I've lived in Charlotte, North Carolina for almost two years.
It's a much bigger city than my hometown of Syracuse, but it seems small when compared to New York, LA or even Chicago.
We're like an MTV "Artist to Watch." We haven't quite gotten to the level where you turn on the radio and immediately hear our songs, but maybe we're opening up for Taylor Swift on her next tour.
As a result, I'd classify Charlotte as a smaller big city. Before I came to Charlotte, I had thought about moving to a major city.
But, after spending almost two years here, I've realized there are some serious benefits to living in a smaller, yet growing, place.
You'll get space to spread out.
If I wanted to live in my current apartment in New York or Boston, I'd have to have 12 roommates and/or be independently wealthy.
Since I'm no longer interested in passive aggressive notes on the fridge and still get startled when I look at my checking account, I'm content with my geographic choice.
Things just cost less.
I'm planning a trip to New York City, and my friends and I were talking about doing a bottomless brunch. Hell yeah! I love brunch! I love mimosas!
Then I was informed there was a $50 price tag attached to said bottomless brunch. [Insert cartoonish jaw drop and eyeballs protruding out of head action here.]
A smaller big city comes with smaller price tags, too, so you can try new restaurants, breweries or events without forking over a devastating chunk of your paycheck.
It's easier to meet people.
When you live in a city that's slightly smaller, getting situated when you arrive feels more manageable. It's easier to find your "people."
Plus, you'll frequently realize someone you've just met knows someone you work with/play softball with/etc.
It's sort of like what they assured you college would be like when you were freaked out heading into your freshman year.
You will see people you know on the quad, except this time, it's at the gym or grocery store.
Getting around doesn't make you swear a lot.
Traffic is definitely a thing here. I've been at a standstill on the highway many times, but it's not so severe you're planning your entire day around it.
Finding housing won't make you cry.
The number of new apartment buildings that go up in Charlotte each month still shock me. You'll see construction everywhere when you're driving around the city.
This means you're not fighting with thousands of other hopeful tenants over one desirable apartment that's open.
When plenty of housing choices are available to you, moving becomes slightly less hellish.
Meeting up with friends doesn't require extensive planning.
When you live in a city that's huge and full of different little pockets, meeting up with your friends can be a production.
You're coming from one end of the city, she's coming from another. Where should you meet? How much travel time is required to get there?
It's hard enough to actually find time when your schedules sync up, but now you have to sit in traffic for an hour or switch trains three times to get there? Yeah, we'll totally get together soon — not.
While smaller big cities like Charlotte may not have the subway entertainment value of New York City or the celebrity sightings you're nearly guaranteed in Los Angeles, there are plenty of unexpected perks to calling these places home.