Living it up in the County
Is farm life calling to you as you sit in your cozy home in the city? Maybe you were raised in a good ole farming town far from the lifestyle you are currently living. It's also possible that you are considering a move to a more rural area to learn how to become more self-sustaining. There are countless draws to living in a place far from the city, and if you have caught yourself daydreaming about this sort of a relocation, it's important to know a few of the pros and cons that folks have encountered by making similar moves.
The country lifestyle can be quite a change if you have never been a member of a rural community, and it can still be an adjustment even if you are familiar with it. The fact is, any move will have a period of change and discomfort because you are turning your new space into a home and a place that makes you feel safe and secure. Moving and settling in are not something that needs to be feared, just acknowledge that you are allowed to take the time to adjust. In the case of moving from city to country, however, expect that you may need a bit more time than usual to become accustomed to your surroundings. New things will likely be introduced to your daily routines such as animals, open fields, and a more simplified town center.
One aspect that often draws people out to the country is the ability to own and operate a farm or a ranch. While many tv shows and movies show the glamorous parts of owning animals, make sure to do research if this is what brings you out of the city. Animals can be very fulfilling, and there's rarely a better feeling to be found than the one that comes from cooking with the vegetables you've grown and picked yourself. And, if fresh milk, cream, and eggs sound like something you'd like to have, then owning a ranch could be exactly what you need. It is, however, so important to recognize that the animals you buy are in your care. This means that owning a ranch may not be the best idea for an avid traveller, as finding a sitter for your herd of cattle whom you can trust to properly care for them while you are away can prove to be difficult. In addition, it's important to have a thick skin if you plan on raising animals- especially for meat. Sometimes, you may lose a cow and calf during birth, and it can be hard to bring Betsy to the butcher if you've grown attached to her. Ranching can be one of the most rewarding professions or hobbies, but it's not for the faint of heart.
If you find yourself outside after sundown, you will see one of the magnificent wonders that come with being out of the reach of the city's bright lights. Looking up, you will be able to see a gorgeous smattering of stars that you may have forgotten were there, now unencumbered by light pollution. Plus, if you aren't too close to the animals, you may be able to breathe in a breath of fresh air. City dwellers tend to get used to air pollutants, but the country breezes blow in clean air and that can be incredibly relaxing. (Disclaimer: cows smell bad, and so do pigs. Inhaling deeply when downwind of farm animals should be done with the knowledge that it won't likely be as pleasant as the aforementioned experience.)
Country life can be an awesome thing, but be aware that it may make allergies come to life that you didn't know existed previously. In the same vein, medical care is not as easily accessed in some farming areas as it is in the city. If you are someone who needs frequent trips to the doctor, prepare yourself to either travel for the care you need, or do research and interview the doctors available in your area. Going into a move with these things set in place prior to the move can help ease the transition. Similarly, the stores and shops available to you in the city might not be as accessible in a small town. Prepare to do some online shopping and possibly plan out your grocery trips to save time and gas when going to the store if it is far from you. This can be a good thing since you may be growing your own food and that will help to lessen your grocery bill.
Many farming towns have a great sense of community pride, and as such, they can be a very tightly knit group. After you've settled into a routine and are coming out of the adjustment period after moving, it may be a good idea to volunteer your time and talents in order to meet people. In city life, meeting people can be as simple as walking next door to say "hello". With a community that is so close as is often the case in rural areas, it can prove difficult to just pop in and meet people as your closest neighbor may be a mile or more down the lane. Plus, with volunteering, you are more likely to find out about fun celebrations in the town and may be able to meet people who are more interested in the same things as you. Once you've found some friends, rest assured that you will feel the incredible sense of community spirit that comes from being in a rural town.
Folks in the country are very good at making their own entertainment. If you live in the city and routinely go out to events and parties, brace yourself for the possibility that your new area may close up shops anywhere from 6 pm to 8 pm. Additionally, there may not be as many options for trying new restaurants and such, but don't think for a minute that there aren't cool things to do. The trade off is that there are many other types of activities, with an outdoor emphasis being high on the list. You can look forward to floating rivers and getting out the ATVs, hiking, biking, and learning to ride horses. Many towns have parades and celebrations for large holidays and even some smaller ones. Immerse yourself in the culture that is rural life, and you'll find yourself enjoying your new life in ways you wouldn't have dreamed in the city.
Moving out of a bustling metropolis can seem daunting, but if you are up for a new adventure, or longing to go back to an adventure that you've enjoyed in the past, then buckle up! Country living is a wild ride.