No matter where you live, you’re sure to run into someone who doesn’t like the city or town they’re in. Maybe they’re unhappy with their job or they have aspirations of living like the characters in the television series Friends, but they’re just not happy living where they’re at. With just over 100,000 people living in Wichita Falls, I’ve run into some who want to leave town, but there are advantages to living here. These are my top five reasons why living in Wichita Falls is better than the big city.

People here are friendly.

I’m from North Dakota, and you’ll always hear people talk about how Dakota people are really friendly. I thought they were, too, until I moved here. Being in the Falls was an experience for me in what it means to be friendly because our people are just that. Whether it’s striking up a conversation with a complete stranger in the soda aisle of the grocery store or someone randomly telling me to have a good day when I get off the elevator, people here are laid back and genuinely nice. Sure, you’ll find your share of bad apples anywhere you go, but other places that say their people are the nicest don’t have a thing on this town.

The traffic is much easier to handle here than in a big city.

Give me a half hour of driving in rush hour traffic in a big city and it’s easy to see where road rage comes from. Even when the traffic is busy here you’re never going to see the same issues as what you do while in a metroplex area. When leaving the MPEC or Kay Yeager Coliseum after a crowded event, you won’t be waiting to get out of the parking lot for 45 minutes. Add that to the fact that you can get from one side of town to the other in a matter of minutes, and I’ll take rush hour traffic here over light traffic in a big city any day.

Networking is easier here.

Maybe you’re in business and need some new contacts. Perhaps you’re simply looking for a good mechanic for your car. Whatever it is you’re looking for, Wichita Falls allows you to network with ease. If you’re in a big city, the friend of a friend that you’re meeting with might be an hour away. Here it’s easy to make contacts and grow prospects, and we truly get to know each other instead of simply making contact and moving on.

There’s always the day trip.

Sure, the Dallas/Fort Worth area has a ton of stuff to do, but do you really want to deal with the traffic every day just so you can go to a show once in a while? Not only does Wichita Falls offer something to do on any given day of the week, if you’re bored you can always leave for a day. Oklahoma City and the DFW area is a quick drive away and you can see concerts, football and baseball games, festivals, and any number of other events, then turn around and come home. You still get to experience the fun stuff of the big city, but you don’t have to deal with the other stuff every day.

The cost of living is much less.

Whether you’re renting or buying, it’s going to be cheaper here in Wichita Falls. When you get into a big city, the same house that cost you $129,000 here costs well over $200,000 there. Not only is there a huge price difference, but the neighborhood you’re buying it in may be a lot sketchier. I once read that the produce you buy in a large city isn’t as fresh as what you find in a smaller town, and who wants that? If you’re looking to save some money, it’s not going to happen in a city of 6 million.

One last thought on the weather…

Going through this drought in Wichita Falls hasn’t been fun for any of us. That aside, the weather here is so much better than it could be. As I mentioned before, I’m from North Dakota. There have been many mornings that I’ve woken up to a fresh eight inches of snow on the ground or the temperature outside without the wind chill is -25. There’s nothing fun about that. If you’re thinking that New York City or Minneapolis or Philadelphia sounds like a great place to live, consider the weather. Are you ready for all that snow and cold? Some people love it, but I’m not one of them. Those aren’t bad cities, don’t get me wrong… I just think… brrrr.

The next time that you’re thinking of packing up and leaving town, or you hear a friend talking about it, stop to consider just how much Wichita Falls has to offer. There’s always something to do, but sometimes you have to get out there and find it.