Things to Love About Rural Living: After living for a long time in urban and suburban environments, I am now living a rural lifestyle. Is this for everybody? Maybe not. But I sure do enjoy rural living 52 weeks a year in a place where I used to vacation for two weeks a year. Apart from a few years that I spent as an urban dweller many years ago, I have lived most of my life in the country. For me, it is the only real choice. If you’re like me, then you know what I’m talking about.
City living doesn’t have a lot going for it if you are trying to set up a homestead. There is noise, pollution, traffic, and an excessive number of people. None of these are appealing to me as I prefer a slower, stress-free pace.
Also, a benefit to rural living is having land and space. When I lived in the big city, I just had room for a small garden and tiny workshop area in my garage. There wasn’t the feeling of being in touch with my surroundings the way I was when living a rural lifestyle.
My life in the country is different in virtually every way. Surrounded by the soft sounds of nature, I have plenty of opportunities to contemplate my thoughts or carry on a conversation. The air is crisp and clear.
When the sun goes down, I feel like I have a front seat in the audience for viewing the entire Milky Way. I sometimes go for days without seeing another person except those who live with me, yet I’m never lonely.
There’s just so much to see and do. My garden always needs tending, and I have animals that make for incredibly good company.
Of course, one of the best things about country living is being able to be so close to nature. During my years in the city, I felt nearly cut off from nature. All of my walks involved asphalt and concrete. Seeing some grass, let alone walking on it, was rare.
The trees I saw tended to be less than impressive, and flowers were nearly unheard of. Things are incredibly different where I live now.
For miles around, I can explore pastures, meadows and forests. The gently rolling landscape is just perfect for enjoying a healthy walk, and you can bet that I’m out there pretty nearly 365 days a year.
I will admit that as I have gotten older, the terrain has become a little more difficult to handle. It’s only natural that after many years of activity I would experience some joint stiffness and other mild complaints. We were fortunate our home is a ranch style, without stairs. But on the other hand, rural living keeps me moving. I have a reason to go outside and be active. I have things to do and places to do them that I didn’t have when I lived in an urban area.
10 Things to Love About Rural Living:
I don’t have to spend 10% of each day commuting.
For years, I commuted in the morning, and then again at night. Like many people, I repeated the cycle five days a week. What a waste of time, energy, and emotional well-being. Nowadays, my vehicle of choice is a tractor, and there’s hardly any traffic!
Certainly, it helps that I’m retired now, but many people these days are making their living working from home. As long as you have high-speed internet, you can work in a rural setting just as easily as living in a high-rise condo downtown.
I am happy when I wake up.
I don’t dread a new day. Each day is a new one full of adventure, projects and challenges. The old routine called the “daily grind” is history. I have the opportunity to learn about new hobbies and the space to do them. When I lived in the city, in my spare time at home, I was limited in what I could do.
I live in a safe environment.
I leave my keys in my truck. My house is unlocked. My dogs are the best doorbell I’ve ever had! It’s so quiet, when someone drives up my driveway, I often hear them. It’s amazing to have my windows open and enjoy fresh air.
I know the history of much of my food nowadays.
No more worry about food scares and where my food is coming from. My food doesn’t have unknown additives, pesticides, hormones, enhancers, and other stuff that just isn’t good for you.
I will lively live a longer life than if I had stayed in the city. My food has flavor, too. If you ever grow tomatoes or grow carrots … anything to eat… you’ll notice the difference from what you buy in the supermarket.
Learn about what grows in your area, and you can start planting.
Things are growing all around me.
I am surrounded by real life—living things. I can look at my garden and watch my own livestock from my kitchen window. On my way into town one day, I saw literally hundreds of deer and wild turkeys.
I really enjoy watching the eagles soaring above me as I work on my property. All of this is very calming. It makes me appreciate the wonder of each day in ways I didn’t when I was rushing here and there.
I’m still learning about the trees, bushes and plants on my property. Each season, I gain new skills and want to plant more things. Next year, I am setting up a small orchard with irrigation (after I buy a second rainwater cistern). This is something I love about rural living. I can learn about new plants and grow different types of food, and I have the room to do it.
Things to Love About Rural Living
My kids are learning about life.
When kids live in a rural area, they have the opportunity to know where their food is coming from. Even more, they are responsible for some of that. They are able to follow their desires and passions, whether it is growing food, flowers, or tending animals. Through this, kids learn responsibility, following steps to get results, and learning to become self-sufficient.
They run around and play, and I don’t have to worry. They no longer “have nothing to do,” and spend less time playing video games.
My family is somewhat protected from potential issues in the future.
All is not well in the economic, political and global environments. Unemployment, home foreclosures, civil unrest… are things really getting better? No. The consequences of all of this will be hitting the urban areas much more than the rural areas. I can close myself off from the world and not miss anything. In many ways, it doesn’t affect me as I go about my business on my little bit of land.
I can raise animals.
If you’re an animal lover or want to raise them for food, you can do it.
Many people move to a rural living environment for raising livestock or to start raising backyard chickens without worrying about HOA’s and other neighborhood or city restrictions. In addition, you likely won’t need to worry about a rooster annoying your neighbors.
You may choose to raise animals for a meat source or to sell.
