The one thing Chris had appreciated about big-city life was anonymity. Now, in a town where everyone knows everyone else’s business, his business makes national news. The fantastic tale of his relocation rocketed around the world, appearing in newspapers from France to New Zealand. He was approached about starring in a reality TV show, an offer he turned down.
He heard from people across the country who were inspired by the move. Turns out, he’d done what many others wished they could.
“I guess it taps into some sort of desire for people to go to a simpler life,” he says, listing some of the pleasures of his new environs: growing vegetables in his garden, enjoying summer nights around his fire pit, building a bird feeder, and most of all, being with his kids each day during what used to be his rush hour.
About half of all Americans wish they could live in a different kind of community, according to the Pew Research Center. And at a ratio of 3 to 1, Americans prefer a slower pace of life, where neighbors know one another.
It’s a common misunderstanding that small towns and rural areas are shrinking, says Ben Winchester, a University of Minnesota Extension researcher who focuses on rural demographics. In fact, even while high school graduates depart each year for bigger cities, there is an ongoing influx of young professionals — aided by technology and seeking affordable housing and a sense of community — who are making these places their new homes. Winchester calls it the “brain gain.”
The story is silent about single day re-living experiences, but does lead with a Minnesota Gothic image.
The web is an understated part of the story, with one flyover online paper picking up an east coast feed authored in another flyover; and the opening link does not state the nearest airport to flyover from.
WWBMS? What Would Bill Murray Say?