The concept of community is something that we all know about and yet may feel that we never experience. In recent years, there have been claims that a sense of community has died in modern America – and that we’re all isolated, separate and lonely. That, though, couldn’t be further from the truth. All across the US, there are thriving communities, and they range in nature from hipster hangouts in Brooklyn to retiree spaces in Florida and California and beyond. This article will look at how you can find your preferred community when choosing your next place to live.
The first thing to take into account when identifying the sort of neighborhood in which you might want to live is size. Some places are not suitable for those who like the hustle and bustle: if you choose a rural community in an area such as the Midwest, for example, then it’s possible that you’ll not see many other people on a daily basis. There are residential locations in the US that are miles from any other properties – so if you like solitude, then these may well suit you.
Linked to size is diversity. Communities with more people in them are, of course, likely to be more diverse as there are more perspectives and interests contributing to the mix. Perhaps you want to find people from a minority religious group, or you’re looking to be part of a bustling LGBT community. In those cases, it’s often wise to think about heading to the city where the spaces and facilities for your own community exist.
The next thing to think about is what you actually want to do as part of a community. Some people want to spend their community time socializing, for example, in which case it may be worth choosing somewhere with a thriving bar scene. Those who require community facilities such as large libraries and sports centers may want to consider a city, as the facilities in smaller towns may be too small to accommodate specific needs.
If you want to do a specific activity, though, then certain communities may be better suited than others. A surf-friendly area such as Santa Cruz or Ventura in California is ideal for those who enjoy getting into the sea on their boards. Park City communities and those on the list of surrounding communities, meanwhile, are perfect for snowboarding and skiing.
It’s worth going to visit a community before you make the decision to move there full-time. There are some things that you simply can’t find out from internet research, so going along to see how a place feels is a smart move. You might want to look out for common indicators of a strong community spirit, such as whether people shop on Main Street or in large, out-of-town supermarkets.
This is also a good time to see whether those small signs of community spirit are there. Do people hold the door to the store open for those coming in behind them? Do people give up their seats for seniors on public transport? Do locals say hello to each other in the street? In order to gauge these more subtle elements of community living, you will most likely need to go there yourself and see.
For some people, communities are an essential part of their lives because they’re affiliated with a particular institution – such as a college. If you’re about to go to college, then you’re likely to find that your community has already been set up for you. Some colleges are very sports-focused, and at these campuses, being a member of a sports team is often a prerequisite for becoming part of the community. If this doesn’t appeal to you, then attending a college with a variety of on-campus communities may be a better idea, and you’ll be able to find friends through music, arts or other scenes once you make the move.
Choosing a place to live might come down to many things, including the price of the area and the proximity of it to your family, friends or work environment. However, one additional element that is important to consider is the community aspect. From picking an area with a certain sized community to ensuring that the locals share the same niche pursuits as you, there are lots of ways to filter locations based on what your new community can offer.