Where Do You Want to Live?
At the start of the year many people begin reevaluating their lives and long-term plans. One of the topics that comes up frequently is the urge to move to a new location. The problem with this urge is that many people have no idea what the reality of living in a new place would actually be like.
People who have lived in a small town cannot accurately anticipate living in a big city and those who live in the suburbs are equally unprepared for moving to a remote location. There is a lot more involved in learning about a new location in addition to checking the appropriate website to find out about electricity availability, tax rates, or schools.
The City Life
There is no denying that living in the city has some fantastic advantages. You will probably have a robust public transit system that will take you to and from work, entertainment, and errands without requiring you to own a vehicle. You will have access to cultural, educational, and technological resources that those living in a less densely populated area can only dream about. The access to global culinary experiences truly will be mind-blowing.
Then there is the downside. Living in a city means constant light and noise pollution, limited privacy, and difficulty finding affordable housing. It can also mean less access to the beauty of nature and a restriction on one’s ability to have pets. Crime levels may be higher and the feeling of living in a community may be more difficult to cultivate.
Suburbia seems like the perfect nexus between living in the hustle and bustle of the city and retreating entirely to the country. People on the two ends of the population spectrum often consider this halfway point because of the many advantages it claims. The most obvious of which is the ability to conveniently move between the two extremes. Housing options are plentiful, schools tend to be good, and neighborhood activity is common.
However, there are negatives to this apparent utopia too. Light and noise pollution can still be an issue. The close proximity of neighbors can make it challenging to have nontraditional pets and some homeowners associations limit pets entirely. The commute for most suburban workers is much longer than their city dwelling counterparts which can lead to less time enjoying the new environment.
Living in a truly rural area is a unique experience. It can be the first time some people have ever been exposed to the night sky in a meaningful way without the light pollution that is so common in more densely populated areas. Homes and vacant land are typically much more affordable and strong communities are formed.
As with the other areas discussed, the charm of living out in the country may be over idealized by those who have never experienced the reality of driving for an hour to go shopping. Schools are often small and have fewer academic and extracurricular offerings. Entertainment, dining, and shopping options are far more limited and drive times of several hours may be necessary for larger national brands.
Ultimately, the best way to choose a new location is to visit it and talk to the people in the neighborhoods which hold the most interest for you. Research and explore the area to make sure all of your personal needs can be met. Spending a week or a weekend in the area will ensure you have an even better idea of what a future life could look like after the move.