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Rural Matters

Sep 18, 2020

Michelle chats with Matthew Hoagland, the author of “Think Small: A Millennial’s Guide to Building a Meaningful Life in Rural America.”  Hoagland describes how he had set his sights on leading a trendy urban life in Ashville, NC but decidedly to “move to the middle of nowhere,” (Yanceyville, NC), where he works as the Planning Department Director for the Caswell County Planning Department. The book serves as a how-to-guide for millennials on building a meaningful life in rural America, which, in Hoagland’s case, included paying off his entire student dent and buying a house for $39,000. Hoagland describes how he became immersed in local civic issues, and along with his wife, established a meaningful, sustainable, and affordable life they originally thought they would have by living in a bigger city. When you start out in a big city, he says, you often have to begin aa an intern, but in a small town, you can start in a position that can put you in charge of something meaningful in just a couple of years. The book includes a checklist for those thinking of moving to the middle of nowhere.