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Living in a City: 5 Myths

Updated on October 27, 2015

We live in a vast and diverse world, complete with dusty country lanes and the bustle of bigger metropolises. From the distant farmhouse to the penthouse apartment, society is overwhelmed with differences in housing and lifestyles. I myself was born in what many refer to as “the sticks”, but spent various points of my life living in the suburbs, a quaint small town or two, and of course, cities much bigger than myself. And from these experiences I’ve come to this conclusion: There is no place like the city. And honestly, no place else that I’d rather be.

Regardless, hundreds of people every day are inclined to think negatively about the city lifestyle. And this fact isn’t without reason—the news and media is constantly bubbling over with stories that focus on crime, pollution, and frenzy. Nevertheless, there are a measure of falsities beneath the many myths that grace society. Let’s examine five.

New York City, New York, USA
New York City, New York, USA | Source

Myth One: People are ruder in cities.

One of the most popular existing myths regarding city life is that the majority of people are rude and insensitive. But those willing to believe this statement are underestimating individuals. In other words, they look only at the finished puzzle instead of the individual pieces. Regardless of where you live, there will be polite people as will there be rude people. In a city, the population is so much larger that you simply may come across rudeness more often. This is simply because you encounter more people whom who don’t know on any given day than if you would if you lived in a small community.

In a positive light, people who live in cities tend to be broad, open minded, and diverse. Though this can often be the case in small towns as well, the scale in which this takes place in a city is much grander. With so many ethnic and cultural lifestyles that make up an area, there is always something new to experience.

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Myth Two: It’s a challenge to get around without your own transportation.

It’s easy to understand why navigating your way through a city can be intimidating, especially if you aren’t accustomed to it. But with preparation and practice, travelling through a city can be as easy as driving straight down a highway. How so?

Cities are some of the few places that offer trains, buses, subways, and taxis. Many city dwellers do not own a car as they choose to use public transportation. As soon as you figure out where you need to go and which route you need to take by means of a map, your trip is as good as done. The public transportation system can take care of the rest. Taxi and bus drivers should know exactly where to go while subways and trains take consistent and programmed routes. Most cities also cater to pedestrians and cyclists with dedicated trails and services—as well as conveniently placed maps for the occasional turnaround.

Chicago Train
Chicago Train | Source

Myth Three: It's too expensive to live in a city.

This myth isn’t without truth—cities are often more expensive. But it doesn’t have to be the case. With preparation, a lifestyle in the city can be as affordable as anywhere else. Housing expenses are cut in half when shared with a roommate while transportation costs can be kept at a minimum by walking or riding your bike when possible. Hundreds of restaurants mean that the options are out there for an inexpensive yet tasty meal—it takes exploration and research, but there are many hole in the wall eating spots and supermarkets that have low prices.

As far as recreation goes, cities are a great place to enjoy yourself—and it can be done for very little, even free. Concerts, markets, shows, and other events are often free of charge for attendees. Many parks offer free biking trails, while some museums may have certain days where admission is free.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA


Myth Four: There isn't any chance to relax.

People often talk about the hustle and bustle of city life with either fondness or disdain. While it's true that cities offer an excitingly paced lifestyle, there are many options for some restful recreation. Libraries and even some museums often offer quiet hideaways, and any city will come complete with a spa or two just to get away from it all.

If natural landscapes are what you enjoy, many cities have a wide variety of parks or plazas to pass a quiet afternoon in. Depending on where you live, you may also be surprised to find out that you live relatively close to a nature reserve or national park.

Farmers Market in Chicago, IL


Myth Five: All cities are the same.

All cities are not the same. There are dozens of factor that go into shaping a city. Location, size, environment, culture, and history are just a few of things that strongly influence a city and it's inhabitants.

A Choice For Everyone

We all get to ultimately decide where we're going to live. And often, many decide against living in a city--and that's okay. But if you've been thinking a city lifestyle suits you, why not consider taking the plunge?

After all, there are plenty of cities to choose from.


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