Photo by Pixabay "What to Expect When Moving from the City"
Some of us grew up in the bipolar collage that is a city. It's ever changing with new faces and new looks and new opportunities. We are steeped in its fast pace culture and so used to its benefits and woes. Sometimes we don't even know what it's like to live outside of the city. We don't know what's it's like to experience a different way of life.
Now even if we believe we will always have a life in the city we grew up in, so many things can take us from it. Sometimes it will be a career, family, or even a relationship. At first it may seem a bit disconcerting; things can be different. But different isn't something you should be worried about when moving from the city. And when you embraced different, a few things will hit you at separate times.
1. Lost Opportunities
Photo by Grace Madeline Moser "Opportunities Lost in the City"
It's a funny thing when you move from a metropolitan area; there are so many things to take advantage of that when you move, you remember everyone of them the moment you're gone.
One of the first things that may hit you will be the things you never did. You may have given some thought in the past to trying out a music festival or a restaurant down the street, but it was never at the forefront of your mind.. until now.
Another missed advantage may be the different cultural niches all around your city. You probably explored Chinatown within an inch of its life, but what about Japan or Koreatown and it's bath houses, or the Indian enclaves that you never delved into? There are so many to explore in the city that unless you aren't interested in another's culture, you might become frustrated with yourself for not visiting more of them.
Lastly, it will be people that you never got to know. You probably saw so much of the city, but you may feel a loss at the fact that you hadn't even known those who lived in it. You might have gone to your favorite coffee shop or seen familiar parts of the city while driving by, but you would never know the local's names.
2. Facebook is the Enemy
Photo by Pixabay "Missed Opportunities in the City"
Now another thing that may hit you will be the irony. For instance, you'll see a friend's post on Facebook that they had gone to the beach. You'll feel a twinge of jealousy as you see the pictures of the bonfires and the ocean's tides. But then the irony will hit you all at once; when you still lived there, you would be sitting in your room on a Saturday afternoon scrolling through your Facebook feed. You would see the same kind of pictures of your friends at the pier, and that same feeling of jealousy would appear. You would wish you were there with them, feeling the sand and wood of the boardwalk beneath your bare feet.
You spent your time on social media, and put off having fun adventures another day, until it was too late to claim back the days you procrastinated.
3. The Unmissed
Photo by Grace Madeline Moser "The Unmissed Parts of the City"
The real moment you will realize that you aren't, "in Kansas anymore," so to speak, will be when entering the freeway. So many of us are used to boarding a freeway that is usually crowded that whenever we want to go across town, we will be pleasantly surprised that there is never any traffic. No one was being stupid and decided to get in a crash ten miles down the freeway. You could go on a date or hang out with friends on the other side of town and the only thing that will hold you back will be the stop lights. Rush hour almost doesn't exist and it never felt better.
A product of the city you also won't miss will be the noise. You can lay in your bed at night and not hear the sound of a helicopter going over your neighborhood or sirens blaring down a nearby street. You can rest in the quietness and not feel overwhelmed with all the noise that is constantly happening in a city.
At some point you will come to discover the lack of light pollution. You can drive a couple minutes until you are out of town and then be awed and amazed at the constellations and wonders above you. No skyline in a city could compare to the stars that dwell in the dark sky.
4. New Enjoyments and Adventures
Photo by Grace Madeline Moser "New Adventures Away from the City"
The city has a lot of options for a lot of things. If you want frozen yogurt, there's probably over a hundred choices. If you want Korean BBQ or Thai, all you have to do is Google it and choices will pop up within the surrounding cities. If you want to find a hair salon, there're more than likely five of them within a mile radius.
Perhaps one of the last things to hit you will be the ability to find the joy in the simple and small local things. It feels so much better to have your own favorite coffee shop, small restaurant, and dating locations where people know you and you're able to know them by name. You'll be able to have the joy of recognizing people's faces and having a more simple way of life.
Sometimes it can take a bit of time getting used to the slower way of living. Some of us always imagined ourselves living in the same city, and thought that we'd meet our future spouses, get a good job, and someday raise a family there. Sure we'd travel here and there, but in our minds, we would always come back to our home base. Yet when we get a taste of something outside of the bustling fast life of the city, and we keep our minds open to new experiences, finding joy in the smaller things can feel so right.