Written by Anna Meegan '26

Submitted by Anna Meegan, ‘26

“Where’s that?”

This is probably the most common response I get from people when I tell them where I live. I can’t say I blame them. I spent my teenage years in the boondocks on the outskirts of a nowhere town called Corbin, 20 minutes away from another nowhere town called Williamsburg, where I now go to college. These places are not your stereotypical cool, hip cities. Some may think they’re boring. But living here has taught me that the “boonies” have just as much to offer as the big city, if you care to look for it. Here are four ways I learned to appreciate Williamsburg and the area around it.

Small towns are as interesting as you make them.

Williamsburg is small, and it can start to feel like you’ve seen and done it all. That’s when you get creative! There are always new places to explore if you look for them. In a place that feels limited, sometimes you have to make your own adventures. Take a road you haven’t driven before. Go somewhere familiar, but do something new there. Go outside! Don’t be afraid to be spontaneous and expand your horizons. Which brings me to my next tip…

Explore the surrounding areas.

Living in Williamsburg doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to doing things in Williamsburg. Corbin is only 20-30 minutes away, and London about 45. They each have their own quaint downtown areas, restaurants, and activities to do. A little farther away are Richmond, Somerset, Lexington, and Knoxville. Going to one of these bigger cities means a bit of a drive, but that’s not always a bad thing. It’s a perfect opportunity to plan a mini road trip with your friends and make a day of it! Some of my best conversations have happened on long drives back from the city with a friend.

Appreciate the land.

Every place has something unique to offer, and for rural Kentucky, one of those things is natural beauty. Appalachia is beautiful. It has rolling hills and gentle but majestic mountains. The fields, forests, and farmland make it idyllic. Don’t neglect the world around you. In cities, the splendor of nature is usually not as accessible as it is here. Take advantage of opportunities to hike and camp and reconnect with nature. Take time to see the sights, such as Cumberland Falls and the national forest.

Soak in the present.

This goes hand-in-hand with the last point. Every place you’ll ever be will have something unique to offer. Don’t take that for granted. New York and Nashville may be bustling, but there are things a small town can give you that the big city can’t. There’s a peace here you won’t find in the hustle and bustle. There’s a sense of serenity to living somewhere that has less going on. When things move more slowly, it leaves more space for us to breathe. In a world that’s insistent on going, going, going, a place that offers some stillness can be refreshing.

Maybe you prefer fast-paced city life 24/7. That’s okay! But even if that kind of vibe is what you’ve grown up with, take it from someone who has spent her life in small-town Kentucky – this place has a lot to offer. You just have to open your eyes to see it. With a little creativity and some practice soaking in the present, you’ll experience all the best things this area has to offer.