Having lived the majority of my life up until the age of 18 in the small town of Columbia, South Carolina, I was fascinated by city life when I first got the chance to live it. My first stop was Nashville, Tennessee. I was enchanted by the myriad of restaurants, the fancy cocktail bars, the live music, which all could be attributed to the mass of people who inhabited the city.
After graduating from university, I continued to move to bigger and bigger cities. From Atlanta, then San Francisco, Nairobi (Kenya), Bogota (Colombia), I loved being able to meet so many interesting people, do so many new things and feel a plethora of emotions. I felt like my life was becoming a series of short stories – moving from one place to the next, new friends, new lunch spots, new running routes. Every new place challenged how I lived and my routine, making me question what matters to me and what didn’t.
But in every city I went to, there was a constant longing for a quieter life. Whether it was living in Atlanta and taking a trip to a family friend’s lake house or hopping in the car from San Francisco to take a hike in Marin. I had a constant longing for tranquility and stillness.
I keep wondering if living in these megacities (as they seem to keep getting bigger and bigger) is the best for humanity. Are we happier living in tight shoe boxes, being able to eat a 100 different restaurants within 5 minutes walking or is the peace of a country life, without restaurants and people, better for the soul?
I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer. Just something to be conscious about, wherever you might find yourself.