This year’s summer vacation with the kids just seems to be flying by. I guess it’s because we like exploring new places with the kids on the weekend, exploring the different locations and cultures around us. Many of these new travel experiences can be just a few miles away from your own home. It’s like we all live in a series of small towns hooked together by a common city or area name, but these little neighborhoods have distinct identities all to themselves.
It certainly gets your imagination going when you think about what it would be like to just pick up and move to a whole new city or even a small town somewhere out in the boondocks. How could we do it? Where would we work? What about the kids’ schools? What’s there to do in a small town?
SMALL TOWN WORK DOES NOT MEAN SMALL TOWN PAY
These days we all do plenty of our work right on our phones. If you are working on, say, a distributed team, it really doesn’t matter where you live. You do the assignment and phone it in. There are so many new opportunities in remote sales and the Internet, finding a job in a new environment isn’t nearly as tough as it used to be. Prospects in distribution and fulfillment are growing in rural locations because companies are locating more and more of their distribution warehouses where property costs are low.
EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE IN SMALLER TOWNS
You can have a great school with absolutely flawless credentials but if your kids don’t have the desire to learn, it won’t matter where they actually attend school. It’s the home environment that makes the good student and that up to you and your family, no matter where you live. Cultural diversity in a school can have a good effect on the learning environment, or it can lead to division and fragmentation of students into ethnic cliques.
It’s up to the parents and faculty working together to break down barriers and create an environment where the all students accept any and all others for who they individually are, rather than rejecting them because of some outward cultural stereotype. Small town America has become as ethnically diverse as many cities relatively recently. So country folks are, perhaps, more likely to be tolerant of differences than their big city counterparts, these days. Who knows?
WHAT’S THERE TO DO IN A SMALL TOWN?
Well, first of all, you’re only about 5 or 10 minutes away from wilderness in a small town. That usually means camping opportunities and nature preserves where you and your kids can enjoy wildlife encounters and natural wonders like waterfalls and rushing river rapids – without the 5-hour traffic wait. Many towns have rebuilt their old main streets and turned them into antique and dining opportunities with usually a couple of charming bed & breakfast inns thrown into the mix. Lots of weekend activities and annual festivals are just waiting to be explored. And don’t forget the county fair. There’s plenty to do any neighborhood, no matter how small, if you have the will and desire to find it.
OKAY, SO HOW DO I MOVE?
It’s usually best when you’re moving to a new town to rent before you buy. That way you can take a year or so to get the lay of the land and find the exact, right neighborhood for your family’s eventual home buy. Everything counts: schools, shopping areas, healthcare facilities, parks and recreation. You name it. When it comes time to actually pull up stakes and go, do not try to do it yourself. Moving a family is a complicated process that involves logistics and a lot of heavy lifting. You need to hire a professional to help you do this. Someone who has done it a lot, who knows, for instance, how to pre-scout and find the right parking spaces, in both the old and new location, to park a huge truck. Someone who cares about protecting your furniture and valuables over a long haul. And don’t forget about insurance coverage when moving. Anything can happen over the many miles between your previous residence and your new home. Especially if the weather is severe, like in the dead of winter or during the summer thunderstorm/tornado seasons. Remember, your family’s entire life and history is in that one moving van. Make sure that you protect it. And when the moving is over? Take a personal moment to kick back, relax and enjoy that first day in the rest of your life.
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