I belong to a small town and have spent a sizeable portion of my life in metro cities, where the culture and quality is in contrast to that of my laid back small-hole, where life winds up by 7 pm!
I left my small city for academics way back in the late 90s and have never looked back. One thing led to another, and I soon found my happy self in the corporate world. I felt proud at giving my simpleton parents a substantial topic to boast about among their peers, many of whom turned to me for advice and suggestions for their children. We feel nice when we are looked upon as a credible source of career/academics guidance. Don’t we?
I was high. Swanky offices, considerable money, friends, everything seemed just right. Life was good and happening. On the personal front too, things were happening as planned. I married the man I loved.
Being wife to a military man had its own set of challenges which despite being aware of, hit me harder in reality.
Moving places every couple of years was one of them. With every move, the distance between my house and workplace increased, and the time spent in travelling increased a little more than the last one, and so did the space between us. At one point in time, we’d meet only for a couple of hours in a week. Then came along a set of lovely boy-girl twins.
I was trying hard to 'balance' both worlds. I was striving to be a 'Superwoman'. Suddenly, the swanky offices became dreadful. The marriage was meaningless. Life was a drudge. I was not unhappy. But I wasn’t happy either.
Then came an opportunity to move back to my small-hole. I was skeptical, because you don't look back. Nevertheless we made the move. The initial anxiety and doubt was replaced with euphoria and happiness in no time. My quality of life had improved manifold. I was happy. And yeah, I didn’t quit my career, I just slowed down a bit to be able to attend sports day at my kids’ school, to take them to the zoo and take a lazy stroll with my husband.
Listed below are 10 ways in which moving to a small city enriched my life:
1. Travel time: You will save several hours each day commuting to your workplace, school, shops, visiting friends.
2. Local transport: It is way cheaper and convenient to travel in an auto-rickshaw. My dependency on my car has reduced a lot and when I do use it, I have enough space to park my vehicle.
3. Smaller school buses: Instead of the full sized jumbo buses, most schools here deploy smaller vehicles/vans that reach the doorstep to pick up/drop kids.
4. Stronger bonds over coffee: Life can be great even without planning! One phone call and you can be together in less than 10 minutes.
5. Cheaper movie tickets: Yes! A ticket costs less than 100 bucks, which includes popcorn! The theaters are reasonably clean and well managed and the gentry is great.
6. Affordable and friendly service providers: Finding a plumber, cook, driver, gardener, domestic help or electrician is relatively easy. Most of them are reliable and dependable, and found through common contacts and goodwill and last a lifetime.
7. A neighbourhood, not just a society: I know the name of each one of my neighbours and can depend upon them for small odd helps. We exchange pleasantries and attend functions at each others' houses. It's like community living while still having the nuclear structure intact.
8. More personal time: I have been able to devote an hour everyday towards working out and cycling, which I could have never done earlier. I finally have time to pursue my hobbies too! Afternoon naps during the weekend are a bonus.
9. Low crime rate: I still believe people all around the world are generally good. But crime and criminals do exist. Compared to metros, the crime rate is low in a smaller town. Here I don't lose my sanity if my kids' school bus is late by 10-15 minutes to drop them back.
10. More family time: Despite a full-day work schedule I get substantial time to spend with my kids, get their homework done, take my parents for their check-up and meet my ill aunt. And all this in a lazy pace, without the hustle-bustle.
These may seem small things but believe me they are worth everything.
This post was submitted by Namrata Giri.