So you’ve decided to do it. You’ve been dreaming of a slower, less complicated lifestyle for years, and you’ve finally made the decision to move from the big city to the quiet and picturesque countryside. Before you strap on those mud boots and jump in too deep, however, make sure you really understand what you are getting yourself into.
You Will Get Dirty
When you live in the country, the rainy season is unavoidable, and it seems to last forever. Not only will you get dirty, your house will get dirty, your cars will get dirty, your favourite pumps and your nicest jeans will get dirty, your kids will get dirty… you get the idea. Be prepared for a lot of extra cleaning when you live in the country, and plan to keep those pumps in your closet for about eleven months of the year while you’re at it.
You Will Get Lonely
Urbanites are used to the sounds and the faces of the city, but the country is appallingly lacking in both. Society generally consists of the people who ring up your groceries in the blip on the map that counts as a town. You will likely only survive your first year in the country by annoying your old friends with your phone calls, as you struggle to make new ones in your new home. Don’t worry – you will make new friends, but you could easily go months without seeing a new face before that happens.
You Will Get Bored
To put it frankly, life in the country is boring. That’s why you will always find the local yokels hanging out at the same back-road gas station every time you stop there. There is legitimately almost nothing else to do. Unless, of course, you’ve planned to make a go of the whole man-your-own-homestead scheme – in which case you will be so busy mucking stalls and digging in the dirt that you won’t even notice that the nearest theatre is thirty miles away.
You Will Have Run-Ins with the Outside World
To be clear, getting bitten by a mosquito doesn’t qualify as a run-in with the outside world. Nor does finding an ant colony in your kitchen. No, you can expect to find snakes in your yard, mice running rampant through your house, and you may even catch a wild raccoon in your garbage. You probably won’t have to worry about larger animals ransacking your gardens (except perhaps for deer), but it’s always a good idea to be prepared, just in case.
Internet Access is Not Always a Given
If you plan on having access to the world wide web in your new home, be advised that it will probably be very costly – and slow. And remember that if anything happens to your Internet access, you can’t just run down the block to a free Wi-Fi cafe, so that important file that you have to send for work may just have to wait. If you’re lucky, the local pub might offer free Wi-Fi, but that can’t be a substitute for your own pricey – and very slow – Internet connection.
Jobs are Hard to Come By
One of the harshest realities of living in the country is the simple fact that it can be very difficult to find a job. Those that are available often pay much less than even the same job would in the city. Without a certain level of job security, you will have to be prepared to stretch your budget as tight as it will go in case you lose your job – you may never have had trouble finding work within a mile of home before, but in the country, you might have to commute a long way just to put in an application.
Emergencies Happen… Far Away from Civilisation
Whether you step on a rusty nail with your bare feet or simply forgot to buy that hard-to-find ingredient for the impressive dish you are preparing for your in-laws, emergencies will happen. And when you are in the country, they happen much farther away from help. To live in the country, you absolutely must be prepared to draw on all of your resourcefulness whenever a situation arises. If you can’t keep your cool when an emergency occurs, you might re-consider staying put in your big city flat. Check out www.austinwyatt.co.uk to see both country houses and city homes if you have your heart set on moving either way.
This list could go on and on, but these are some of the most basic things that you need to know before heading out to buy your rural homestead. All that being said, living in the country can be a very rewarding experience – you just have to be willing to work for it.
Judy Bell is a resourceful country girl who enjoys sharing her insights and tips on how to embrace rustic living and enjoy the open space. She shares her tips and experiences online regularly and writes for a number of different websites.