Recently, my family and I moved away from the busy, crowded suburbs of Toronto to Tavistock, a small town over an hour from the metropolis. By small town, I mean less than 3000 people. The nearest, large centre is about a half an hour's drive away.
We didn't enter into this lightly. Our quality of life had been suffering badly over the ten plus years in the shadow of the GTA. Stress and claustrophobia were playing havoc on our moods and energy levels. But, everywhere we looked to move were either still too expensive (i.e. commutable to Toronto) or truly in the middle of nowhere.
Tavistock turned out to be the greatest compromise we could find. Although we originally considered it to be in the middle of nowhere, on further examination, it appeared to be in the middle of everywhere - and far enough away to still be a small town.
Still, moving to a town this small is a little scary. You know no one, and everyone knows you. If you don't get along with the townsfolk, you are pretty much screwed. And what if everyone proves to be hayseed hicks or rejects from 'Fargo'?
Our fears proved to be unwarranted. Far from being ignorant, uneducated simpletons, we've discovered a sophisticated population - more so than I've seen anywhere else I've lived. People here, want to be here. They've chosen this life rather than been trapped in it. Like us, they've decided to put far more value on living their lives in a fashion far more focused on family and community than on obtaining social stature and monetary success.
There are more entrepreneurs in this town than I've ever seen in one place. There are far more of them at home during the day, enjoying their homes, yards and community. They work to live rather than live to work. Doing their own thing gives them the freedom to work at the pace they need.
I like this. For the first time, I desire to become part of the community; to work with the community; to give back to that community. I am looking forward to this simple life.