Making the move from city life to country living can be one of the best decisions you ever make. The lifestyle changes can be shocking at first but often have a strong positive impact on your health, family and overall quality of life. Chances are you've already put some serious thought into relocating, but there are many aspects of rural living that aren't as obvious as you think.
To better prepare yourself for a move to the country, take a moment to read over and consider the implications of the following insights. As a person who spent the first 13 years of her life in the heart of a bustling city before moving to the country, I can understand why it may feel like you're moving to an entirely different world. Everything around you will change, from the scenery to your mentality, and it's not a bad idea to prepare yourself and your family for the lifestyle transitions you will undoubtedly face.
The Perks of Mother Nature
Let's start with the obvious fact that the city endlessly burps out clouds of pollution and exhaust while the countryside constantly emits fresh, clean air. The close proximity to mother nature has a very positive effect on your physical and mental health. You don't have to deal with traffic, trash or a 5-mile commute to reach a city park. All you have to do is step outside and you're there.
Your children can play without constant supervision, which will give them a much greater sense of independence. You will have more room to spread out and indulge in new interests and hobbies. Growing your own food is common in rural communities and is a useful tool for adults to overcome a variety of health and social issues. Not only is it relaxing and therapeutic to spend time tending your garden, it's also a great way to cut down on your grocery bill too.
But with all this space and freedom come other factors you may not consider, factors that aren't necessarily drawbacks, but definitely worth noting. If you live in a big enough city, chances are you don't have a car, or if you do, it's economical and small. But out in the country owning a vehicle is a necessity (as is an Amazon Prime account), seeing as you can't walk to the grocery store or take public transportation to school or work. It's necessary to drive and most of the time it will take more than a few minutes to get where you're going. Owning a reliable vehicle, preferably with four-wheel drive, depending on how you intend to use it, is something to look into when preparing to move to the country.
Reshaping Your Hobbies and Social Circles
Now that you're living in a rural community, enjoying your space, freedom and hopefully a shiny new car, you might be surprised to hear gunshots in the distance or even nearby. Don't worry, the chances that the gun shots are crime-related are very slim. Instead, it's likely they're from a neighbor enjoying some target practice in his backyard or a hunter filling his tag for the year. These activities are completely normal and great pastimes to consider when moving to the country. If you're not quite comfortable with the idea of owning a firearm or unsure of how to safely use one, you can always buy an airsoft gun to first learn and potentially invest in a firearm-related hobby.
A major thing that most don't consider when moving to the countryside is the dramatic decrease in social interaction. You may notice a drop in time spent in your social circles when you move because you won't be around all of the time. But in return, you will be rewarded with a greater sense of community and, hopefully, an especially fruitful grapevine. Rural communities tend to be spread out but close knit. If someone doesn't have something you need, chances are they know someone who does. Prepare yourself for these social changes by visiting the community you're interested in and attending local classes or events to meet new people and make new friends.
Investigate the Community
Visiting the community you're interested in is another great way to prepare for your move. If you have children, make sure you do your research on the local school district; compared to city, educational programs can be few and far between. Don't worry though, your children will benefit in many ways from a move to the country, especially when crime rates are significantly lower in rural areas than in the city.
Another thing you should prepare for is the cell reception or internet speed in your new home. Check out available internet providers so you don't wind up in a tight spot. If you work from home and use the internet a lot, or you're used to streaming Netflix on TVs, an iPad and your son's laptop, you might need to consider the implications of slow internet connection for where you want to live and the costs of improving it.