The Beauty Of Small Town America
I absolutely love small-town America. Maybe I'm a bit biased because I grew up in a small town myself, but I don't think that's exactly the case.
While I did grow up in a small town, it was a small town an hour north of NYC in the busiest corridor of the United States. And my little burg is connected to other small villages and medium-sized cities.
Still, it was enough for me to love the magic of it all. And while traveling through other parts of the United States, I found myself falling in love with other little cities and villages and towns across the map.
Small Town People Are Friendly and Welcoming
Not only are people in these little places friendly and welcoming, but they're also warm and charming. This is something that nobody tells you about the United States; the people are actually pretty amazing. They will make you feel right at home. Especially if you're visiting from another nation.
You'll be amazed at the hospitality and willingness to help. I sure am and have been my entire life, but it is only since I've started traveling that I've noticed how incredible it is.
From family owned restaurants to gas stations to local motels, bowling alleys, bars, and just the random people you come across--they are warm. It is probably America's most striking and redeeming quality.
Crime Is Virtually Non Existent
I know the United States is known as a violent nation with more gun deaths than the rest of the developed world. This is the truth. Too many people are killed here.
Most of the violence in the USA is in extremely poor, poverty stricken pockets of medium -and larger- sized cities. This is definitely an issue that needs to be addressed, but that's for an entirely different discussion.
With that said, there is little to no crime in smaller towns dotting the United States map. They are safe. The village in which I was raised hasn't had a murder in over a decade and has almost no violent crimes at all.
This is the case for most areas like the one I grew up in.
Small Town America - Webisode 1 - Looking Grand: Portland, MI
There's a Sense of Peace and Ease
I think it starts with the fact that there is almost no crime. You can let your kids out on the streets to horse around, and you can stroll your own streets without having to worry about terrible things happening to you or your loved ones.
This gives you a chance to really enjoy the place you live. For me, there is nothing like taking a stroll around a small town in the summer, spring, or early fall. It's a perfect way to begin and end a day
Then there's the sense of community. While these towns are small, they are also tight-knit. Neighbors actually know each other and help one another. Of course there are troubles sometimes but, for the most part, things carry on day-to-day as pleasantly as possible.
The Hushed Summer Nights
The hustle and bustle of never-sleeping big cities can be fun. I understand that. I've spent extensive time in both NYC and Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is fun and exciting, but...
I'll take the hushed summer nights of a small town anytime. It gives you a sense of time standing still, and that you have forever. In a small town you can be content to just sit on your front porch the entire night with a couple of people, relax, have a couple of drinks and good conversation, then turn in for the night.
Of course this is even better when you're in a good relationship. It's harder to go out and pick someone up for the night in a smaller town, if you catch my drift.
Small Towns Make Me Feel Youthful
I don't know why this is or why I feel this way, exactly. Maybe it's just the nostalgia of growing up in a small town. But whenever I return to where I grew up, or stop for the night in any Small Town, America, I get a sense of adventure and thrill.
The world seems gigantic end endless again, as it did in my early teens. For a little while, I forget my responsibilities and stresses and just enjoy life for its simplicity. And, in stark contrast to enjoying simplicity, the possibilities seem endless.
If I had one song to capture how I feel here it would be John Mellencamp's "Small Town." Shocking, I know.
That About Wraps It Up
I know some of you probably hate small towns, or want to escape the small town you're stuck in. And there are some of you who simply like the rural or urban life better. That's fine, we all have our preferences and we should all be living somewhere that makes us happy.
On the other hand, I know there are some of you out there who know exactly what I'm talking about. There's something almost-magical about life in small-town America.