Everyone wants a chunk of the big city and I am no different. The lights, the shimmer, the grit, the hustle, and the bustle are all a mirage of greater things, purpose, resources, and opportunities.
Cities for a long time have been the modern-day Canaan, the land of milk and honey. They are places where the currency never sleeps and the moon is blinded by the harsh gaze of city lights. Everyone with hands and feet will always find something to live for, a means to eke out a living. The city makes its inhabitants hamsters on a wheel, modern-day slaves to the rigmarole.
Cities in a nutshell are the bane of modern-day existence. They are a priest to the cassock, a lamp to the genie, and ultimately the playing field where the fate of many a soul takes center stage in life.
Cities and modern living are destiny and life entangled. Half the population of the city has its roots in small knockdown villages with one creak, a small market center, and more tipple joints than the fingers on one hand. Most people were made in such places.
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Until the pandemic.
The pandemic had most of the urban centers in a chokehold. The glitz and glamor of the nightlife were traded by a curfew and endless police patrols. Many people lost a living and for once, living in the city with nothing to do felt like a death sentence. Life went on as usual in the upcountry with as minimal disturbance as possible. Villagers went to their farms and joined up in the evening for pints at the locals while the world outside came to a standstill. It necessitated conversations about the viability of life in the city.
You see urban dwellers have pieces of land in their hometowns that are left unattended to as the sons and daughters of the village chase the allure of blue-collar jobs and the dream of an office with a view of the skyline. The pandemic however and a careful look at their hometowns triggered a shift in mindset and I not to be left behind was one of those people that developed a shifting attitude.
You see, small towns are now becoming the in thing. They are burgeoning up from being the edges of little-known villages into small metropolises with heartbeats of their own. They are in turn drawing back the sons and daughters from urban centers back home where they have a chance to begin afresh. Small towns are witnessing a rise in development and progression.
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Is life any easier in smaller towns? What opportunities lie there for any business or money-minded person as compared to their larger counterparts? Small-time towns offer a myriad of things among them;
Life is simpler and more convenient. There are no rush hours and hardly ever any crowded streets. Life starts and stops early so that people can rest and start all over again. There is time to read a book, pick up a new hobby, and to even learn a skill set because you are not living on the edge of your wits. This is even good for your mental health
It is cheaper to eat move and walk around in the smaller towns as opposed to the larger ones. Nduthi rides rarely go beyond Ksh100 even in the middle of the night. Most of the food is outsourced from the farms in the environs of town hence fresher, healthier, and sometimes even cheaper. It is easier to live off a small budget in small towns as compared to their larger counterparts starting from rent, to land rates, to service charges to every other nuanced factor that accounts for daily living. You will likely get it two times or even more cheaper in a small town. You will end up saving more if you are more diligent and accountable with your finances.
I know cities have been lauded as the lands of opportunity but come to think of it, most cities are getting to their plateau years. When you hit rock bottom, the only way after that will always be up. It will always be an upsurge of growth for the small towns however you look at them. My hometown Kakamega was a silent transit town. She didn’t make much noise and wasn’t much noticed until the last couple of years, good governance and opening it up to investing opportunities have seen the place blossom. What was once a quiet town is now a bubbly place, there is always somebody putting up a structure, a new nail parlor, a new fast food joint, a new partying joint, or a proper paper chase. And she is not the only place.
There are paradigm shifts in terms of how we look at these small towns. Instead of waiting for the time you will be living under a pension to retire to these places. One can do so in their youthful years. You still have the strength to set up and watch your investments grow. There is the plus side of off-grid living becoming more popular by the day. These small towns are the best places to start that kind of lifestyle, guinea pigs minus the loss factor. They would allow you to reconnect with your roots especially if you grew up in them. It is the equivalent of growing old in peace in a diminutive nutshell.
There is always a sense of community in smaller and more confined spaces as opposed to the larger towns. In the village, everyone knows everyone. While this comes with the downside of a lack of total privacy, the upside is there will always be people around to help whenever you need it. You get more apathy and neighborliness in the small towns as opposed to the city where trust is earned and considering where the world is headed, heaven knows we need it.
Cities offer way less than what small towns do, and this is only looking at the equivalent of the cost of living and mental health. Small towns are the new fad and rightly so. The general sense of wholesomeness is unparalleled. The myriad of opportunities sticks out for anyone with a concrete plan.
These towns are there for the taking.
Forget urban-to-rural migration, the future is the inverse.