Still preferring the simple life


After spending Thanksgiving with family members in the big city, I realized just how much I have changed as a person. Of course, I’m referring to the fact that now I prefer simple, small-town life over happening, more exciting big-city life. I’m sure the question on everyone’s mind is “Why?” Most of you know by now that I grew up in heavily populated California, and had only lived in or near big cities before moving to Saratoga nearly a year ago. So, one would naturally think that after where I lived and what I experienced last weekend, I would miss the big city and be eager to get out of here. One might think I would be dying to move to any big city after seeing what I missed. So why am I happy to be back in a town that doesn’t even have 2,000 people? Why is Saratoga now more appealing to me than a big city with everything your average American could want?

For my Thanksgiving break excursion, I traveled to bustling Salt Lake City to visit family. I went there thinking that once I got back into a big city and major metropolitan area, I would never want to come back to a tiny Wyoming town that doesn’t even have a small movie theater, bowling alley or fast-food restaurant. I thought I would be lured back by all the convenient services and entertaining places to go that a big city provides. However, while back in the big, busy city I couldn’t help but think about how I missed the peaceful tranquility of a small town. I missed the lack of any kind of traffic, lack of pollution, slower pace of life and ultra-friendliness of the people. I also missed being able to consider free community events as the most entertaining things to do in town during the winter.

Over the break, I also couldn’t believe that I actually felt surprised when noticing the heavy traffic, pollution, huge crowds of people everywhere, street homelessness, unsafe neighborhoods, and other things that you find in a big city, yet not in a small town. The big city realities I had gotten used to while growing up were now part of a culture shock to me, and I haven’t even lived in Saratoga for a year! It surprised me how quickly I had become “transformed”, and started thinking like a small-town boy who had never left the Cowboy State. It’s almost as if small-town life is what has become “normal” to me, and the big-city atmosphere has become completely foreign.

One would also think I wouldn’t want to come back to the colder weather here in Wyoming. Sure, we know that other mountain states can have their fair share of snow and cold weather, but these Wyoming winters can be pretty dang cold, complete with below-freezing temperatures. Our harsh Wyoming wind, either with or without the snowfall, is also something you don’t find just anywhere. However, even with the wind, snow and below-freezing weather, I have found that my body can easily adapt. Last week I even got up early in the morning to go running when it was 14 degrees outside, and it felt great! I’m now to the point where temperatures in the 30s feel like tolerable, everyday winter weather to me. The fact that I haven’t even developed a slight cold here yet has also proven I can adapt to any climate, no matter how cold it may be.

So, much to anyone’s surprise, I am glad to be back in safe, good-old small-town Wyoming after a trip to the big city. I also feel like I’m starting to fit in here more and more with each passing day. After my time in Saratoga comes to a close, I wouldn’t mind settling into another small-town newspaper found elsewhere in the mountain states. I have realized I can do just fine without the big city life.


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