A few decades ago, masses of people were moving from the countryside to the big city, chasing the American dream and they continue to do so today. However, census data revealed an interesting trend: all over the U.S., people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, are moving back to the countryside, in the hopes of finding a simpler, quieter life. Long commutes, hectic traffic, pollution, chaotic jobs, and no work-life balance are just some of the reasons why cities no longer manage to keep their residents and if you’re one of the people who decided to leave, then you can expect many positive changes.
But before you start daydreaming about cool summer nights spent drinking beer on the front porch and looking at the fireflies, you should take the time to consider some practical aspects too. As idyllic as it might seem, moving to the countryside is still a big lifestyle change and you should prepare for all of its quirks if you want to have the best time of your life.
1. You might have to work from home
Once you move to the countryside, chances are you’ll be looking for a new job too – unless you relocated to a village close to your city and you want to drive to work every day. One option is to look for local jobs, but despite the progress of rural economy, you may not have a lot to choose from. You can, however, work from home. This might have been impossible a few years ago, but the modern countryside is no longer that remote, cut away from the world place it used to be. Most villages and small towns now have perfect phone reception and Internet connectivity, so you can keep doing what you did before, from home. You can even stream video games and be a YouTuber if you live in the countryside. This way, you don’t have to worry about making a huge career change. If you’ve never worked from home before, it will take a while until you develop the discipline for it and learn to make your own schedule, but the good part is that there are no chatty co-workers to distract you and no long commutes to get home.
2. You’ll need a good car
Countryside living is great but, like all things, it has its downsides. And hate on cities all you want, but they offer you unlimited access to anything you could ever want. Thai food at 3 am? Painkillers on a Sunday night? They’re a few minutes away. Need to buy a lightbulb or a power tool? A hardware store is just around the corner. When you live in the countryside, all these perks of urban life are limited. Even the most “urbanized” villages have only one grocery store and one pharmacy but, for bigger purchases, you’ll have to drive to the nearest city. For that, you’ll need a reliable car. Although keeping your old ride is also a possibility, it may not be made for countryside living because the road conditions are tougher. Besides, muddy roads and slower de-icing services often call for a more resistant car with four-wheel drive and off-road capabilities, such as a truck or a 4X4 SUV. If you love sleek city cars, the idea of a utilitarian vehicle might not sound very exciting, but there has been a lot of progress in the automotive industry lately and utilitarian cars are no longer boring. Take the all-time American favorite, Ford F150. Initially, people drove it for work, to carry heavy loads. Now, it’s more of a lifestyle car and if you look at the Ford F150 review, you’ll see high-end security features such as active park assist, entertainment systems, and WiFi connectivity options. When looking for a car that’s suitable for the countryside lifestyle, your checklist should include sturdiness, space, and ride quality. Design is important too, but you want to be able to carry a week’s worth of groceries on a tough winter path without the ride quality being affected. As for the car size, don’t worry. Countryside homes often have built-in garages and you won’t have to worry about fitting your car in a tight parking space ever again.
3. You’ll have to embrace solitude
If you’ve decided to move to the countryside, the noise and clutter of city life might be one of the reasons. You’re not alone. Studies have shown that the rate of chronic stress, anxiety, and depression are higher among city dwellers, favored by factors such as noise pollution, poor air quality, high cost of living, and long commutes. In comparison, people who live in the countryside are 21% less likely to suffer from anxiety disorders. Life in the countryside is slower, quieter, and less confusing. It gives you the chance to live life at your own pace, find time for your hobbies and be at peace with yourself. If you’re the kind of person who loves spending a quiet Sunday afternoon by yourself, reading, or meditating, you’ll love your new home. But even so, the change can be sudden and it will take a while until you get used to the solitude. Villages tend to have small, close-knit communities where everyone knows each other so there’ll be no shortage of helping hands when you need them. For the rest of the time, you’ll have to get used to being the only human soul for miles. Expect the first new nights to feel a bit creepy; compared to car horns, nightclub music, and sirens blaring in the distance, the sounds of nature will be unfamiliar. During the day, you’ll have to get used to spending more time by yourself and even if you’re an introvert who never craved social contact anyway, you’ll still need to diversify your activities and find new hobbies. Thankfully, there’s always something to do when you have a house in the countryside, so in a couple of weeks, you’ll be all settled into your new home.