One thing I sort of anticipated, partly because we owned our island place years before we moved here, is the lack of need to lock everything up when we leave our house or car. In the city, we had enough experiences with theft and damage to lock everything, all the time. Even if I went for a short walk around the block or left my car to duck into a 7-11, I locked. I knew how desperate some people were (especially because I worked with some of these people) and was very aware that there are those that are always on alert for any opportunity, either a professional thief or a desperate person. One of my clients told me once that even when he when he turned over a new leaf and stopped stealing, he couldn't help noticing when people left their purse wide open or their car doors unlocked. He had radar for that sort of thing. He no longer acted on it, but he still noticed it years later. I was never paranoid about it but just realistic.
Our first observation was when the builders were working on the framing of the new addition. Their tools were all over our yard while working. They dropped them exactly where they were working at 5pm on Friday night and left them there til their return on Monday morning. We couldn't believe it. These were valuable power tools, not just hammers and nails. Nothing ever went missing. They laughed when we commented. City people.
I was in a store on the island the other day when I overheard one salesperson talk to another about the time she left her purse outside of the store on a picnic table in the park, wide open with her iphone right on top. She noticed an hour later that her purse was not with her, went to the table and there it was iphone and all. She congratulated herself for moving to the island.
So we never lock our door unless we're away for a few days, we leave a key where workers and neighbours can use it to get in, we don't lock our car on the island, in summer we can leave the car windows open all the time, I never worry about being here alone. Feels good to have that basic trust in your community and just makes life easier in general.