Moving from the city to the country: adapting your lifestyle

So you’ve decided to undertake a tree-change and move from the city to the countryside. Rural living has plenty of benefits that you’re bound to enjoy – clean air, beautiful scenery, and a slower pace of life – but there are other things that might take some adjusting to.

Long distances

If you’re the kind of person who balks at the idea of your morning commute, country living might take some time getting used to. If you’re living on a rural property beyond the borders of the nearest town, everything is going to involve distances greater than you’re probably used to.

Moreover, your local town might be too small to give you ready availability to certain luxury or specialist goods, meaning that you’ll have to factor in a drive to a larger town or city, which in some cases might be hours away. Given these distances, it’s essential that you invest in a car that’s made for driving long distances at high-speeds, and often on unsealed or bumpy roads.

Renting and buying

If you’re used to living in a city, then you’re used to having plenty of properties to browse through in order to find that perfect place to live.

When it comes to country living, however, there are often fewer properties available, and there’s typically less variety when it comes to housing stock as well. Scoping out towns and the surrounding areas that work for you ahead of time is a good idea, and Google Mapping and calling up to get a feel for the place is also recommended. This can save you the possible heartbreak of showing up and assuming that you’ll be able to find somewhere to stay easily – and affordably.

Working – and working at home

If you’re undertaking your tree change as part of a retirement plan, then organising employment won’t be as much as an issue, but for others it will be paramount. Just as housing stock can be limited, so can the job market. Depending on the size and location of a town, jobs may be limited in availability and in scope, and as an outsider you may find yourself having to prove yourself more than a local who’s lived there all their life.

If you’re self-employed, working at home is a great option, but don’t forget to factor in things such as internet speeds, cost and reliability, as well as what needs to be arranged if you plan to meet with clients.

Opening hours and availability

One of the things about living in the countryside is that there’s less choice about where you can to go buy things, or for entertainment – for example, there may be a single bank branch or only one restaurant in a particular town. Not only that, but because there are few people around, there’s typically less demand, so the opening hours of various amenities tend to be shorter, or in the case of things like trains and buses, less frequently.

You’ll need to bear this in mind if you’re used to late-night runs to the supermarket or just showing up at the train station and waiting for the next train to roll up. In many rural or small-town places, shops don’t open on weekends, and may often close as early as 5pm, which is something that workers will need to adjust to. Learn to enjoy your local, and to do it within a country-appropriate schedule – it’s the best way to make friends.

Country living is a big shake up from city living, but once you learn to shake your city person’s mind-set and adapt your lifestyle to enjoy the different pace of rural life, you’ll definitely be in for a pleasant surprise.