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Ways to Live the Small Town Lifestyle in an Urban Setting

Updated: Jan 26, 2022

Main Street in Julian, CA.
This photo is copyright of Jennifer Gutierrez. © 2019 - 2022 by Jennifer Gutierrez.

Visitors often express to me how much they love the friendly atmosphere in my hometown of Julian, CA. It takes a lot of teamwork to preserve this feel! One bad apple can ruin the vibe. Here’s the deal, though: One good apple can also start a chain reaction. You don’t have to live in a small town to live the small-town lifestyle. This lifestyle is pretty simple to replicate—just aim to live a more traditional, old-fashioned lifestyle. Here are six ways to live the small-town lifestyle in an urban setting.

Be Friendly to Those You Cross Paths With

In small towns, we do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. A big part of small-town culture is being neighborly, so much so that being neighborly is expected! You can learn how to be a good neighbor here. In small-town culture, when we pass by anyone, we greet them in one form or another. When asking someone how they are, we sincerely care about their well-being. Be trustworthy. Look out for your neighbors.

Make Home-Cooked Meals

In rural communities, you can’t always suddenly run to a restaurant or even the grocery store, as a matter of fact. Home-cooked meals are usually the way to go! You don’t have to go all-out homesteader mode by making everything from scratch. You might be surprised how many simple dishes there are to make. No home-cooked meal is complete without everyone gathered around the dinner table to enjoy it together.

Shop at Local Small Businesses First

Shopping at locally owned businesses is so important for the long-term survival of your community. The owners are vested community members who care about the well-being of the community. Supporting them is a great way to show you care about the townspeople! Regular shopping with local businesses is a sign of respect towards the efforts of business owners who work every day to make an honest living. The more a community shops local, the more of a variety of unique products the business owners will be able to carry. By buying local goods, we can help secure our neighbors’ jobs and livelihoods.

Find a Hobby

Living in a remote area with limited grid reliability often forces residents to entertain themselves. That’s where hobbies come into play. With all the technical resources at our disposal, picking up a new hobby is now easier than ever. What are you waiting for? Go teach yourself a new skill!

Spend More Time Outside

In addition to being surrounded by nature, those who live outside city limits often take more walks. Sitting on the front porch is where people live their lives. Take trips to outside destinations. Read a book outside instead of on the couch. Watch the sunset or watch the moon rise. For crying out loud, drive with the windows down! When there’s a will, there is a way.

Volunteer in Your Community

In urban areas, there are lots of nonprofit organizations doing necessary charity work. In small communities like my hometown of Julian, however, local-run grassroots organizations that provide essential services depend solely upon teams of volunteers and donations to help them fulfill the needs of the community. These local organizations need your support! Give what you can when you can. I promise you, you will be amazed at how far your act(s) of service will go.


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