For some, the thought of living in a leafy retreat in the middle of nowhere sounds like a dream come true, for others it’s a nightmare. Many, however, will be stuck somewhere in the middle, well aware of the benefits of rural life but not entirely convinced that it’s right for them.
So, if you’re not sure if you can be without some of the luxuries that come with city living, then here are a few words of wisdom to help you decide whether you’re ready to move to the country.
Being flexible and patient
Are you the sort of person that expects to be able to hop on a bus to your friend’s house or walk five minutes to your nearest shop? If so, then rural life might not be for you.
Although the isolation of living in the countryside is one of its main benefits, it is also one of its biggest challenges. In order to make the most of living in this sort of environment, you’ll need to be flexible and understanding. The nearest store may be a fairly sizable drive away, so if you’ve run out of milk, you might have to wait until morning.
Try before you buy
Rural areas can sometimes struggle to attract residents, particularly if the bright lights of the big city are a fair distance away, which is why many estate agents in these areas offer trial periods so you can test it out for yourself.
So if you want to sample North Carolina real estate before purchasing your own cottage in the Blue Ridge Mountains or rent a shack in Alaska before committing to a long-term lease, explore what temporary stay options are available first.
Talk to the locals
Speaking to the locals is another fantastic way of helping you to make your mind up about rural life. Ask them what the main benefits and disadvantages are of living there and you’ll likely receive an honest answer.
What are the transport links like, are there any good schools nearby, and how likely are you to get snowed-in? Now is the time to ask all the questions you can think of because it’ll be too late once the big move has taken place.
Part of the community
Would you rather keep to yourself or do you enjoy being part of the wider community? Because of their relative distance from other settlements, rural areas often have tight-knit communities, which may take some getting used to for someone who has lived in the city their whole lives.
If you’re willing to throw yourselves into community meetings, help neighbors when they’re in trouble and are able to offer a smile to those around you, then rural life could be just what you’re looking for.
Choosing between urban and rural life is not an easy decision. They each have their benefits and often the choice will depend on your personality and what stage of your life you’re at. If you do opt for a house in the countryside, be prepared for some challenges, but plenty of rewards too.