I've lived in Carlow for the past 12 years. Prior to moving to Carlow I was living for about 3 years in Milan. Milan is a big city. Carlow is a small town. The contrasts between the two are huge.
While I sometimes regret moving to a small provincial Irish town, it's not without its upside.
Even in the centre of the town the air is clean. Compare that to Milan, where the air was so bad that you could literally see the smog at times!
And you can get to see the swans in the morning on your way to work:
I've no idea if there are any swans in Milan. There are a lot of rather disgusting pigeons though ..
And while the Irish weather is at best "unpredictable" you do get days when it is just plain lovely:
You can sometimes even get a rainbow
When I lived in Madrid I used to go to the same supermarket almost every day to get groceries. Not once did I get more than a grunt out of the staff, whereas in a small Irish town even the cashiers in the supermarkets are genuinely friendly.
Of course it's not all rosy, but when the weather's nice we're all a lot more positive 🙂