I’ve always lived near a big city…
Growing up, I was 15 minutes outside of Philadelphia. While I worked toward my Bachelor’s Degree, and even once I secured my first teaching position, I was 15 minutes outside of Baltimore. Having all of the comforts of suburbia and also the conveniences of a bustling city was what I was used to; it was all I knew. I loved being able to venture out to the city for some drinks or to tour a museum. I couldn’t imagine not having a nail salon or Wawa on every corner (now that I’ve been in Maryland, I’ve become more accepting of Royal Farms— but Wawa is better).
In recent years, I would visit Baltimore more often. As I’d walk around and enjoy the views, I’d say to my then-boyfriend,“Wouldn’t it be amazing to live here? Instead of driving here and paying for a parking garage; this could just be home. The inner harbor and all of the attractions could be in our backyard.”
I thought it would never happen— it was just a pipe dream. It was fun to think about though; I just couldn’t afford the city. I didn’t work in the city. Although I’ve always lived near a city, I wasn’t meant to live in the midst of one, I guess. I began to envy the people who did live in the city; they were always immersed in the action and able to experience urban living.
I made two significant decisions when my ex-boyfriend and I split up:
1) I immediately booked my first trip to Europe by myself.
2) I ended my lease so I could pack my bags for the city.
Three months before my 25th birthday, I moved to downtown Baltimore with the help of my parents (you’re the best!). Now that I’ve been living where I had dreamt of living for almost a year now, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. My younger sister also lives in a city up north and it is an experience I recommend all young people have at least once. So, I’m going to share 15 reasons you should move to a city before you’re 30.
15 Reasons You Should Move to a City Before You’re 30:
- You Can Walk Everywhere.
No need for a car when you’re living in the city! Not only do you save on gas money (and insurance if you choose to not own a car at all), but you get to breathe in the fresh air every day while you walk from point A to point B. Everything you need is nearby— and your Fitbit will be amazed at how quickly you reach your daily step goals! 🙂
- Making Friends is Easy.
Living in the city is the best way to meet different types of people and to make connections quickly. Cities are so densely populated; you’re bound to meet people you click with in just a matter of weeks (or days!). I moved to Baltimore not knowing a soul, and I now have quite an extensive social circle. Also, this may sound weird, but download the app Bumble and use the BFF feature- it literally is like a “dating” app but for FRIENDS! You’re welcome.
- Eligible Bachelors and Bachelorettes Galore.
The city is an excellent place to meet other singles. The bars, restaurants, and fitness centers are crawling with single people looking to have a good time (get your head out of the gutter). Head out to a trivia game, karaoke night, or a happy hour and you’ll be surrounded by singles and hey, you never know, maybe you’ll meet your soulmate. 😉
- You’ll Never be Bored.
There is always something to do when you live in the city. Stroll to a nearby museum, aquarium, or local spot with live entertainment any day of the week! Join some new friends at a Paint and Sip event or explore exotic cars at a car show. Not sure what your city offers in terms of nightlife and entertainment? Simply Google “things to do in ______” and insert your city— you’ll get a myriad of places and events listed.
- Opportunities to Get Involved are Endless.
To piggy-back off reason #2 above, there are a plethora of ways to get involved in your community! Whether you simply want to forge new relationships with those around you or give back to the community you live in— you have several options. Maybe you’d like to volunteer at a local organization, such as an animal rescue, or join a club (book, chess, wine, Star Wars, etc.). Social leagues are widespread in cities; sign up for a co-ed sports team that is semi-competitive but, honestly, cares more about your drinking skills than your catching skills. I also recommend making a profile on meetup.com in order to join groups of people who have similar interests as you!
- Live Where Tourists Visit.
It’s pretty cool to live in a place where people spend so much money to visit. Think about it: people from other parts of the state and country get so excited to visit the place you call home! Be a landing pad for friends and family, or just give directions and recommendations to travelers you meet in town. Just last night, a man came up to me and asked me how to get to the mall and I was happy to help! If your place is large enough, you could even list your space on Airbnb.
- Popular Attractions and Beautiful Sights Surround You.
