Moving to the Countryside – Pros & Cons
Close your eyes and imagine living in a gorgeous country house surrounded by lush green fields that stretch till your eyes can see. When you open the windows of your house, all you can hear is the chitter-chatter of the birds, trees merrily swaying in the wind, and the delightful sounds of the kids running around in the charming streets. Super appealing, isn’t it?
All of this might sound like a dream to a weary city dweller who has had enough of the pollution, possibly cold neighbors, traffic jams, and the small congested houses of the city. While many of us might romanticize the life of the rural folks, the reality is far from what we imagine. Moving to the countryside undoubtedly offers heaps of advantages, but it’s a huge mistake to not consider the difficulties of country living before deciding to move to the countryside. Need some help to make this decision? Let us make your life easier by telling you all about the pros and cons of moving to the countryside.
Pros Of Moving To The Countryside
Improving Your Financial Situation
Let’s not beat around the bush and talk about the one thing that majorly influences all the decisions that we make in our lives. Money holds the utmost power in our lives. Making decisions without giving your financial situation a thought might not be the smartest thing to do.
The biggest benefit of moving to the countryside has to be the improvement in your financial situation. If you’re a city dweller who pays a crazy amount of rent for a small, uncomfortable apartment, look no further. The cost of renting or buying a property in rural areas is drastically lower in rural areas. If this wasn’t enough, the rural areas also offer you bigger houses at a much lesser cost.
To add to that, the property rates and income tax rates are generally towards the lower side as compared to those prevailing in metropolitan cities. Other living expenses like groceries, utilities, entertainment, tuition fees, etc., also follow a similar pattern. You can totally skip over the routine of crying over an empty bank account at the end of the month if you move to the countryside.
Having An Abundance Of Space
As a result of low property rates in the rural area, you can simply buy a large piece of land and build yourself a large, spacious home. Not only this, but it’s totally affordable to have a large space around your house that can be used for absolutely anything. For instance, you could cultivate a gorgeous flower garden, set up an outdoor kitchen and host BBQ parties, create a play area for your kids, set up a backyard workshop, and whatnot!
Cities tend to be overly crowded because of which people might end up staying in cramped spaces and have minimal privacy. Say goodbye to all your privacy issues once you move to the countryside! With the amount of space that’s there between the houses of the rural areas, you’ll rarely face issues of having neighbors that invade your personal space or noisy teenagers who just won’t lower the volume of their music while hosting parties.
See also: Most Outdoorsy Cities in America
Enjoying Cleaner Air
Although cities do make a conscious effort towards maintaining more and more green spaces, one cannot deny the city is massively polluted due to various reasons. The high population leads to horrible traffic jams which in turn leads to cars being stuck on roads and releasing harmful emissions for a longer time. To add to that, cities are where a majority of the industries and factories are located. All these disease-causing emissions released by them deteriorate the quality of air in the city.
On the contrary, there’s no dearth of greenery when it comes to the countryside. Surrounded by dense woodlands, verdant hill ranges, and lush green grasslands literally translate to cleaner air. Traffic jams are a rare phenomenon in the countryside owing to wider roads and lesser cars on said roads. If you suffer from frequent allergies, heart diseases, or respiratory illnesses like asthma, it’s advisable to consider moving to the countryside for the betterment of your health.
Being A Part Of A Tight-Knit Community
If you’re an extrovert who loves making new friends and being a part of a strong, loving community, the countryside will undoubtedly suit your personality. It’s quite possible that the number of good friends you make within the first few months of country living is way more than those you made in the many years of your city life. The number of people who live in the countryside is far fewer, because of which everyone tends to know almost everyone.
A strong community spirit binds those who live in the rural areas and people often go out of their way to support and help each other out. The community also hosts several events regularly which makes you grow closer to those who live around you. To add to all this, families get a lot more time to connect to each other while living in the country. There are many instances where the family ends up working together (like on a big farm), which gives them a chance to cultivate healthy relationships with each other.
Living In A Crime-Free Community
When you’re living in a city, you constantly worry about whether your neighborhood is safe. This concern becomes more pressing if you have children. After all, you don’t want to cross paths with a gang and be a victim to crime now, do you?
Although we can’t deny the fact that crimes do occur in rural areas, there’s a huge gap in the frequency with which crime occurs in the countryside. Why, you ask? Well, the population of the rural areas is naturally lesser than the cities. This means that the chances of people being criminals committing crimes like thefts and assaults is way lesser in the rural areas.
Similarly, as a result of the low population residing in the countryside, the per capita ratio of police officers serving in an area tends to be somewhat polarized. What we mean by this is that there are more police officers available to serve smaller groups of people living in villages as opposed to the same number of officers serving larger groups of people in the urban areas. Be it rural or urban areas, crime can never be predicted. But if you want to be safe, you’re much more likely to be safe in the countryside than in the cities.
Indulging In A Healthier LifeStyle
Living in a village is like being on a never-ending holiday. Many people dream of living in the heart of nature but the residents of the countryside are the ones who really get to enjoy nature at its best. There are plenty of health benefits of staying in close proximity with nature, namely, boost in energy levels, immune system, creativity, and so on.
