Why People Are Suddenly Fleeing Big Cities

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crowded city street

Cabin homes have long been a staple of America’s architectural landscape, with generation after generation seeking them out to connect with nature and enjoy a more laid-back, quiet lifestyle. But with COVID-19 taking over the globe this year, people seem more inspired than ever to forgo city life in favor of a more socially distanced lifestyle that perfectly lends itself to cabin living. 

In fact, according to the New York Times, tens of thousands of New York City residents have fled the city since March, often resettling in more remote locations, like areas of upstate New York and Connecticut. Some of these moves are temporary until the threat of the virus lessens, while others are shaping up to be permanent as people experience the many benefits of smaller-town living.  

The Draws of Small-Town Living

cabins in the mountains

Topmost among small-town benefits for many people are housing costs, which tend to be much lower in lesser-populated areas. And not only are prices lower, you can get a lot more bang for your buck in remote locales, enjoying lower costs of living and more square footage than you would get in a major metropolitan area. 

In addition to financial savings, leaving a big city can bring major mental health benefits as well, which feels particularly important in the anxiety-ridden era of COVID-19. Prior to the coronavirus, big cities were already entrenched in a competitive, productivity-obsessed culture that puts major pressure on us to work harder and harder. And when those pressures are combined with the anxieties brought about by a global pandemic, city living can feel downright unmanageable. 

For many people, retreating to a slower-paced, lesser-populated city or town is the perfect antidote to the toll that stress and anxiety take on us. It affords us the time and space to reconnect with ourselves and our values, and find peace and tranquility among nature’s many gifts. Plus, it makes social distancing much, much easier.

A Shift to Remote Work Makes it All Possible

remote work video conference

Of course, many people wouldn’t be able to flee big cities if it weren’t for the countless companies suddenly offering remote work due to COVD-19. Companies across industries have figured out ways to offer more work-from-home opportunities. And it’s working so well that many businesses and organizations are considering long-term, or even permanent, remote work solutions. 

According to Business Insider, two-thirds of American companies may transition their temporary work-from-home policies to permanent, and many major companies are planning to at least extend their temporary policies for the long term. For instance, Google is allowing many of its employees to continue working from home at least until June of 2021, while Amazon and Reuters are letting employees work from home until January of 2021. And now that so many workers have had a taste of what it means to work from home, many of them don’t want to go back to the office. 

The pandemic has taken a toll on most of us to be sure, but maybe the silver lining is the opportunity that it affords us to reflect on our needs and make changes as necessary, such as finally making those cabin living dreams come true. 


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