Depending on the city, you may find historic monuments, art galleries, beautiful parks, and even bodies of water right around the corner— I live three blocks from Baltimore’s inner harbor (Patapsco River) and my sister lives half a mile from the Hudson River. Take in the beautiful buildings, well-manicured landscapes, and exceptional statues you come across as you explore your urban home.
- Choose From a Variety of Local Restaurants.
One of my favorite things about the city is the lack of chain restaurants and the abundance of unique bars and family-owned eateries. Brunch is very popular and there’s no shortage of new, local spots to try! Who wants to eat at Applebee’s when you can experience an out-of-this-world sushi spot only found in YOUR city?
- It’s Easy to Make Extra Income.
Uber, Lyft, OrderUp— you name it! Other ways to make some extra money in the city are dog walking, house sitting, tutoring, providing childcare, etc. If you have experience (and sometimes even if you don’t) you can pick up a side gig at a local spot as a barback, bartender, or wait staff.
- Cities Host Grand Events.
When the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl four years ago, there was a huge parade and celebration in the city! There is also a plethora of concerts, comedy tours, 5Ks/marathons, and exciting events such as Light City, Dare Theory, and Preakness; the list goes on and on. Basically, as reason #4 states, you’ll never be bored. Yes, you can choose to stay inside and play Monopoly, but I am grateful for the option to partake in a giant, local festival as well.
- Sports Galore!
What’s your favorite sport? Chances are, the city you move to will have its own baseball, football, or hockey team— among others. Of course, not every city has this feature, but most of the large ones have a least one local sports team (even if it’s a college one) to brag about. Head out to a tailgate and score cheap tickets to a game and root for the home team!
- Exercising is Easier than Ever.
City living makes accomplishing your fitness goals a bit less daunting (refer to reason #1 above). With the amount of walking you do in the city, it quickly balances out all the sugary drinks you consume. If walking isn’t your thing and you prefer to uber, have no fear! Cities have fitness centers on every corner. In addition to your regular run-of-the-mill gyms, you’ll also find spin and pure barre studios, plus CrossFit and Orangetheory centers sprinkled throughout the city.
- So Many Options.
Within half a mile of my place, I have several nail and hair salons, coffee shops, and cafes to choose from— I am not stuck with one place to order coffee. And there are always new places popping up! I could try a new nail salon, bookstore, and restaurant daily. There are so many stores and bars competing with each other that you can shop around to find the best prices. When I lived in the suburbs, I only had 1-2 grocery stores to choose from and they were about a ten minute drive away. Now, I walk to the grocery stores and markets in my area!
- Conveniences Aren’t Far Away.
Convenience stores and banks are just a couple blocks away! In the city, there is no shortage of ATMs or establishments like 7-Eleven where you can find necessities like toilet paper and bread. This is really nice, especially if there is ever an emergency or a huge snowstorm. One day, I realized there was only one roll of toilet paper left in my apartment, so I immediately ran out in a T-shirt and sweatpants to the Rite-Aid nearby to pick some up. No need to dress up! 😉
- Traveling is Easy!
When you live in a city, nine out of ten times there will be either an airport, a train station, or a bus station right nearby. In addition, most cities will have an excess of ubers, lyfts, and taxis. I live close to the Baltimore Washington International Airport, and that is where I’ll be departing from for New Orleans and Seattle this month! There is also the Baltimore Penn Train Station where I pick up family members and friends when they come to visit from afar. Bus stops are found on every corner— some buses in the city are even FREE! So, with so many transportation options, where are you traveling to next?
I’m not going to tell you that it’s ALL butterflies and rainbows. There may be pollution, crime, and traffic, of course. But I promise you, the pros outweigh the cons! Do your research before moving. I knew there were parts of Baltimore I absolutely did not want to live in and I had a list of requirements my apartment had to check. I couldn’t be happier with my choice to move; now I’m living right downtown, just a few steps from the inner harbor and it is like a dream come true.
I’m a firm believer in having zero regrets when I’m on my deathbed. What city would you love to live in? Why not move there now?!
I’d love to hear from you! Do you live in a city? What are some of the biggest perks of urban living for you? 🙂