I’m from a little lakeside town of about 20,000 people. It’s not the smallest place on earth, but I always hear friends talking about moving to the big city and feeling bored with “nothing to do here”. Maybe you’re in a similar place. Whether you were born there, moved there for a job, or made the move for college, you can use these tips to most out of your small town experience.
1. Embrace the uniqueness.
In my small town, one of the local traditions is the consumption of the “pasty”, a sort of meat pie that came from Cornish miners in the area. Scope out the tradition of your locale and see if you can’t get into it. Learning about the history of a small town could introduce you to a new sport, article of clothing, or even a good book that was written by someone in the area. You never know what you might find out. See if there’s a local town museum to get ideas, or visit the library.
2. Get to know the locals.
Don’t know what to do on a Friday night? See if you can’t make some new friends that are from the area to show you around the town and get a sense of what it’s really like to live in the place. You might come across a restaurant you’ve yet to try out or a secret nature spot that you would’ve never come across.
3. Avoid the big stuff.
Why go to Wal-Mart for groceries when you can go to Johnson’s Corner Shop or the local food co-op? Skip the Burger King and hit up that cozy looking diner downtown. Buy some fresh produce grown in the area and see what it has to offer. Maybe there’s even a brewing company near-by and you can get a taste of some otherwise unknown lager to make the most of your small town life.
4. Go to local festivals, events, and concerts.
Sometimes these smaller gatherings offer the greatest flavor of an area. Small town environments cast a sense of harmony and togetherness that doesn’t come across in big urban cities. Whether it’s the Blueberry Festival in summer or just watching a movie at the old Delft theatre (you can’t find that kind of genuine 1914 flare anywhere else), these kinds of experiences can’t be replicated except in your unique place of living.
Above all, don’t think you have to suffer. Enjoy the peace and quiet. Maintain strong friendships. Go out for a cup of coffee and talk to your buddies. Living in a small town can help you concentrate on yourself and the relationships in your life. If you can get over your thoughts of boredom, you can find incredible opportunities all around you.