Not to mention the fact that the countryside offers you a chance to indulge in outdoor activities daily and maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you choose to live in a location that’s surrounded by hills and forests, you can choose to explore the enchanting hiking trails and maintain your fitness. If you live near a water body, swimming and other water activities will most probably play a huge role in your workout schedule.
Moreover, those living in the countryside are lucky enough to have access to fresh produce. People living in villages often get to eat high-quality, organic food that tends to do wonders for their bodies. Many people even cultivate their own vegetables and stay away from processed and preserved foods. Eating good food plays a major part in keeping your body healthy.
Enjoying A Slower Pace Of Life
You might have heard people talking about how city dwellers lead very stressful lives. Why do you think that city dwellers find it difficult to maintain their mental well-being? Life in an urban area is comparatively fast-paced, there are a lot of things happening around you. You’re always late because of the frustrating traffic, there are multiple impossible deadlines to meet, and you barely get any time to pursue your own hobbies. This leads to the overstimulation of your brain which in turn results in stress and anxiety.
On the other hand, life in the countryside is rather less demanding and less hectic. You don’t necessarily get stuck in traffic, the crazy honking noises are not a part of your routine, there’s no urgency, or your very survival (in terms of your finances) is not threatened. Cleaner air, proximity to Mother Nature, and a slower pace of life in the smaller towns reduce the stressors of your daily lives. That’s why you’re much less likely to get burned out. Tranquility and peace are what you get when you stay in a charming little village.
Happier Growing Experience For The Kids
It’s no surprise that kids living in the countryside have a better and happier growing experience than the city kids. Neither do the rural areas face many problems related to crime nor do they have unending traffic jams on their roads. Parents don’t have to keep their kids cooped up in the house every day. Kids from the countryside experience an insane amount of freedom as they can walk from their home to school alone, explore their surroundings, run up and down the streets, and so on.
To add to that, schools in the rural areas have to take care of a smaller population of students which means that the teachers are able to give personalized attention to almost all students. This makes a huge difference in students’ lives and enriches their overall education experience. Not only this, but non-urban schools also focus on making their students partake in community development activities and events. This helps build a strong harmony between the students as well as their parents.
Cons Of Moving To The Countryside
Lesser Diversity In Job Opportunities
After reading all the pros of moving to the countryside, you might wonder why do so many people end up moving to the cities? As we already told you, living in the countryside isn’t as dreamy as you think and is accompanied by several hardships. One of the major factors that drive people from the rural areas to the metropolitan region is the rampant unemployment and the lack of diverse job opportunities in the rural setup.
We aren’t saying that people in the non-urban setup do not have jobs. But moving to the countryside may be convenient for you only if you’re retired, working remotely, or are skilled at agricultural practices. You might find it tough to find a job that suits you or follow a career path of your liking if you stay in the countryside.
Unfortunately, many professionals have to then take up a job that pays them less and is below their education level. Those adamant about working a job of their preference might have to drive for hours every day to reach the metropolitan area that houses their office.
Fewer Higher Educational Opportunities
Although the quality of education imparted in the rural public school is generally great, many rural areas are lacking when it comes to having educational institutions offering courses post high school graduation. That’s why many students who aim to go to college leave their hometowns and tend to never return. This is because they end up finding courses and jobs of their preference in the metropolitan areas.
Why do you think that the countryside does not offer higher education to its residents? Well, let us give you a rough insight into some of the problems. Due to lower pay and lack of enough entertainment options, rural areas are witnessing a declining population of teachers. Additionally, schools do not receive enough funds and resources to host courses for college-level students. Issues like poor Internet connectivity also end up limiting the educational opportunities available for older students.
Limited Accessibility To Healthcare
Do you have to visit specialists every now and then for your health issues? If yes, then living in the countryside might not be the best idea for you. Although every small town might have an ER and a general physician, there might not be a specialized medical facility located within the vicinity of the town. If you’re grappling with problems like heart diseases, your local healthcare facility might not be equipped with the advanced infrastructure needed to treat you.
In this case, you’ll have to drive for quite some distance to reach such a medical facility. However, this may prove to be fatal if your health deteriorates suddenly and you don’t get medical relief in a timely manner. Why do rural areas not have specialized healthcare facilities? There are numerous issues like workforce shortage, lack of funds and resources, lack of health literacy among the rural population (many don’t purchase health insurance!), etc., leading to limited development of the healthcare sector in rural areas.
Fewer Entertainment Options
Are you someone who is out every Saturday night partying at the various night venues of your city? Are you someone who enjoys late-night dining or shopping? Well, the bad news is that you might not get to do all this in the countryside. Not only are there limited entertainment venues in the countryside, but these venues (for instance, restaurants or theatres) might close up early every day owing to the fact that the countryside becomes rather quiet after dark.
You might start getting a little homesick and start missing the vibrancy, the shimmery nightlife, and the exciting events that the city has to offer once you move to a rural area. The chances of meeting new people and having a vibrant social life are almost slim to none. Many of the city dwellers also have the habit of heading out to a shopping mall or a store to buy stuff in the dead of night. You might have to undo these habits once you move to the countryside as you’ll rarely find any shopping stores open beyond a certain time there.
