I’ve gotten this question quite a bit in the past few weeks as I wrap up my semester in Philadelphia. Many have wondered: do you like Philadelphia, PA or Holland, MI better?
It’s a trick question because I’ve quickly realized I don’t have an answer.
The city is incredible with too much to do. If you are actively looking for an event to attend, a person to meet, or a different area, you will find it! Everything is walkable, you can easily pick up a part-time job (I’ve become a hostess!), and you will only get through a quarter of the best foodie spots. It’s impossible to be bored. The next day is completely unpredictable.
But, they’re right. It’s not Holland. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Holland and its rich greenery, the beach only a short drive away, and its local coffee spots where everybody knows everybody. I miss walking downtown and running into about five different people in five minutes. I miss the tight community, and the way we know each other by name. I miss my church. I miss the many state parks, and walking the trail with my pup. I miss long drives in my Subaru up north. I miss babysitting two of the sweetest little boys once a week or freaking out over a friend’s growing family. And most of all, I miss my family (those related and unrelated) that continue to remind me of their love over 500+ miles away.
A semester isn’t very long. But it’s long enough to realize the value of time, and to reflect on what you truly want in life. It doesn’t have to be one or the other, city or small town. Because here’s the real truth:
One only enhances the other. Choosing isn’t needed. The city life is fast, vibrant, and quickly changing. It makes me miss the quiet, slow, and calm of my small hometown. And soon, the rest and quiet of Holland will prepare me for yet another big change. So, while I have only a few weeks left here, I will be taking in every moment to squeeze out more of what Philadelphia offers. And what I can’t catch, I’ll just save for the next time because the city-life will always be waiting for me again. For now, I can’t wait to come home.