Choosing to spend your life in the hustle and bustle of a big city like Kuala Lumpur or Singapore can sometimes be more of a necessity than a choice. Many people move there are young adults to earn a living and support their families back home in the village or ‘Kampung’.
The amount of young working people in Kuala Lumpur is staggering, and this can be seen in the amount of rush hour traffic and the crowded trains to and from work. It can also be observed in the constant crowds at shopping malls.
However, there is an emerging trend among KL-ites who are leaving the busy corporate world to start their families in quieter surroundings, preferring a slower pace of life in small towns like Alor Gajah, Kampar or Raub for example. Recently, the Malaysian Insider highlighted the story of a young executive in KL giving up his promising career to start a farm in Taiping with his wife. Such stories are no longer unique as more and more families are choosing a less hectic lifestyle.
Here we discuss some of the pros and cons of living in a big city vs living in more rural settings, to help expose readers to the wider options available:
Living in the City
Better facilities –Without further need for elaboration, we will definitely realize that the city is where you find the best in terms of healthcare and education. There’s also easy access to cultural mediums like museums, libraries, art galleries, theatre performances and such. There are also plenty of places to eat, shop and spend time, including shopping malls, parks, rollerblade parks and swim parks.
So much more choices – Instead of just one or two Mamak restaurants nearby or a few Chinese noodles shops in your area, you’ll have tonnes of restaurants at your doorstep, ranging from familiar Malay, Chinese and Indian dishes to places selling Italian pasta and Mexican tortillas. The vast array of choices extends to other necessities as well, like transport, clothing, services, types of homes, etc.
People are more open minded – Urban folk in general tend to lap up foreign trends much better and be less conservative. This isn’t limited to just things like dressing styles and appearance, but includes concepts like how to bring up children and how to make choices. You’ll also have more leeway in expressing yourself and being involved in very niche hobbies like car modifying, ballroom dancing, cosplay, miniature race car collecting and more.
More diversity – Living in a huge melting pot of cultures is the best way to understand each other as Malaysians. Working in the city will expose you to various ethnicities and build tolerance for other people and the more bridges are built, the more racism is eliminated. You’ll also be fortunate to meet people from other nations and learn their culture too!
Living in the Countryside
Endless space – Here you can have a house with a wide and spacious backyard to have gatherings or just to run around with your kids. Additionally, the added land allows you to dabble in some gardening and grow your own food.
Everything is cheaper – Yes, this is definitely good news, as everything from food prices to house prices are about 10-20% less than in the cities. You’ll probably find more savings in your bank at the end of the month as there are also less temptations to spend on things you don’t need.
Healthier environment – Not only is the air fresher, but there will be more greenery and places where you and your family can run free. Apart from that, the lack of having to go through jams every day and the slower pace of life is definitely better for mental health as it reduces stress and worries.
Close Knit Community – When you live in a small town or kampung, everybody knows everybody. This leads to a very strong sense of community whereby help is easily obtained and given, and people are more friendly, warm and trusting. You’ll be able to walk into a coffee shop and get updated on everybody’s news and goings-on, and they’ll be concerned about you too. It’ll be almost like having a huge extended family.
No matter where you choose to live though, remember that home is where the heart is, meaning that home is about family and loved ones, rather than a building with four walls.