Driving Longer Distances And Spending Heaps On Gas Money
If you’re used to traveling by public transport, here’s some news for you! A major part of the countryside does not have a well-established public transit system. This means that you’ll have to purchase a car to move around in your area. To add to that, be prepared to spend more time in that car as most of the places that you visit regularly might not be located near your house. Be it supermarkets, schools, places of work (offices), pharmacies, restaurants, or theaters, you’ll have to drive for a longer time in order to reach these places.
A longer commute equates to a higher amount of money spent on gas. Don’t be surprised if your gas expenses shoot through the roof once you end up moving to the countryside. Moreover, if the roads around your house are underdeveloped or blocked due to reasons like snow, don’t expect that they will get serviced immediately. You might have to find an alternate route (which might be longer) to get to your desired destination. This point might not necessarily be a drawback if you love driving on rural roads but still is an important factor to consider before moving out to a rural area.
Slower Internet Connectivity
We’re living in a digital age today which means that the Internet is an indispensable part of our lives. What was used for just pleasure earlier (social media and what not!) has become an essential part of our work life, especially during the pandemic. Children attending online schools and adults working remotely rely heavily on lightning-fast Internet service. That’s why city dwellers who are used to having access to high-speed Internet might find it frustrating to live in the countryside.
That’s because the Internet service in the countryside tends to be highly unstable and very slow. Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worse when it rains or snows very heavily in these areas. To add to that, non-urban regions have to grapple with the problems of frequent power outages. If you happen to be in the middle of an important meeting, all you can do is pray hard for the weather to be good so as to avoid slower Internet connectivity and power outages.
Susceptible To Dangers Unique To The Countryside
Think about the last time a small bug or a fly landed on you. Did you let out a piercing scream and danced around while someone tried to help you out by brushing it off your body? Well, if that’s the case then beware! Owing to the fact that the rural areas are located in the very heart of nature, you’ll have to deal with bugs like mosquitoes, termites, spiders, and other insects from time to time.
If this wasn’t enough, the residents of the rural areas also have to be well prepared to deal with wildlife. It isn’t uncommon for them to come across mice, raccoons, squirrels, and even some dangerous animals like coyotes, snakes, bears, mountain lions, and so on. Additionally, rural homes are also susceptible to damages caused by disasters like wildfires, river floods, trees falling, and so on. If you’re not mentally prepared to deal with these issues, life in the countryside can get really hard for you.
Increased Vulnerability To Loneliness
A big country house with an abundance of space around it and loads of privacy might seem like a great option (especially for an introvert), but you won’t even realize how quickly you might get hit with feelings of isolation and loneliness. If you’ve moved from the city, you may have left behind some close friends and it won’t be feasible for you to meet them every now and then. The lack of grand social events in the countryside and the long commute to the events hosted in the city might make it difficult for you to have a buzzing social life.
If you’re living in a smaller community with fewer people, there might be fewer people to make friends with and community activities might not happen as frequently as you imagined. You might even get trapped in your house for days if your town is experiencing adverse weather conditions, blocked roads, etc. The distance between the houses of you and your neighbor might be a lot which again, might lead to feelings of isolation. Living in the countryside increases your vulnerability to loneliness, and there’s no easy way out of it.
See also: Loneliest Cities in the U.S.
Bottom Line: Is Moving To The Countryside Right For You?
Coming to the real question, does moving to the countryside seem like a good idea for you? Honestly speaking, this question can be answered only by you. Each of us has a unique personality so, no one can predict (except you yourself) what type of lifestyle would suit you the best. Like living in the city has its own pros and cons, similarly, living in the countryside isn’t sunshine and rainbows all the time. All you need to figure out is whether the pros of moving to the countryside outweigh the cons, and there you have your answer.
Don’t forget that if you stay with your family, you might not be able to make this decision based solely on your likings and preferences. You’ll have to take the opinions of your family members into consideration and ask whether the decision to move out to a rural area makes sense to the entire family. Now that you’ve read through all the pros and cons of moving to the countryside, don’t make hasty decisions. This might be an opportunity to make a positive difference in your life. Slow down and think hard on all the necessary factors before moving out to the countryside.
Do People Who Live In The Country Live Longer Than People In The City?
Research conducted by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine suggests that the life expectancy of those living in the city exceeds the life expectancy of rural dwellers. The reason for this could be the fact that city residents have better access to specialized medical facilities that can diagnose and provide immediate treatment to patients.
What To Know Before Moving To The Country?
Don’t forget to consider the following factors before moving to the countryside:
- Your financial condition
- Amenities in your new neighborhood
- Availability of transportation
- Frequency of social events
- Schools and colleges
- Healthcare facilities
Can I Live In The Forest For Free?
You can go and live in the woods if you plan to do it legally. If you want to live in the woods, buy the land (check with the state and federal governments) before building a house on it. If you plan to stay in the woods temporarily, you could always set up a tent wherever you want and move around in the woods. However, do ensure that you are not in the vicinity of deadly wild animals before living in a particular forested area.