Living in a small town
When I think small town I think of all the nature around me and peace and quiet.
I lived in a small town(pop 200) for 20 years. Then I decided I needed to move to a big city. I found a house and property on the out skirts more in the country. It's the perfect balance. Not many neighbors yet 20 mins from everything. I still spend most my time at home, but it was a great decision. Very happy where I am. My neighbors were actually closer in the small town. The vibe I got from it was distrust and a lot of back talking. I don't know what they were saying about me, but in a small town you get that. I was a loner and no one understood why. I felt their judgement any time I talked to anyone, so I stopped socializing all together. Now I have friends and can hide for the most part. I choose what groups I run with. Instead of just a bunch of local yolkals. Small towns can be a mixed bag. I like being close to a city and still have my sanctuary. Surrounded by 14 cats, 3 dogs, opossum, porcupine, turkey, raccoon, deer, and even coyotes. Plus I live in a forest with a stream in my back yard. I'm in Heaven here. And when I feel like it I go to the big city and see a show or ride my bike. Then when I'm done I go home and take a nap. You don't have to give up on city living, but you need to be able to get away from it and rest.
I live right outside a Big city, but I went to school in a small town. I'll be honest, for the me overall energy I would get from Charlotte NC was busy, but not too bad, just a "hustling to work on an average day". I go to college in downtown Charlotte and I get that energy everyday and to be honest, it has been a little much for me, I sometimes have days where going around a bunch of people can just bee too much for me. I do find a very nice balance living in a smaller town right outside a big city, or even a less populated area where you have space and a backyard. What helps me the most is finding a forest or large park and going and walking with a very close friend or alone and really taking time to relax and soak in that environment. Most people have a tendency of just conforming and blending and and hustling all the time in a world that we've created for ourselves, and Empaths seem to have a largely hard time really getting into a typical routine like that from what I've seen. Best of luck to whatever you end up doing in the end!
I've been in large cities and it is great to feel all the energy, in short visits, but longer stays start to bring me down.
I live in a city about 20k pop, and it has been a fair balance. Country near a big city would kinda sound appealing.
I've lived in a big city (okay, eh...not New York big, like 5 million people big) the first 18 years of my life and now I've been living in a small town -more like a village- for about 3 years. People are definetely more reserved and closed off here. I do pick up a suffocating kind of feeling, I think many here feel trapped. Also, be careful if people work with animals a lot. You're going to pick some terrible emotions from the animals. Overall, I think that big cities aren't that bad because there are so many people that your senses can't hone in easily and it kind of all blends in. The good thing about more rural areas is the connection with nature and that the isolation is so much easier and safer to find. It's weird but I think that small communites give off a vibe, I guess it would be a good idea to see what vibe you get from them. Just be careful in your choice, I would suggest not too far away from the big city, it's nice to have the choice to feel lost in the crowd once in a while.
The place where I grew up started out small, but it grew around me until it was a "city." I didn't realize how all that energy was affecting me, until I moved to where I live now. It is a small town, about 4500 people and you have to cross a bridge to get into the town. When I finally reach the bridge, my entire body goes through an obvious transition, a sudden relaxation of the entire body!
Living in a small town has it's quirks, though. Everyone knows everyone or is related to everyone, so you mind what you say and do. Still, by everyone knowing everyone, it gives you a safe feeling of being at home.
I've lived in a small town of 1,500, another one of 5,500, a small city of 32,000, a medium city of 185,000 and currently live in a metro area of many run together cities and counties of over 2 million that requires a two hour drive one way on congested highways to get to the country. Then you have to drive back home through all that, which ruins all the relaxation you got.
My current place is the worst place I've ever lived. I cannot get any quiet. Just to go outside and do a five minute Qi Gong routine each morning with any concentration is impossible.....there is always someone yelling at their barking dog, loud traffic, a chain saw, or all of that at once and more. The traffic is insane. I am not one who can disappear into a crowd. I can't do crowds at all, so I just don't go. I find that I never leave home here except to go to the doctor, or to take early morning walks around an area park, before people get up. I am not a morning person at all, so I am really desperate for nature to do that!
The next worse was the small city of 32,00, where there were no employers that needed to bring in new people from outside, so everyone had lived there for generations and their whole family was there. They had no desire to make friends with outsiders and did not even understand why anyone might want to travel away from there when on vacation. At least it was quiet, dead quiet. Neighbors didn't even greet you, if you ever even saw them. The only friend I was able to make was another outsider.
The town of 1,500 was best, because it had low enough land costs to have a couple of acres around the house and had lots of wildlife and forest, and because it's two major employers brought in people with Master's Degrees from outside, so I made friends and had people I could talk to with similar interests. It was the best of all worlds to me.
I'd say do plenty of research before making a move and know what you want and more importantly, what you really need to feel at home.
I can relate to what you all have posted. I grew up in a small rural-ish area, population ~4700, with the great advantage of having a state park basically in my back yard. I grew up playing in the woods and it was awesome. As a young adult, I worked in a large city (don't know if I can say places on here) which was alright. It was cool because it had a small town feel to me even though it was a big city. I lived outside the city with a few parks at my disposal. Then I moved north to be near family, and ended up working in another large city and commuting. Commuting is horrible, I think we all can agree. This place was worse for me. I didn't realize it at the time, but over the 7 years that I worked there, I got worn down. I started walking with my head down to avoid glares. Again, I lived in a suburb with some nature areas nearby but not enough TREES!! I ended up getting extremely sick, still dealing with it. Now I live in a small rural town again. I thought it would be better, but the people here are very negative. A lot of small town gossip. Not open to newcomers. It honestly freaks me out that people know who I am here, I've never experienced that before. I feel trapped, and being sick, I can't always get away. I think the city has the benefit of being anonymous, but has the major downfall of so many people who are unaware that their emotions leak!