One thing that’s happened during the Covid pandemic is that people have re-valuated where they live and wondered if moving out of town to a village might be an option for them. Having a garden during restrictions has proved a life-saver for a lot of people and with remote working being more of an option now, there’s often no need to live in town.
Living out in the countryside sounds lovely – doesn’t it? A village location, fields, birds, maybe even a stream running through at the end of the garden. What could be better?
Well, it CAN be, and is, ideal for lots of people but it’s not for everybody. Although the Office for National Statistics showed that life expectancy at birth was improved for people living in rural areas, emotionally it can be hard for those not used to it or people who want to ‘spread their wings’.
If you’re undecided about whether to leave the town or city, try to think about the pitfalls as well as the advantages, before being swept up with the idyll of living in a small rural community. If you’re thinking of re-locating to, say, the East of England, you’ll find large swathes of land with ‘big skies’ which are great in the summer months, but can be depressing in the winter unless you were born in those areas (and even then, they can make some people feel quite low and sad).
So, if you still want to ‘live the dream’ try to take into account some of the following:
- For every glorious day in the summer there’s a stretch of winter when you might not see many people and the drive into a nearby town is a big effort.
- If you have a young family and no relatives around, you will probably find childcare quite difficult. Make sure you work out what professional childcare is available before you move.
- Try to join a local playgroup/toddler group where you’ll meet other young parents as well as local organisations and committees where you’ll hopefully meet like-minded people.
- Be as pro-active as time allows you to be– if you put your heart and soul into events, you’ll get to know people quickly and they’ll love the fact that you’re putting something into their community. Despite this, make sure you don’t try to ‘take over’ by ‘improving’ the way things have been done so far – people will inevitably resent it.
- If you’re moving to the country upon retirement, try to get involved in village fetes, swimming clubs and anything appealing where lots of different age-groups mingle.
- Recognise that things change more slowly in the countryside and that there may not be a multi-cultural community yet. Usually (although not always), things tend to be more traditional than in towns and cities.
- Realise that you’re going to be pretty dependent upon your car – in most rural areas, there are very few buses and certainly not on Sundays or during the evenings. Your car will almost certainly become more important to you than previously.
- Recognise that if you have any conflict with someone locally, especially in your village, almost inevitably people will know about it. You are far less anonymous in a country setting.
- By the same token, you will find that what you think of as charming and people showing an interest, can also have a downside where you might it difficult to have much privacy.
- Try to make an effort to get into the nearest town or city on a regular basis if only to have a look around and do a bit of shopping – it can actually be refreshing to do this and it enables you to keep some interest in your previous lifestyle.
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