In addition, in my rural setting, I can be catching a fish in thirty minutes or hunting in five. For certain, I couldn’t do that in my suburban neighborhood.
We live more sustainably.
In addition to acquiring new skills and hobbies on my rural property, I have been able to live more sustainably. I never would have thought to start composting when I lived in the city but here it feels like a natural, easy thing to do. I’m more used to using more of what I have and not wasting.
I learned about solar panels and had them installed on the roof of our home and have lowered our energy bills. In addition, I set up a rainwater collection system to capture rainwater. We use this water all year for many things. It’s an ongoing resource: We use the water, and it rains, and we collect more rainwater.
In addition, we grow our own vegetables. I had a small area when I lived in the city but now, I have lots of space and can maximize the sunlight.
There’s a big space for my workshop, and I’ve learned to build raised garden beds from pallets. I’ve also built a lot of furniture. Now, before I buy something, I look up directions for how to make it myself. Many times, I can.
We are always learning new skills. Like I said above, we are starting an orchard next year. We are using this time to learn about different types of food-producing trees. Many people make turn their hobbies into making money farming through multiple income streams.
I know my neighbors.
While I lived in closer proximity to my neighbors when I lived in an urban setting, I know my neighbors more now that they are farther away. We help each other with projects or just stand around and talk. When we pass on the road, they always make time to stop and say hello. In my last neighborhood, I barely knew or even saw my neighbors.
This was an unexpected thing I’ve grown to love about rural living… being part of a community and feeling other’s people’s joys and sorrows like they are my own. There’s a real sense of community. Now, some people may prefer to be more off to themselves, and that’s okay too. For the most part, if you want to be social, you will find it. If you don’t, your neighbors will understand that too.
Why do people like living in rural areas?
There are many reasons people like living in rural areas. Many of us are so used to living in a fast-paced world, and the only time we slow down is for our one vacation a year (if we are lucky). And even planning for that is stressful. But imagine being able to live somewhere where you feel relaxed the majority of the time… where it feels like time stands still some days. That’s what rural living is like.
Living in rural areas gives you time to enjoy where you are. You can’t always just get up and go shopping or to a restaurant to distract yourself. It’s an overall slower pace. In addition, you’ll likely have a bit more land which will enable you to do more things outside. You might find you enjoy gardening or finally be able to buy that horse you’ve always dreamed about.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of rural life?
Like living anywhere, there are advantages and disadvantages of rural life. Above, we discussed the 10 things to love about rural living. There is fresh air and just overall feeling more connected to nature. You will likely be able to do more because you will have some land. And you won’t have to worry about city codes about having animals such as chickens or raising goats.
Living in a rural setting means an opportunity to live more sustainably or off the grid in ways you can’t do in the city.
There are disadvantages of rural living too. You may find yourself farther away from family. This can be difficult if you wish to care for aging parents or want to be close to your children and/or grandchildren.
If you have school-aged children, a disadvantage to living farther out means it takes longer to get to and from school. Many people may see this as an opportunity to home school. By not being on a schedule and with the opportunity to live off the land, children can learn many skills.
You may need to be more of a planner if you live farther away from stores. Some people live an hour away from a grocery store. But you can still be in a rural setting and be closer.
You may be farther from doctors, hospitals, police and fire stations. Another disadvantage is if you have well water. In some rural areas, you may not have access to high-speed internet. (This can also be considered an advantage for some people!)
In rural areas, another disadvantage is power outages. Though they may be infrequent, when they happen, they may last longer than areas with high population density. You may find in time it’s helpful to get a generator.
How do you adjust to rural living?
For some people, it takes awhile to adjust to rural living. I know when we moved away from a big city, we were surprised we could hear birds chirping at 5am outside our rural home. That took some getting used to! Yet, in the city, we were nearby public transportation and shopping, and slept through everything.
It may take some time to let your shoulders down and relax. Just taking some time to wander around your home and property, exploring and seeing what you have and the potential. You can start thinking about some things you may want to do in time. The great thing is there isn’t a timeline. You can settle in and think about some things you’ve always wanted to try but never had the time or space to do them.
You can make a list of everything and then organize it according to importance, budget, and season. This will help you adjust to rural living. You will start thinking about the possibilities instead of thinking about what you left behind. Perhaps you will learn about greenhouse plants or how to compost.
You may need to think differently about shopping and learn how to store food long term so you don’t have to go shopping frequently if you live far away from the grocery store.
What is the difference between rural and urban life?
There are many differences between rural and urban life. For one, the population density will be much less in a rural environment. You will likely be farther away from your neighbors. You may have more land living in a rural setting versus an urban area. In many ways, it will be quieter. You won’t have traffic from people coming and going. There won’t be public transportation nearby.
Stores, restaurants, and entertainment will be farther away. This is the same with hospitals, schools, and places of worship.
There may be more of a sense of community in rural areas than in urban areas. You will also usually have an opportunity to have some land, whether that’s a quarter of an acre or 10+ acres. This means you can garden, raise animals, and do other things you wouldn’t have space to do in the city. In addition, there won’t be ordinances against whatever you want to to.
Things to love about rural living
There are so many great things about living in a rural area. You will be forced to slow down. In many ways, you may be more active given you will be out on your property working on projects. There are so many possibilities for what you can do. Learn about the best rural places to live and start with a plan to do it.