I was born and raised in a small town and had a very enjoyable, safe childhood, but I knew I would never want to live there were it my choice. I wanted to be surrounded by culture, art and interesting worldly people – something I thought small towns lacked. I went to University in small town, actually a completely gorgeous, idyllic small town that I loved. I went on to live in a variety of wonderful and not so wonderful cities and small towns in the US and Europe for all of my adult life until now. Today my husband, two children and I choose to live in a beautiful village with a population of about 100 residents in the Northamptonshire countryside.
When I look back at the places where I have lived, I realize that I have always felt the most at home, the most comfortable in a small town; and the times when I have felt the most alone have been while living in a busy city. I have also realized that living in a small town, or a village, does not mean you have to sacrifice culture or art – it means you may have to look a bit harder for it, but it is not absent. As for interesting people, small towns and villages are rife with them! I have met more interesting characters in this small village and the surrounding villages in the last 10 months than during the 7 years I lived in a seaside town of 70,000. My village is the home of an extremely talented artist, a Gurkha, and more than one ancient aristocratic family – and I haven’t even met everyone yet! I love the fact that whenever I walk through my village people say hello or stop to have a conversation with me, sometimes they even change their route and walk along with me. I have been invited to participate on the Village Hall Committee, working side by side with both employees of the Manor House, those who have lived in the Manor or other stately homes in the village, and a wide range of amazing, interesting and friendly people.
I will always love cities though. I love the hustle and bustle. I love the variety. I love the endless options for entertainment, education, shopping, culture and art. I love exploring a new city. But do you know what I love more? I love coming home to my sweet, quiet village. I guess I am a small town girl after all. 🙂