While Andrew Kenney’s June 1 article about Rocky Mount outlined facts regarding the urbanization of America and rural population decline, several of us young professionals who have chosen to live in smaller metros in Eastern North Carolina would like to provide insight into the benefits of living in these communities.
Many young people have bought into the notion that they “must” live in a booming major metro in order to find a job or have a social life, but we see an equally powerful counter-movement of young people who are seeking – and finding – a genuine sense of community in smaller metros.
Young people are moving to places like Rocky Mount, Kinston, New Bern and other towns for a number of reasons: a lower cost of living, a feeling of knowing your neighbors and the local business owners around you, and an ability to make a real difference in a community for which you truly care. Our group of friends continues to grow with young people moving here for job opportunities, those searching for a great place to raise a family and entrepreneurs starting businesses.
While these communities do not have new restaurants popping up on every corner, we do have plenty to keep our social calendars busy. We have outdoor concerts, restaurants with live music, young professionals networks, limitless social and civic organizations, and more affordable country clubs offering an abundance of activities for young people and families.
Most importantly, there’s a charm about these communities that is irreplaceable. For those who value living in a place with a unique history, welcoming people and beautiful scenery that still has the amenities of a city, you just can’t find a better place to live than Eastern North Carolina.
Dorsey and Jeff Tobias
The length limit was waived to permit a fuller response to the article.