It is a common storyline in TV dramas and movies – the city dweller, tired of the rat race, and takes on life in the country in search of something simpler, more real. Once there, they find that their city ways and expectations are out of kilter with the place they have moved to, and… well, you get the picture. It is a cautionary tale about attitudes, but one thing it doesn’t seem to have done is cause people to fall out of love with the idea of moving to the country.
City life, after all, can be pretty brutal. It costs the earth to buy an apartment, let alone a house, and even renting is extortionate. If you drive, you will have to spend hours in traffic. If you do not drive, you are at the mercy of public transport that is probably not fit for purpose. Everything costs more, and the less said about air quality the better.
It makes sense that people want a life in the country. And you will surely love it when you do – as long as you remember that there is going to be a culture shock no matter what you do.
Country People Aren’t Like the Ones on TV
Because dramatization leaves little room for nuance, it is common for TV characters to be a little one-dimensional, or two-dimensional if you are lucky. But in real life, people who live life in the country are not “simple” folk. They have the internet, Netflix, and – for the most part – next-day delivery when they need it.
This is a warning to avoid patronizing anyone you meet. Maybe they will want to hear your stories about the big city at some point, but do not lead with them. It is easy to stand out like a sore thumb in a new, smaller town – but just behave as you would in the city and adjust to the differences as you find them.
GPS May Not Be Your Friend
Satellite navigation has made driving much more straightforward in recent years – you just tap in the address and let the computer guide you. When take on a life in the country, just be aware that GPS is a little less reliable the further you get into rural America.
When speaking to apartment moving companies or delivery services, make sure they can find the address you give them. It is one of the ways that better technology has led to a trickier life, because finding your house may mean deviating from what the GPS tells you and relying on a more analog way of navigating.
Conveniences Will Be Missed
Liza Minelli, and then Frank Sinatra, told us in the 1970s that New York was “the city that doesn’t sleep”, and if anything its insomnia has got worse since. Most cities are, to some extent, 24-hour operations where you can get a sandwich at 4am or breakfast at noon.
When living life in the country, that way of working is not practical. Be ready for most things to shut in the evenings, and to have to wait until morning if you run out of a household necessity. The fact that the city has all of those things on tap is the reason it is always so busy and crowded. You can have one or the other.
Final Thoughts on Life in the Country
These are a few of the issues that can arise when you choose to spend your life in the country in return for this, you will find your money buys a lot more house (and more of everything), your lungs will breathe more freely and you will make friends a lot faster. It is a trade-off worth making, but it may take time to adjust.