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I moved from a small town to New York City. Here are 6 things I miss about it, and 4 things I don’t.

a green field and barn and the authorThe natural beauty of New England and the lower cost of living are two things I miss about living in a small town.

Erin McDowell/Business Insider

I moved from a small town of roughly 8,000 residents to New York City over four years ago.

While I don’t regret moving to a big city, there are certain things I do miss about small-town life. However, other things come with living in New York City that I would never give up. 

Here are six things I miss about living in a small town, and four things I don’t miss.

I miss not having to rely on public transportation or Uber to get anywhere I need to go.A van with groceries in the trunk.A car with groceries in the trunk.

Comstock Images/Getty Images

If there’s one thing I miss about small-town life, it’s the simple luxury of walking out your front door, getting in your car, and driving to your destination. Once you’re done, hop back in, and you’ll be back at your front door in no time.

In New York City, going anywhere more than a mile away can be an operation. Grocery shopping especially has proven to be extremely inconvenient. When I lived in a small town, I parked right in front of the grocery store and had to carry my bags only to and from my car. In New York, I have to carry my heavy grocery bags blocks to the subway, and then from the subway stop to my apartment. Some people have multiple sets of stairs to climb once they get to their building.

When I’m doing my weekly shopping, I have to take into account whether I can lug multiple heavy items like pasta sauce or gallons of milk back with me or whether I’ll have to split it into separate trips. Often I’m restricted to two or three grocery bags — in the country, I could fill my car with bags and have no worries at all, knowing I could make trips to and from my car if I needed to.

But I love being able to walk everywhere in the city. I don’t miss how unwalkable small towns can be.Two people wearing face masks walking outside a Starbucks store in New York City.People walking outside a Starbucks in midtown Manhattan.

Noam Galai/Getty Images

One upside of living in a bustling city like New York is that a lot of what you need is right outside your door. Delis, bodegas, convenience stores, coffee shops, and more are often not more than a block or two away.

When I lived in a small town, the nearest Dunkin’ or McDonald’s or cafe was at least a 20-minute drive away. You could drive roughly halfway across Manhattan in that same time, passing dozens of coffee shops.

I miss the comparatively lower prices in the countryside.People wearing face masks shopping at the farmers' market in Union Square in Manhattan.People shopping at the Union Square Greenmarket.

Noam Galai/Getty Images

It’s true: Living in New York City can be extremely expensive. Restaurants are noticeably more expensive to me than the ones back home, and don’t even get me started on the housing market. However, I’ve found ways to save money on food and rent.

Living with roommates and taking advantage of New York City’s cheap eats will save you money while living in one of the most expensive cities in the country.

I don’t miss the lack of options for food and entertainment.A poppyseed bagel with cream cheese from Katz's Delicatessen.A poppy-seed bagel with cream cheese from Katz’s Delicatessen.

Joey Hadden/Business Insider

A lot of restaurants in New York are expensive, but there are so many to choose from, including cheaper options. In New York City, we’re spoiled for choice — there’s so much to see, do, and eat that it can be overwhelming at times. 

When I lived in a small town, I’d go to the same restaurants over and over again — and none was half as good as the places I’ve been to here in New York.

I miss the comforts of home and being close to my family.bolognese sauce in a pot on the stoveThe author’s mother’s recipe for bolognese sauce in a pot on the stove.

Erin McDowell/Business Insider

I’m about a three-hour journey from home, making it hard to see my family regularly. 

More than anything, I miss having my mom’s home-cooked meals more often. I’ve yet to find a spaghetti Bolognese in the city that can compete with hers, and so I make it myself as often as I can.

But I don’t miss how everyone in my town knew everybody else’s business.People on the grass in Sheep Meadow in Central Park on a sunny day.People in Sheep Meadow in Central Park.

Noam Galai/Getty Images

One downside of being super close to your family, your neighbors, and the people who live in your town? Everybody knows everybody else’s business.

News, good and bad, travels fast in a small town.

In New York City, you’re practically anonymous. No one knows anything about you unless you tell them — they’re way too busy worrying about their own busy lives to talk about yours.

I miss the quietness of living in a small town.A starry night sky with silhouetted trees in Utah.A starry night sky.

Joey Hadden/Business Insider

I do miss the days when I wouldn’t wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of sirens or car alarms going off.

When I go home to Connecticut, one of the first things I notice is how quiet it is around my house. We have no immediate neighbors, so the only sounds I can hear at night are the faint cries of coyotes in the woods behind our property or the chirping of crickets.

I don’t miss the lack of diversity in my town.A demonstrator in New York carrying a rainbow flag and marching in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and equal rights for LGBTQ people.Demonstrators in New York marching in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and equal rights for LGBTQ people.

Lucas Jackson/Reuters

In a small New England town, there can sometimes be a serious lack of diversity. My hometown comprises mostly white, straight, and middle-class people.

Now that I live in New York City, one of the most diverse cities in the country, the difference is striking. I love being in a place where diversity and a fight toward equality for people of all races, sexualities, gender expressions, and more are celebrated and encouraged.

I miss how much space I had in Connecticut.barn and green field in connecticutThe author’s backyard in Connecticut.

Erin McDowell/Business Insider

In Connecticut — granted, I was still living in my parents’ house — I had a large bedroom, a sprawling backyard, and tons of spaces to hang out. Now I live in a two-bedroom apartment, and my bedroom is about half the size of my one at home.

Finally, I miss the natural beauty of New England.Trees with yellow and red leaves in the fall along a rural road in New England.A rural road during the fall in New England.

Shobeir Ansari/Getty Images

New England may have its problems, but the seasons in that part of the country are unrivaled. Living on a farm, I enjoyed the natural beauty of my home and my neighborhood. Summers were hot, but I never had to stand on a crowded, dirty subway platform, sweating in places I never wanted to sweat.

Driving through my hometown in the fall is breathtaking. Growing up, I could pass a roadside lemonade or apple cider stand, historic landmarks, and apple orchards on my way home from school. When I go home during the fall, one of my favorite things to do is take a boat ride and look at the colorful leaves.

My hometown may not be a cultural epicenter like New York City, and that does have its drawbacks. But I’ve come to appreciate the quaint, picturesque, and neighborly lifestyle that is small-town life in New England.

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