I want to start out by saying, I know that not everyone can afford to live in both the city and the country. That’s not what this is about at all. This article is about balance in your lifestyle and the benefits that can come from both places. This is based off of experience.
I grew up in a small town, things move slower there. There are only two stoplights. It’s generally quiet at night, with the exception being the sounds of animals. You can leave your doors unlocked.
For the past five years I’ve lived in one of the largest cities in the US. It’s loud at night; there are lots of different people, cultures, food, and crime.
Most people I know have a preference. Some love the city life and detest the country. Others can’t stand the hustle and bustle of the city sprawl and love the quiet slow pace of the sticks. Me? I love both. I think both have amazing benefits.
In the city, you always have options. You want to eat good food from different cultures? You got it. Pretty much 24/7. You can never complain that there is nothing to do, there is always something going on. Want live music? There’s 100 places for it. Want a good IPA? Well, there’s 200 places for that. Every city has it’s own unique charm.
Living in a city introduces you to different people from different walks of life. When you live in a city you live in a large community. You begin to realize that the person who doesn’t look like you or talk like you isn’t so scary after all. You become less xenophobic just by being there. It’s an amazing thing, but at times you begin to feel a bit claustrophobic.
The city life presses down on you from all angles, people are rushing and busy. Everyone has got something to do and somewhere to be. Shit, you’ve got somewhere to be and there’s traffic and top of it. You wonder why the hell you even live here to begin with. Oh, yeah. The O word. Opportunity. The giant melting pot of people affords you professional opportunities that you just won’t get anywhere else, but god it can be stifling.
This is why you need a break. This is why you need a quiet place you can go. This is why you need the country. The fresh air, crisp scents, slow tempo, and quiet stillness. This is where you recharge.
Science has proven that going for walks in nature is good for your health. It’s so good for you to get in touch with Mother Nature. It helps you to gain clarity and process your busy life. You’ll begin to appreciate the quite moments more and more. You’ll feel compelled to take care of your surroundings. The great outdoors are a beautiful reprieve for all of us. It’s something worth taking care of, even though sometimes we forget.
Life is about balance, but sometimes balance is a difficult thing to achieve. We get focused on work and forget to have a social life. We get too focused on fun and forget to handle business. We watch too much netflix and forget to pick up a book. We get too focused on career and goals and forget to go for a hike and just breath in the fresh air. Balance is difficult, but it is achievable. Most of all, it's necessary if you want to live a happy and healthy life.
We must remind ourselves that for every Ying there is a Yang. There is plenty of good to come from hard work, but there is also an equal amount of benefit to keeping things simple and unplugging. It may take some effort, but if you can find a balance between the amount of time you spend in the city and the amount of time you spend in the outdoors, you'll be much happier if you do. I know I am.