There is a saying ‘you can take a girl out of a village, but you cannot take a village out of a girl’. I say you cannot take a city out of a girl either. There are many online articles that praise benefits of living in a small town. Some of the advantages are fresh air, low crime level, lower cost of living, less traffic jam, and friendly community. My question is: is that true for every town? I can tell you for sure, unfortunately not. It happened to me that for about a year I have been living in a small (from my perspective) German town of about 88,000 inhabitants where the neighbours are not so friendly, drivers are angry, and crimes still appear.
I miss big city life. I find there are certain advantages of living in almost any big city. Let me share them with you:
I do not mind crowds of people in the city center. I feel alive when I live in the city that never sleeps. City gives your energy, makes you feel alive in the end of a hard day. People in a big city are usually more open-minded.
I was shocked when a friend of mine who lives in a town of 22,000 inhabitants in Germany told me that there are some unspoken rules around the town. For instance, people think it is inappropriate to wear red clothes or to wear workout clothes unless you actually do sports. Not to mention that women shall not wear too much of make-up. Of course, there are no written rules of such sort. Those are the rules people have created themselves. I could not be surprised more. There is such a huge difference between what I have seen in Berlin and what I have heard in that town. Many foreigners believe that in Germany everyone can wear what he/she likes and others won’t judge them. Giving the fact that prostitution is legal in Germany and tolerance is a hot topic of discussion nowadays, I did not expect people to be that conservative. I got a feeling that people in small towns like to think inside the box, while people from big cities are prepared for changes or, at least, accept them easier.
Reading news is also more exciting when you live in a big city, because there is more news that actually happens around you. Political forums, conferences, and meetings take place in your city, just around the corner. As a bonus you have more chances to meet celebrities.
Being famous around the world
If you live in the capital of your country or in another city that attracts lots of tourists it is more likely that your hometown is famous around the world. Is not it nice to know there are movies about your city or some famous movies that were shot in your neighborhood? Everywhere you travel people have heard of the city you are from and you do not need to explain yourself naming a closer bigger city. History is not just another school subject for you; perhaps, your city played some significant part in the history of your country.
You have more reasons to be proud of your hometown.
Having more privacy
Who have said you want to know all your neighbors and people you meet on a street? I find that absolutely normal that I can read on a bus without being distracted by a small talk. I do not want my acquaintances seeing me buying sanitary pads. I am fine when strangers surround me. I like the fact that everyone is busy. When you are busy you have less time to stick your nose into personal life of others. I cannot say that about life a town. Discussing others seems to be OK. Often, boredom leads to such a lifestyle.
Earlier this year, I studied German at a local language school. Once, a classmate of mine came to me on the break just to point out that I put my bobby pin ‘wrong’. ‘A curly side must be on the bottom’ said she to me showing a picture she found online. Seriously, do not you have more important things to care about?! I wear my bobby pins the way I want it. Fashion is changeable and creativity shall not die. Those are my excuses, of course. Apparently, I just cannot care less about the latest fashion.
When I want to avoid meeting someone, I do not have to care that I might see that person every other day if I live in a city. It is easy to get lost there and, sometimes, there is nothing wrong about that.
Having more opportunities and possibilities
If I want to work for a translation company, for example, I have more options to choose from. If I want to become a pilot, I do not need to move to another city to attend school. I can study anything and choose my workplace without changing my address.
There are entertainments available 24/7 in every capital I know. Obviously, you will never be bored. There are always new excellent restaurants to try, parks to go for a walk, latest movies to watch, sports clubs to join, dancing studios, ice skating rinks, museums, exhibitions, open air performances, live concerts, etc. The number of social events in a city is uncountable.
Nevertheless, you still have enough time to pick up a hobby and meet your friends. Moreover, your child has more musical schools, art classes, and sports clubs to choose from. He/she can make his/her dream to come true in the future by starting learning something early (swimming, hockey, acting, chess, for example).
Companies compete for their customers and customers benefit from it
If you do not like food in the workplace you can easily go to a restaurant across the street. You can let the manager of an electronic store know that a product you want to buy is cheaper at their competitors. You do not need to suffer from a bad service. You can always find something better. There are always language courses to choose from. Do you want to study a foreign language in the morning, during the day, in the evening or on the weekends? That’s not a problem. Companies know they must compete in order to win their customers. You will never be in a situation I am currently in. There are three German language schools in the town I am staying in and none of them has provided the language course I have been looking for. In order to study Chinese, for example, I have to enroll at the local university. That’s the only option. No language courses are available.
Life in a small town without a car can be disturbing. In a big city there is plenty of transportation to choose from. You do not need to have a car to have a comfortable life. Everything you need is close by. You can simply walk to a supermarket and probably there is more than just one big supermarket in your neighborhood. Public transportation is convenient and you can always find the way to get around.
Everything can be done/found within the city
You do not need to send your passport to another city to get a visa; you can shop and buy different products easily; you can legalize your documents within the city you live in; you can enter the university; find a good medical care; watch a professional soccer game at a stadium, etc.
Life in a big city is exciting, eventful, and up-to-date. Big city keeps you more open-minded and modern. It gives you new ideas and inspires you. Of course, you can always escape a big city life for some days by visiting unspoiled countryside. As much as I enjoy the fresh air and beautiful nature of a town, I miss a big city. I do not need a close community, shorter commutes, and slow pace of life. I miss the freedom of a big city and the fast-paced life.