I have always preferred living in small towns to living in big cities. Occasional travel to big cities, are fine for entertainment or work related purposes, but I have always dreaded living permanently in big cities. The few years that I have spent in a big city for educational and work related purposes have passed in a daze.
In those days, whenever I came back to my home in a small town, I found it uneasy to find people idling after work. I kept wondering how they tolerated such a slow paced life – without ambitions, without trying to improve and update themselves and secure their future. It became even more intolerable when I visited my ancestral village and observed the village folk leading lives with hardly any pace at all. I saw the men folk sitting under the old neem tree talking among themselves; totally satisfied to have their seasonal yield and to live in their ancestral homes without any major changes in their lives. The temporary change in my thought process at that time was a result of environmental conditioning at an impressionable age.
Living in big cities undoubtedly has multiple advantages. The multifarious facilities of health care, education, shopping, entertainment, are enough to lure the multitudes from small towns to migrate to cities. Life in big cities has the ability to cast a magical spell on its denizens. The challenges of day to day life are so many that residents hardly have time or inclination to ponder over the relevance of such a fast paced life – A life without any time to invest on people and things that really matter. It has its benefits too – It helps us to avert situations which make us uncomfortable.
The major disadvantages of a big city life are commuting time, excessive population and pollution. Fresh food without preservatives are availed only by the super rich, who can purchase high priced organic food delivered to their homes. Others have to make do with food products with added preservatives to improve shelf life. That too, if they can afford time to cook meals for the family; otherwise they have to make do with take-away food, cooked in reused oils that are terribly harmful for the body.
The comfortable life in cities, come at a high price that is paid by health and relationships. Parents hardly get to spend quality time with the children on regular basis. Children are not able to move about freely on their own due to high crime rates in cities. Therefore, things that are learnt through worthwhile experiences get lost along the line.
The major disadvantage of living in a small town is the lack of good educational, health and work facilities. Procuring better paid jobs is the major reason for migration from small towns to big cities. However, if lifestyle expenses are taken into consideration we would find that living in big cities are definitely more expensive than living in a small town. The options of going on a spending spree are less in small towns and hence the scope of savings is definitely more. The rent of accommodations, groceries and other services are much less than those in big cities. Living in a sprawling accommodation in a pollution free atmosphere with less competition and commuting time is definitely rewarding for people who prefer a life away from the hustle bustle of big cities.
The pandemic has increased the appeal of living in small town with less population. The close knit communities provide a stress free comfortable atmosphere in which kids can grow up freely. The post-covid era will see people opting for a more meaningful life in small towns and country sides. Hopefully, it will decrease the population load in the big cities and improve the quality of life in cities too.