I would have to consider myself a city girl, which I never actually thought I was until quite recently, but I was born and raised in a big city, it is all I ever knew growing up. Big cities are great, you can always find a snack no matter what time of day it is, (midnight snacking is a legit problem I have…) You can go days, weeks and even months sometimes without ever running into a single person you know, (which is nice for an introvert like me) And the opportunities are seemingly endless, you can always find work in a big city if you try hard enough.
Big city living was all I have ever known, from the time I was a baby to the time I decided to move to Downtown Vancouver (out of all the places I could have gone, Vancouver won my vote), I seem to be drawn to big cities like a moth to a flame.
However, all that was about to change for me when I moved to the small town of Revelstoke B.C which has a population of about 7000 people back in May 2017.
Read about that here: My experience living in Revelstoke B.C
This was a far cry from my hometown city which is well over a million. To go from 1 million to 7000 people is quite interesting, and I surprisingly learned a lot during my time living there.
It was definitely an interesting experience, and I felt this strong sense of community that I had never really noticed much of while living in a big city. People genuinely wanted to help each other out, it was unreal! I did take away a few things that I did learn while I lived in a small town.
Heres what I learned during that time:
- Don’t expect anywhere to be open after 10 pm.
Literally, the town completely shuts down… Like not even Mcdonalds stayed open past 11 pm, which I found shocking… Most restaurants, even pubs would be closed no later than midnight, and a lot of them would fully shut down Sunday or Monday, sometimes for both days, which is mind blowing to a city girl like myself. Actually, the only place that was open late was Denny’s which is 24 hours, and lucky me got to work the graveyard shifts… which will be a good story for another day.
- It’s not about making money, it’s the lifestyle people are after.
Coming from a big city where money is number 1, this was strange to me, everyone in small towns is a lot more laid back, and much less stressed out than the city folk. People come here for the fun adventure filled lifestyle where they can enjoy a beer every night of the week while sitting around a campfire watching the stars. Then on the weekends, they go camping or hiking or mountain biking. The lifestyle is great and laid back, maybe just a little bit too laid back for me.
- Everyone is super friendly and polite
The small town folk are always so kind to each other, it was really nice to see neighbors helping neighbors out, and just about everyone you see walking down the street doesn’t try to avoid eye contact with you, but will smile and say hello as well. It was a very friendly vibe I got, and while I am sure not all small towns are like this, I assume it is more likely something you will notice in a small town versus that of a big city. I was only there for a couple of months, but I was already running into people I knew all the time which was really crazy to me.
- Don’t go out if you don’t want to be seen, cause you will more than likely always see someone you know.
I learned this the hard way when I went to the grocery store looking like a legit hobo and running into people that I worked with… Not exactly the impression I would have liked to have given, but alas, lesson learned I will from now on not look like a hobo when I decide to leave the house anymore, but I probably still will, who am I trying to kid?
- Rush hour is not a well-known term
This part was a very huge perk for me, coming from the city where I had to deal with rush hour traffic every single day, to go to a small town that never experienced it, and when you did it was because of some unavoidable problem that shut down the highway for an hour or so, that was the only traffic you’d deal with. I could also walk to work, so I would very rarely use my car, which saved me money in gas and saved me a lot of time as well. It was wonderful!
- Networking and making friends I found to be easier.
This last one really shocked me, I always figured it would be much more difficult to make friends in a small town, but it seemed like everyone was open to new friendships, and wanted to get to know as many people as they could, plus people also had the time to develop new friendships, which I find most city folks don’t. I made quite a few friends in my short time there and had people willing to go out of their way to help me when I was in a pickle even if I couldn’t return the favor to them, they just genuinely wanted to help me out, and be my friend.
All in all, living in a small town was a really good experience for me. I could see myself settling down in a small town one day, but not for now. Now I need to be in the big cities so that I am close to the airport, cause my main focus is traveling and seeing this big beautiful world that we live in!