Yup. Definitely a City Girl.

Posted on 25. May, 2012 by in Europe Travel, Expat Life

Over the last few months I’ve started to notice something. It’s subtle, and takes a good dose of observation, but it’s there.

Small towns are slowly, but very , killing me.

There is no further doubt in my mind that I am a city girl at heart.

I’ve talked about this a little bit on my French anniversary. The problem with my current predicament in France is not so much about France itself  - although a little bit - but mostly about the city I’m in. And my recent visit to Paris only made me realize just how much I miss a real, big, vibrant city.

You know it’s a critical situation when I start praising Paris.

Some of my friends despise cities, and much prefer the illusion of comfort they have in suburbia, with the two cars parked on the paved alley of their newly constructed castle fully equipped with a double fridge and a 50 inch plasma television (I reckon this is a bit of an extreme portrait). Others even like the extremely friendly feel of small villages.

Me? I love cities. Despite being brought up in a suburbia not unlike the one I just described (except that plasma wasn’t invented back then, I grew up with a bulky cathodic television, shocking I know), and having family in tiny villages. Nowadays I can only spend a few hours there before I start feeling numb, and restless.

Cities feed me off of their energy, and I love taking advantage of everything they’ve got to offer.

  • Peoplewatching: it doesn’t get better than sitting at a cafe on a busy boulevard and indulge on some guilt-free people watching. Not only are there more people to watch, there are even more WEIRD people to watch. Hours of fun guaranteed.
  • Foodie: I don’t think I would qualify myself a foodie, but I do love me a good portion of curry or tapas. And there just isn’t anything like that in smaller cities, at least not often. It’s a good thing my current city has a good selection of international restaurants despite its small size, otherwise I would’ve moved much sooner.
  • Cultural life: I agree that I have been culturally spoiled by living in Montreal and London, and that I kind of expect to find the same choice in other cities. But so far I have been sorely disappointed. Montreal has hundreds of free/cheap shows per year, and pretty much all of London’s amazing museums are free to enter.
  • Shopping: I agree that shopping options are not the single most important thing to factor in, but to me, it kind of is. My current freelance income does not allow me to shop as much as I did before, but the simple act of browsing items, feeling textures, experimenting with colors, all of that is a therapy for me. If I wasn’t doing this travel blogging thing, I’d be a personal shopper.
  • Transportation: the one thing I despise the most about the suburbs is that everyone is almost physiologically attached to their car. Need milk? I’ll get the car and go get some at the corner store. Need to go to the post office? It’s just a five minute drive. Cities allow me to slip on my shoes and GO. I don’t need to drive around the block to find a parking, or go back every two hours to put change in the parking meter. I can drink as much as I want. I’m absolutely, totally free. And when I do have to travel longer distances, the metro will get me there faster than you can say “Honey I’m stuck in traffic”.

I miss all of these things. I miss the bustling sound of cars at any hour of the day. I miss the weird shops, and their wonderfully weird owners. I miss venturing in a street I’ve never seen before. I miss being spontaneous. And so much more.

So, to all the major cities in the world, I want to say this: I love you. And I can’t wait to get back to you.

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16 Responses to “Yup. Definitely a City Girl.”

  1. Jeff Titelius

    26. May, 2012

    hI too love cities my friend, especially Paris!! Architecture, food, people, history and so much more await exploration and discovery not to mention a savory indulgence or two or perhaps three! ; )

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      27. May, 2012

      Yup, definitely easier to indulge in cities, where temptation is everywhere!

      Reply to this comment
  2. Katherina

    26. May, 2012

    Living in London really brings so many more possible activities to do every single day - which is something I would definitely miss if I lived in a small village (also because of all the shopping!!).

    But then, there are things I miss - the tranquility and peace. The chill out sundays. Less cars, less people per square meter. Less pollution! Which is why I’m still looking for the ideal place IN London that would give me that little “village-like feel”.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      27. May, 2012

      I think that if you look at areas like Richmond or Putney you would find that village-y feel you seek. But I wouldn’t give up on the amazing energy central London has.

      Reply to this comment
  3. cheryl

    27. May, 2012

    Ahh, you should follow your heart and live where you’re most happy. I somehow see you in London, based on your blog posts. :)

    I grew up in rural areas, moved to the “big city” at 17 and have lived in one ever since. After a wild year in Berlin, I oddly now find myself longing for a smaller city and a simpler life. Not sure where I’ll head next just yet …

    Reply to this comment
  4. Cole @ Four Jandals

    28. May, 2012

    I am still undecided on this. Love cities, but only for short periods. While not a “country” person I do love being outdoors. At the moment Edinburgh ticks all the boxes with a thriving city, can walk everywhere, yet still jump on our bikes and be out of the city into the country in 15 mins.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      28. May, 2012

      Edinburgh would definitely fit my city criteria - if only I could move there! Montreal definitely has the same advantages too, for a North American city.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Andrea

    31. May, 2012

    Me too - definitely! How do you find the crowds go with your dislike of them though? =)

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      31. May, 2012

      I think city crowds are different than say, museum crowds. Out in the open it feels more manageable. It’s hard to explain. :-P

      Reply to this comment
  6. I’m a city girl too…. but I like cities that have lots of green space and the ability to easily go jogging or cycling.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      08. Jun, 2012

      That’s why I love London so much :) Busy city yet full of parks!

      Reply to this comment
  7. I know how you feel… I can’t stand small towns! I love cities and just all the options that there are

    Reply to this comment

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