When you live in a 598 square foot condo in an urban area and are expecting your first child, many, many people tell you to move out of the city. They tell you it may not happen now but eventually you’ll want to leave the big smoke for the greener pastures of the suburbs: a bigger house and safer streets.
I scoffed at them.
We loved living in downtown Vancouver.
When our son arrived we loved it even more.
Community centers, the sea wall, parks and libraries were mere blocks away. I met a great group of women with children around my son’s age and my first year as a mom was filled with play dates, mom and baby bootcamp and long walks with other new moms that were just as tired, elated and confused by motherhood as I was.
I firmly thought I would never live in the suburbs or a small town for that matter.
Three years later we’re living in a small (for us) town on an island. No Starbucks. No skating rink. Nowhere near the amenities or conveniences of our old life in a big city.
The biggest surprise for me: I love living in a small town. So does my husband. We like the quiet. We like how slow it is. There are frustrations for sure but right now we’re enjoying all the perks of this quiet life and this small place.
I can say now that I was wrong. I thought the suburbs and small towns were boring and limiting. I identified what we valued with the area we lived in.
As many of you can tell me, and as I can see clearly now, it’s now where you live or what you have available to you there that defines your lifestyle and values. It’s how you live that matters most.
Many of your are living well, and simply, in big homes or small homes in the city or suburbs or off a windy country road in a rural area. The small urban home isn’t a necessity for simplifying.
Being in this small town is tied to my husband’s job so we don’t know how long we’ll be here. I do know that this experience has expanded the possibility of where we could live in the future. Big urban center is not a necessity anymore. We’re much more flexible on where we could live.
Do you think simplifying, living with less or slowing down is harder because of where you live?