Many people dream of one day being able to abandon urban life and moving to the country. It’s easy to see why such a choice is so popular. Life in the countryside tends to be quieter, more relaxed, and simpler. Not to mention the fact that the air quality is generally preferable. There are also fantastic rural internet options making it much easier to continue to work for large city organisations remotely from the countryside.
However, for those that do turn the dream into a reality, there is a somewhat stiff learning curve that awaits as you plan your move to the country.
What to consider before moving to the country
Stockpile essential items
Living in a city can be very different to the countryside. You have likely grown accustomed to having everything you need immediately to hand. If you realise you don’t have a necessary ingredient while cooking, or you run out of an essential toiletry just as you’re getting ready for work, you have a wealth of shopping options on hand to quickly allow you to stock up.
Country living, however, is not quite so simple. You may have access to a small corner shop, but this type of establishment is unlikely to offer the wealth of options that were available to you when living in a more urban environment. You will also have to contend with shorter opening times. 24/7 shopping may be becoming the norm in cities, but rural areas often still adhere to much shorter opening times. So even if you do have a nearby store, it won’t necessarily be open when you need it to be.
As a result, moving to the country requires a switch in the way you shop; you should look to stock up whenever possible, and constantly check your supplies to see if anything is running low. This is a small adjustment in the grand scheme of things, but it can take some getting used to, so prepare in advance and seek to stock your cupboards with everything you could conceivably need from the moment you move in.
Simply put: it’s colder in the countryside, which can have a huge impact on your heating bills. Given that heating prices have risen over recent years, and seem set to continue to do so despite the government’s energy cap, this is definitely a factor you’re going to want to keep in mind if you’re contemplating a move. This is particularly important if you have previously lived in an apartment or terraced house, as these types of buildings tend to be able to retain heat very well – which means you could find the sudden price rise particularly noticeable when you move to a more rural area.
Isolation impacts journey times
Rural areas are, by their very nature, somewhat isolated. Many people may ask is it lonely living in the country? However for some this is a huge benefit. Many people who do make the move to the country list this as one of their reasons for doing so – but it’s worth noting that the isolation can also be problematic.
You are most likely to notice the negative impact of isolation when calculating journey times. If you live in a city or more developed area, a trip to the cinema with your kids is relatively simple to arrange: half an hour travelling (at most), the movie itself, and then you’re back home. However, when you live in the countryside, you can easily double the travelling time required to actually reach the cinema. You’ll have to alter your schedule accordingly and, as a result, you’ll likely find that you do less. This can be a huge benefit, and lead to a more relaxed schedule, but it’s still something to be aware of before you make the move.
When moving to the country – Travelling becomes more challenging
In a city, transport is simple: you have a number of public transport options, and if you want to drive, there’s a multitude of options on the streets or in designated car parks. However, transport options in more rural locations tend to be… well… lacking.
The rural transport network in the UK is notoriously poor, so it’s highly likely that you will become more reliant on having your own vehicle when living in the countryside. While this is manageable, it also means that you’ll be more reliant on that vehicle working well, so you may need to spend more on repairs and maintenance. You may also want to consider a second vehicle, as you won’t have the option of public transport if your primary vehicle has to undergo a lengthy repair process following a breakdown.
It’s also important to consider the impact that winter will have on your transport options. The countryside tends to experience the worst of bad winter weather. Oh and the chances of seeing a road gritter are few and far between. As a result, there’s a chance that you’ll be snowed in. Therefore it’s important to consider how you would handle such a scenario. Particularly in regards to your employment – should you experience this.
The points above are not designed to convince you that moving to the country is a bad idea. For many families, it is absolutely the right choice. One they come to see as incredibly beneficial to their overall quality of life.
What is important, however, is that you make the move with a full understanding of what awaits you. If you have frequently visited the countryside, perhaps even stayed in rural areas for a holiday,. Then you have likely experienced nothing but the benefits of life away from a city. These experiences can create something akin to rose-tinted glasses. It is easy to assume that the experience you have had on holiday will continue when you make a permanent move. While some elements of this line of thinking are undoubtedly true. There is the occasional downside to be aware of when making the move from city to rural life. By knowing about these things in advance. You can be sure that your move is smooth, seamless, and full of only pleasant surprises.
Would you ever consider moving to the country?