, as an 9 hour + work day plus a one-hour (total) commute didn't leave a lot of time.

Now I live about halfway between Portland and San Francisco, and I make 3- to 4-day trips every couple months and do all that stuff, and then go home to my out-of-the-way home, tucked up in the trees above the lake with a spectacular view of the mountains. I pay for those trips by mostly eating at home (and I eat well), not eating fast food simply because it's there and easy to get to and renting DVDs rather than bothering to go to the local movie house to see a mediocre movie - generally just living simply in a quiet place.
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Old 04-03-2008, 09:36 PM
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,451 posts, read 10,108,585 times
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I've found that those who are happiest with their move from big city to small town come seeking a simpler life. They don't mourn missing more as they come seeking less.

For me, I wanted less noise, pollution, traffic, sirens, sounds of gunfire, impatient drivers, and high cost of living.

But there were some things I did want more of: I wanted more community, more time for reflection, more time to try my hand at a vegetable garden, more opportunities to contribute, more warm friendships, and more time to develop and refine my writing skills.
All these things have happened for me in my small town.

But I think you've got to pick your small town carefully. I would not have been as content in a very rural place without kindred spirits. People are important to me--I've been called a "people person," but I also need a balance of solitude in which to write. I've found that here.

My new town's filled with creative, intelligent people--both locals and those who have relocated here. Lots of artists, writers, musicians and scientists. And fishermen and hunters and boat builders and duck decoy carvers and quilters. We're a real mix here. There are trailers and mansions--and I know folks that live in both. And it's good.

And while this town is a cultured place with a 300-year history, it's not stuffy, but there are some fine restaurants and events to feed the mind. Along with barbecue joints and church suppers. And that's good, too.

So I do believe if you pick your spot carefully, match your needs, passions and interests with the place, you'll not be bored, and will find the contentment you seek.

Some want true rural isolation, while others need more than nature and acres to feel fulfilled. Having a nearby college or university or research facility helps to provide intellectual stimulation.

Tractor pulls are fun from time to time--but I still want to have conversations and growth opportunities that use my mind

And it helps so much to bring a desire to contribute to your new town in meaningful ways that matter both to you and the town's needs. Serving on boards, mentoring, taking on environmental clean-ups, helping the library, being a docent....for those who have the time.

I work full-time as a writer, but still find time to serve in some of these ways. There's more time in a small town--you're not spending it stuck in traffic or holed up in your house or apartment loathe to venture forth again into the fray. It's fun going out in a small town--interesting people to meet everywhere you go. I love that my friends range from their 20's into their 90's--so much to learn from all of them.

So in answer to your question, for me, leaving the city behind was the right move--for others, maybe not. I didn't come to my small town to get away but to come to so much else. There's a richness here that I sought in the city but never found--and it's not a monetary richness but a richness of peace of mind.

I truly hope each of you who contemplate such a move will find yours, too.
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Old 04-04-2008, 09:06 PM
48,509 posts, read 85,471,862 times
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Frankly I know some that were raised in the city that can't get away to the country life. They are just too hyper. Then some that foubnd it heaven.The worse cases I have seen is thoise that go from ven middle size cities to places like colorado and what it tkes to survive there in the winters in the back country.I also know many that oved back becasue of health problems and the lack of good hosptial or even doctors nearby.A smaller town is alot less risky in my opinon.
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:56 AM
Location: NoVa
18,434 posts, read 30,055,954 times
Reputation: 19674
This is what happened with me. As a young person of 15, my parents moved me from the hustle and bustle of Maryland... The city part, about 15-20 minutes outside of DC.

We moved to Virginia. Our house was sitting there, three fields of different varieties surrounding us. Across the highway were woods. Far back in the woods, a pig farm. Our neighbors to the left, two fields away. Our neighbors to the right, a mile down the road.

I went from being able to walk to where ever I wanted to go, to being stuck in a field, couldn't even go any where on a bike!

I was mad. They turned me into a home body. I felt like I may as well be an invalid.

Soon, the slower life started to grow on me. The country accents I heard all around me soon became mine

Once I was married with kids, I moved into the city part of this area, and I hated it.

Now, I am separated with kids, many years later... and I moved my children and myself to a rural small town. We love it. I would not change it for the world, and I would not live in the city ever again, if I were given the choice.

Now I know I wont be here forever, but for now, I am savoring this small town, this rural life... the wind blowing on my skin as I swing on my front porch swing.

Now this,. this the life.
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