Picture a place where people smile at each other when they pass on the street.
A place where relationships and friendships feel cozier than a grandma’s quilt.
A place where traditions are clung to like that beloved vintage disco outfit you’ve still got hanging in the closet.
Are you thinking of a small town?
Particularly if you’re used to the rigors of modern city life, there can be something special about small town folks.
While small towns can certainly be full of unique individuals, sometimes, there are common traits shared by those who grew up there.
These can include a knack for keeping relationships tight, a deep respect for tradition, and a love affair with life in the slow lane. Let’s explore them together.
1) A love of nature
In a fast-paced world where the steady hum of transport and technology can drown out the signs of nature around us, we have small town people to remind us of its beauty.
People who grew up in small towns often have the privilege of living in environments where urbanization has not yet encroached upon nature.
Their homes might be nestled amidst rolling hills, lush forests, or by pristine lakes, offering a real escape from busy city life.
The love for nature among these individuals is not just an emotion, it is a part of their daily existence.
Small town communities are often proactive in preserving their local ecosystems.
Whether it’s through conservation efforts, tree planting, or tough regulations on development, these individuals are committed to safeguarding the natural treasures that surround them.
Their love of nature extends beyond mere appreciation of its beauty, it’s a responsibility they willingly carry.
2) A generous spirit
Small towns may lack the towering skyscrapers and neon lights of big cities, but they are abundant in something precious and priceless: generosity.
People who grew up in close-knit communities tend to understand the power (and necessity) of giving, often going to great lengths to help others, whether it’s a neighbor in need or a stranger just passing through town.
I remember one winter, when a sudden snow storm swept through my hometown.
All the locals sprang into action. With shovels and plows, they got to work, clearing the streets.
That week, neighbors checked in on one another, sharing firewood and hot meals.
The generous spirit that swept through the town during those challenging days really showcased the common traits of small-town people—community, kindness, and unwavering support.
3) A love of close-knit relationships
Growing up in a small town builds a deep appreciation for relationships and a real enthusiasm for wanting to invest in them.
This is because small towns are often characterized by close-knit communities where everyone knows their neighbors, and the bonds of friendship run deep.
In my small town, it was common to see friends and neighbors on front balconies and yards, swapping stories, laughter, and life’s ups and downs.
These impromptu gatherings weren’t just casual, daily social occurrences, they were proof of the importance of building and nurturing relationships.
4) A deep respect of traditions
Small towns are often beacons of traditions. These rituals, whether they revolve around seasonal festivals, religious holidays, or cultural observations, play a role in shaping the lives of those raised in these towns.
Every Thanksgiving in my small town, families would gather at the community center for a huge potluck dinner.
Though the food was delicious, it wasn’t the main event. It was more so about coming together to show gratitude for the close-knit community we were a part of.
This highlighted the importance of sticking together and thankfulness, values that were passed down through generations.
It’s important to note that for small-town people, traditions are not just customs but threads that bind the past, present, and future.
So, if you ever meet someone who makes a fuss every holiday, there might be a real reason behind it.
5) An appreciation of living life at a slower pace
Life in small towns can move at a totally different pace to the bustling cities.
As a result, people from small towns tend to have this unique trait in common: an appreciation for the unhurried moments.
This is a lesson that can often be lost in the fast lane of city living.
In my hometown, it was normal for locals to take leisurely evening strolls around the neighborhood.
These chilled out, unhurried walks — with no real purpose or location — allowed everyone to soak in the beauty of the surroundings and take up chit chat with neighbors they passed by.
This tradition of slowing down taught us the art of savoring the simple pleasures in life, and not just letting them pass us by.
6) A strong pride in their community
Small-town pride is a powerful force that unites locals and motivates them to contribute to the improvement of their community.
This kind of pride in where they come from is a unique trait common to those raised in small towns.
Where I grew up, there was a thriving community garden where residents, young and old, came together to tend to the soil and grow plants.
This shared activity not only produced fresh produce but a deep sense of pride in their ability to sustain themselves and contribute to the town’s well-being.
So, if you’ve ever got a group project happening, it might be a good idea to look towards that friend who originally comes from a small town.
7) A sense of resourcefulness and self-sufficiency
Small-town life, particularly when the town is in a remote location, often requires people to be resourceful and self-sufficient.
Whether it’s fixing a leaking roof, growing produce, or finding creative solutions to life’s daily challenges, small towns are where these skills are built.
In my hometown, many families had thriving backyard gardens. These gardens provided fresh veggies year-round, reducing the town’s reliance on the supermarket.
The self-sufficiency we practiced meant we were ready and prepared for whatever life threw our way.
While I can’t say I’m this resourceful in the city, I know those skills are definitely still there, ready for when I might need them again.
8) A palpable work ethic
The work ethic of those raised in small towns is nothing short of inspiring.
Whether it’s tending to farms, running local businesses, or engaging in volunteering projects, hard work is a fundamental part of our make-up.
Where I’m from, mom-and-pop stores were the heartbeat of the town.
These small businesses thrived on the dedication, commitment, and hard work of their owners who worked tirelessly to provide for their families and serve the people of the town.
The clear work ethic of these entrepreneurs was always a source of inspiration for the entire community.
I guess I can say that growing up in a small town teaches the value of hard work and the satisfaction of knowing that effort contributes to the advancement of the community — even if it’s in a small way.
9) A fondness for the simple things
In the world of small towns, simplicity is golden.
People can find real joy in the uncomplicated pleasures of life, whether it’s a little picnic in the park, a delicious homemade pie, or a quiet evening in the yard.
In the place where I was raised, families had a tradition of packing colorful picnics and heading to the local park on weekends.
A checkered blanket, crusty baguettes, and a bit of laughter were all we needed to create memories that would sustain for a long time.
This fondness for the little things fostered a deep sense of contentment and appreciation for life’s easy pleasures.
Small-town life teaches the art of finding joy in the everyday, in the humble, and in the unassuming, reminding us that simplicity can still be a surefire source of joy.
10) An occasional disregard for security
I’ll go ahead and say it: while many of these shared traits are indeed endearing, they are not without their quirks!
Some people who were raised in small towns may have an occasional disregard for security.
You might have noticed this, specifically when it comes to things like leaving car doors and front doors unlocked.
This behavior is rooted in the close-knit and trust-based nature of small-town communities.
In small towns, residents tend to know each other very well, and there’s a sense of trust.
When you’re familiar with your neighbors, it’s easier to believe that the likelihood of theft or break-ins is low.
This in turn encourages people to leave their doors and car doors unlocked.
Also, many small towns have fairly low crime rates compared to larger urban areas and cities, as they lack factors like anonymity and population density that can contribute to higher crime rates.
11) An aversion to change
Like I said earlier, small towns often cherish their traditions and local way of life, but this can indeed lead residents to be cautious about embracing change.
Growing up in a small town often means striking a delicate balance between protecting cherished rituals and adapting to the changing world.
To sum things up, people who grew up in small towns have a unique tapestry of qualities that reflect the simplicity, warmth, and wisdom nurtured by their environments.
As we look to these individuals raised in small towns, we find lessons in kindness, community, resilience, and the art of finding joy in life’s simplest pleasures.
Their stories and experiences serve as a reminder that the values and qualities nurtured in small towns are absolutely worth celebrating and carrying forward, no matter where life’s journey takes us.