4 Reasons You Should Live in a Small Town at Some Point in Your Life

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Credit: Toni Rivera

When I decided to move to another country, I looked for houses in small towns in Spain with less than 5,000 inhabitants. Although many of my friends have chosen to build their lives in big cities, I wanted a change after living in a rather hectic urban area.

Before making the decision, I went on a YouTube binge of channels dedicated to promoting the repopulation of rural areas. Later, the opportunity came to me thanks to a friend of my family who had an empty house in a village northwest of Segovia — 1,300 inhabitants and an hour-and-a-half drive from Madrid. It seemed like the perfect option: a charming town that was still close enough to big cities in case I needed something.  

Although I no longer live there, my experience made me leave my comfort zone, appreciate the advantages such towns offer, and learn the value of places barely distinguishable on the map. I wouldn’t hesitate to move again to a village with these characteristics. Here’s why I think everybody should live in a small town at some point in their life.

Credit: Toni Rivera

You can rent a house for a lower price.

In any large city around the world, you certainly won’t find a house like mine (four bedrooms, a spacious eat-in kitchen, huge closets, and a 300-square-foot yard) for $400 a month. If you have the opportunity to move to one, a small town will allow you to save on rent and enjoy wide-open spaces.

Credit: Toni Rivera

You might reconnect with nature.

As I searched for options, I fell in love with places surrounded by stunning mountains, beaches, and forest trails. Each one had wonderful outdoor areas ideal for exercising while immersed in nature. When I moved, I would spend the afternoons walking all over town, or head to the river and go trekking in the forest. These activities can help lower the stress and anxiety levels that are triggered by the traffic and hustle and bustle of big cities.

You’ll find a different sense of community.

Perhaps it’s a cliche, but in small towns, everyone seems to know each other. At first, they will be curious about who you are, but soon they’ll feel familiar with you. Be prepared to greet every person you meet on the street — it’s as if everyone in the village is your friendly neighbor. In my town, I was not only welcomed, but they even gave me vegetables grown in their backyards.

Credit: Toni Rivera

You’ll learn about history through preservation.

An impressive clock in a tower — rebuilt from a 13th-century structure — chimes every hour in the small town where I lived. It was not at all annoying, but instead helped to measure the passing of time that felt more leisurely. On a short walk, you could see how the residents had been preserving the architecture of the houses inherited from their ancestors, bringing beautiful typical Spanish construction into the present. Meanwhile at my house, I was enjoying a collection of antiques which have belonged to the family of my tenant for about 200 years.