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What is Better: a Big City or a Small Town?

As I was driving my kids to school this morning, stuck in traffic, going away from the city I wondered to myself Why the hell do people live here? This is against traffic. Why am I always sitting in traffic? Where is everyone going all of the time? 

I thought to myself that if I moved to a small town I would not be spending 10% of my day every single day sitting in my car waiting for other cars to get out of my way.

Then I thought, Oh self. You are crazy. Wasn’t it just yesterday that you told a friend you would rather drive on the beltway every day of the year than live 50 miles away from the nearest mall? Aren’t you the one that always talks about how much you love Washington D.C. and it is worth the cost of living to have all of these amazing museums and concerts and airports to choose from?

Because honestly, living 20 minutes away from two afferent airports rules. I have 8 professional sports franchises that play within an hour of my house. I could go to an opera once a week if I could afford it. We have theatre here and great food and employment opportunities. My kids can’t believe that the Washington Monument is a big deal because we use it as a navigational tool.

Yet sometimes I think about what kind of house I could have in Louisville, Kentucky for what I paid for this house and I want to vomit.

By the way, that wasn’t an arbitrary place. Louisville is known for being a lovely place to live with a very low cost of living.

I think if I lived somewhere smaller I would miss all of the cultural opportunities, but I sure wouldn’t miss the traffic.

To be fair, I am sort of cheating. I do live out in the suburbs. I can’t totally depend on public transportation or walk to the grocery store but we can walk to our neighborhood pool and the schools are great out here. I have a small yard, but I have a yard and when I am in charge of mowing I am always glad we don’t live on an acre.

I suppose it is all about preference and compromise. Urban: easy, exciting, expensive, crowded. Suburban: long commute, good schools, less expensive. Small Town: reasonable cost of living, strong community, fewer choices for food, far from airports. Rural: inexpensive land, privacy, harder to find jobs.

What do you think? Urban? Rural? Suburban? Small Town? How did you decide where to live?

 

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