Skip to Content

Unveiling Life’s Wisdom in a Charming Texan Village

When Carol and I were in a relationship, she resided and worked as an educator in Victoria while I was employed at a Fortune 500 energy corporation in Houston. At that time, I was 25 years old and somewhat inexperienced in recognizing what truly enriched my life.

During my twenties, I held the misconception that metropolitan areas encompassed all the amenities a young professional could desire. This assumption was profoundly mistaken. My days commenced at the break of dawn, thrusting me directly into the chaos of rush-hour traffic. The daily commute proved to be both financially draining and physically exhausting. The journey back home mirrored the morning ordeal. By the time I reached my apartment, there was scant time or energy left for anything else.

Ironically, despite my adamant refusal to consider residing in a small town, three decades later, I am firmly rooted in one. The appeal of small communities has captivated me, and I have no intentions of leaving.

I share this reflection as graduation season approaches. Recent graduates will disperse far and wide in pursuit of career opportunities and enjoyment. It is common to witness graduates turning up their noses at the prospect of settling in small towns. While employment opportunities abound in such locales, the perception of limited recreational options prevails.

The essence of life lies in one’s perspective and choices. I can attest that life in a close-knit community offers more fulfillment and camaraderie compared to urban settings.

As young and seasoned graduates deliberate on their next steps, it is crucial to consider the following factors. The average price of a home in Austin stands at \(550,000, whereas in Seguin or Victoria, the cost is halved. Consequently, expenses related to mortgages, insurance, and property taxes are significantly more affordable in smaller towns. In Houston, the average office rental exceeds \)31 per square foot, whereas in Victoria, premium office spaces lease for less than $3 per square foot.

While metropolitan areas boast an array of fine dining establishments, the average bill at a mid-range restaurant in Austin amounts to \(50 per meal. Conversely, in Victoria, one can relish a plate of Mexican cuisine for \)12 or savor grilled salmon with asparagus for $15. Beyond financial considerations, time is a precious commodity. During my tenure in Houston, my commute spanned 45 minutes each way under favorable traffic conditions. The allure of residing in Austin and navigating the congested I-35 corridor baffles me. In contrast, my current commute covers a mere two miles and takes five minutes, affording me an additional 80 minutes daily to engage in activities other than being ensnared in traffic or venting frustrations at negligent drivers engrossed in their phones.

With reclaimed time each day, I can engage in invigorating workouts, walk my dogs, or relish a leisurely dinner. I can socialize with friends, participate in a pickleball league, or immerse myself in a good book.

In a small town, genuine connections are forged, addressing the yearning for authentic relationships amidst the prevalent social media landscape. Collaborating on charitable endeavors, attending sporting events or church gatherings, and experiencing the warmth of a tight-knit community imbue a sense of belonging and benevolence. Many young professionals express a desire to dwell in urban centers enticed by the allure of concerts, sports events, and upscale dining establishments. However, due to commuting challenges, traffic congestion, and elevated costs, these activities are often pursued less frequently than envisioned.

Nevertheless, here’s a clandestine revelation—I too appreciate the attractions of urban life. Carol and I delight in occasional excursions to the city for fine dining, theatrical performances, and, on rare occasions, overnight stays. Yet, upon departing the urban landscape with its inherent hurdles, I eagerly return to relish the simplicity of my life.

Surprisingly, small towns offer an abundance of fun and idiosyncratic traditions to relish. Whether it entails attending the Goliad rodeo, partaking in the Luling Watermelon Thump, witnessing the Texas Mile race in Beeville, celebrating the Poteet Strawberry Festival, sampling beer at the Shiner brewery, or marveling at the majestic pecan tree in Seguin, adventure awaits at every corner.

Undoubtedly, metropolitan areas present a myriad of attractions. However, is it truly worthwhile to endure the daily grind merely to subsist amidst a sea of humanity? Or, could one find value in simplicity, community cohesion, a brief commute, and reduced operational costs?