This article focuses on young people who, despite the general tendency towards youth outmigration in rural areas, have decided to stay in their home town. We explore the agency of young, conscious stayers, as well as the process of staying in the northern Finnish town of Kemijärvi. The stayers’ values and perceptions of the constituents of a good life could be taken as an alternative to the prevailing Western ideal that emphasizes mobility and ambitious educational and career plans, and is, in part, driving young people to leave their rural hometowns. The stayers in this study are active participants in their own fate and are content with their choice of staying. Applying ethnographic methods, we undertake to learn what rural stayers consider the building blocks of a good life in a small-town setting, one offering comparatively limited options in terms of jobs, education and leisure activities.