Maybe a job or romance brought you to a metropolitan area — or maybe you’ve just always had a bit of a spirit for adventure. But just because you’re never alone doesn’t mean you don’t get lonely. Surrounded by tens or hundreds of thousands or even millions of people on a daily basis, it’s easy to get a little homesick for the small town or suburb in which you grew up, where people tended to know one another and there was plenty of space to relax and enjoy nature. Keep a little of the small town vibe in your heart in the big city, and getting used to your new home will become much easier.
Connect With Small Town “Expatriates”
People who were born and bred in metropolitan areas tend to have a completely different viewpoint than those who grew up in smaller communities. It’s not necessarily that one’s “better” than the other, but there’s something about knowing you live in a tight-knit community that makes you feel less alone. Reach out to others who know what that feeling’s like.
Big cities attract people from around the world, many of whom grew up in small towns just like yours. Maybe a number even grew up in your small town. Find them online through existing groups on social media or form your own group. Once you’ve gotten to know them, meet up in the city on a regular basis for in-person socializing. Chances are, they’ll have a lot of the same interests as you and may share similar memories — like camping, small class sizes, or driving in blizzards, for example — for you to reminisce about.
Decorate Your Vehicle
Maybe in the big city you don’t have a car like you probably did in a small town. But you might have a bike or moped instead. Apply car stickers that remind you of home, like natural landscapes, farm-related imagery, or cowboys and cowgirls on your car, bike or moped. If you’re someone who completely relies on public transportation, buy a car sticker anyway — they’re cheap, and they look cute on brief cases, laptops, tablets, books and other small items you can carry around with you. Every time you see your sticker, you’ll get a little happy reminder of home.
Spread the Small Town Spirit
What’s one of the things you miss most about living in a small town? It just might be something you didn’t really notice: People tend to be more courteous in small towns. In big cities, countless people walk amongst each other without even acknowledging one another. Break the habit. Make a point of exchanging pleasantries with people around the city even if it’s not the norm. Ask them how their days are. Say “please” and “thank you” and hold the door. Maybe a number will be courteous to you in return. Perhaps they’re just waiting for someone with the small town spirit to break the ice.
Sometimes all you need is a little reminder of home to banish homesickness. Other times you need a little something more for a pick-me-up — like a trip to stay with family members or friends who still live in the suburbs. Embrace big city living by incorporating your small town spirit into your everyday life. Because the old saying is true: You can take the person out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the person.