These days, most of us live in cities. Usually, the biggest problem is deciding which restaurant or mall to visit. Many people live, work and play in the same city, and would never have to leave if they didn't want to. Of course, there is a downside. Congestion, crime and pollution are all problems that many cities are faced with.
Imagine leaving it all behind. No more chain stores, malls, overpasses, toll roads or multiplexes. It isn't for everyone. My nearest large grocery store is 50 miles away. I don't even know where the nearest mall is. If you're looking for a quiet place to live and don't count shopping as a pastime, perhaps a small town is right for you.
That's not to say that there are no stores in my small town. There are many hard working people who do their best to provide services to residents and visitors, but when the summer visitors leave there is a limit to what a small town can support, and many businesses close during Colorado's harsh winters. If you decide to live year-round in a small town, it's important to plan ahead. For example, if you're going to have a dinner party in a week or so, be sure to get those unusual spices and drinks when you're in the city. Incidentally, learning to cook well is a good idea when most restaurants are closed for part of the year.
Why live in a small town if it's so much work? For me, it was an easy choice because I'm surrounded by mountains and forests! An unexpected bonus was the sense of community that is readily apparent. I've made many great friends in this town - far more than I did when I lived in a city. Perhaps it takes a certain type of person to live here.
I'd be lying if I didn't mention the dark side of small towns (at least from my experience). While the local bar might be reminiscent of Cheers, there are times when First Blood has been more appropriate in some aspects of town life. There are a small number of truly unpleasant, churlish people who desperately want to feel important. These people are present in every town, but are more noticeable in a population of 400 people. Don't join the right group, upset the wrong person, or raise a point that they didn't think of and you and your business risk being ostracized by their clique.
It's important to ignore such petty disputes, but as a result it is not possible for town residents to work together and reach their collective potential. Still, no town is perfect. After all, I came here for what lies beyond the town limits....
Still interested in small town life? Here's a list of 25 great Colorado towns to visit:
25 small Colorado towns to visit under $100