Many people dream about abandoning city life for a simpler existence out in the country. Whether it’s a desire to raise children in a safer, healthier environment or simply a need for peace and quiet, an increasing number of families are making the change and stating afresh in a rural location. However, many people that move to the countryside from the city often experience a ‘culture shock’ when adjusting to a slower pace of life, and the following tips will help make the transition from city slicker to country mouse a little easier.
Get To Know The Locals
The first rule of country living is to make sure you get on friendly terms with the locals immediately. Almost every type of service you will require such as those from a mechanic, builder, doctor or vet will be provided by a local. Those living in the country also tend to have a strong sense of community and will help each other out in difficult times, so you will need to become part of that community to make life a lot easier. If you plan on growing food or raising livestock on your property, then the locals will be able to offer sound advice on where to buy supplies and what seeds to plant. Most rural towns have only one local store, post office and pharmacy, and these locations are ideal spots for meeting other locals.
Expect Peace But Not Quiet
Country living is much more peaceful and laid back than the hectic pace of city life, but many people are surprised by just how noisy it can be. Farm animals, tractors, dirt bikes and even insects can make incredible amounts of noise, and traffic noise from a main road often seems tame by comparison. When searching for a home in the country, try to avoid living directly next to a working farm unless you plan on keeping animals yourself. You can check out Mann Countrywide listings for suitable properties, and ask your estate agent for information on the local area. Hunting laws may also be slightly more relaxed in certain locations, so those living close to wooded areas may be woken by the sound of distant gunshots during hunting season.
Don’t Expect A Warm Welcome From Everyone You Meet
Although the majority of country folk are more than happy to welcome strangers into the community, there may be some that are initially suspicious of newcomers. People that have spent many years living in the country are often fiercely protective of their way of live and are wary of anyone that may try to change it. Try not to take any initial hostility personally, and simply continue about your day-to-day life. Once people see that you are prepared to make an effort to become part of the community, they will soon warm up to your presence. On the other hand, there may be some people you meet that seem a little over friendly and will drill you with questions within the first five minutes of meeting you. This type of directness can be unnerving to city people, but it is often just harmless curiosity.
Learn To Live Without Conveniences
Perhaps the biggest difference that many people meet when moving to the country is the lack of conveniences. Popping out to the shop often requires a 30 minute drive, and the stores close earlier than those in the city. Takeout food, one hour dry cleaners and Starbucks do not exist in some rural towns, so you will have to get used to living without certain luxuries. Those with young children or elderly family members should research what emergency services are available in their chosen area before making the decision to move. Ambulances will have a much longer response time than those in the city, and the nearest hospital could be a long drive away. Specialist doctors such as oncologists may not be available in rural hospitals, so those with poor health should always check with the local health service beforehand.
Although there is a pretty steep learning curve when it comes to rural living, it is worth seeing it through. Making your home in the country offers clean air, healthier food and plenty of living space. Many people choose to move to the countryside after having children as it offers a simpler way of life without all the distractions of modern technology. Children that grow up in rural towns learn how to become more self-sufficient by growing food and raising animals on their very own land.
Chelsea Fitzgerald is a country girl at heart and like many, she has experienced city life before returning to the countryside to raise a family. She enjoys writing about her experiences on adjusting to change and family life in general and writes for a number of lifestyle websites.
After living in big cities and secluded areas, I realized that the best place for me is a small town that is an hour drive from a big city. In that way, I get the best from both worlds.
I dream of doing this some day. I hope that day comes soon enough, since I’m absolutely fed up with the city.