New York. Los Angeles. Chicago. Any number of metropolitan areas across the U.S. You were born and raised in one of the bigger cities in the nation, or maybe you spent a few very informative years of your life in one for college. But now a new job, marriage or children have brought you into the suburbs or small towns of America. It’s not that you’re unhappy, but you do miss the hustle and bustle of the big city you left behind. Celebrate your love for metropolitan living in a small, tight-knit community and bring the best of it to your new home.
Consider what you miss the most about living in a big city. Perhaps it was the easy access to fine culture. A museum, a bookstore, an art shop and any number of places where fine culture thrives was always a short distance away. There were so many people around you, socializing in a sophisticated and fun way was simple. If you can’t find any similar activities in your new community, step up and start them.
Become a host for cultural gatherings for the community. Host a cocktail party. Start a book club. Plan regular trips to local art museums and studios. Arrange for a group to take a trip to the nearest city with regular theater events. There are people starving for culture in every small town community, but they need someone like you, someone who’s used to broadening her mind with high culture, to lead the way.
Maybe one of the things you miss the most about a big city was the convenience of public transportation. You didn’t even need to own a car — which meant no worries about car maintenance and insurance and rising gas costs — and you could even work on the train, subway or bus during your commute. You’re not the only one in your current community feeling the weight of car ownership. Start a carpool to cut down on your commute costs. When you’re not the driver, you can even get away with working on the way to and from your employer, giving you what’s sometimes some much-needed extra time to prepare for work.
As long as you live in a small town, though, you’re probably going to need your own car. When it’s not your turn to pick up the carpool, you’ve got errands to run and kids to shuffle around town and there’s likely no convenient bus stop nearby. So decorate your car and make it a bit more cheery. Have it speak to the city girl or boy in your heart and apply cityscape stickers to your car, or landmark stickers unique to the city you left behind — the Statue of Liberty, for example, or the Golden Gate Bridge. Every time you see the stickers, they’ll bring a smile to your face.
Happiness is a state of mind, and there’s no reason why you can’t grow to love your small town community. If your heart aches for the big city you left behind, remind yourself of the best aspects of big city living every day in your new life. Plan a trip to visit friends and family left behind. But until then, embrace the benefits of small town living — including tight-knit communities, gorgeous landscapes and a lot more space to breathe — and keep your love for the city alive in your heart.