Tuesday, October 7, 2008

When City People Move to the Country, for real

I get a lot of google hits for 'when city people move to the country'. Most of those hits land on the cute little possum/lost kitty poster. Yeah, it's funny, but not all of us former city people really think a possum is a cat. :P

If you're a regular reader, then you know that I lived in the country before. Ok, it was a loooong time ago; I was just a kid. We had only a kitchen sink as far as indoor plumbing. I hated it. I swore I'd never live in the country again. And yet, here I am, but with full indoor plumbing.


For some reason, DH and I always pictured ourselves in a secluded cabin in the woods. It just suits us. We tried city life. I'd always wanted a Victorian home, so DH bought one for my birthday. Ok, not a turreted Victorian, but still, it was an Arts and Crafts era home, which could be considered late Victorian. I loved it, and it showed. By the time we were done rehabbing, it was perfect.


Our search for the perfect country home took, literally, years. We finally settled here, a place that most people ran screaming from, because we knew it just needed a little love. Oh, and a lot of money, but that epiphany came too late. Remember that movie, "The Money Pit"? Yep. That bad.


I'm not sure what most people are looking for when they google 'when city people move to the country'. Maybe they want to know why we left the convenience of drive by shootings and door to door sales? Maybe they want to know how we can stand the quiet, or the noisy bugs/frogs/birds, or the smell of cow poo? Or maybe, like so many of us, they want to get away from the insanity and find peace in the woods. If you found my blog via a google search of 'city people move to the country' or something similar, leave a comment and let me know.

Our country lifestyle is a bit different than the average farmer. We don't own a tractor. I don't think I really even want one. I enjoy doing things by hand and it keeps me in shape. Sure, there are days I think I'd sell my soul for a four wheeler to haul wood, but then I remember DH already owns my soul, so that doesn't leave anything to trade.

I've mentioned before that country life isn't for everyone. Don't move to the country if you are afraid of the dark and think that the entire neighborhood needs to be lit by your mega watt security light on a 50 ft pole.

Don't move to the country if you are afraid of animals or don't like animal smells. I could go on and on. I actually know people that moved to the country, but didn't like all the noise the frogs in their little pond were making, so they had them exterminated. Sheesh.

I'd planned to list all of the ways that we have changed since moving to the country, but as I typed, I realized that not everyone will live the same way. I have neighbors with far more acreage but less time to spend outside. Living in the country is different for everyone, just like living in the city.

I can tell you that we are stronger, physically, than ever before, thanks to our lifestyle. We are healthier...and happier. We are more complete, spiritually.
To those google hits, I hope this has helped, and I hope you find your place, be it city or country.

29 comments:

City Mouse said...

Amen sister.

S Vandemore said...

Country life is simple, but it's usually never easy. It's a lot of hard work -- especially when you live five miles from the nearest paved road. Navigating four foot drifts in the winter and washed out roads in the spring and fall can definitely take the "fun" out of country living real quick for most city folk. What doesn't kill you will only make you stronger out here.

earth heart said...

Great post CW. My time living in towns and cities taught me one thing; that returning to the country was essential to my well being mentally, physically and spiritually.

Nicole said...

i dream of the country life again{i too lived on a farm when i was a child, but unlike you i loved it}
now we live on a very small block & i work with what i have & as its a rental property i am limited with what i can do.

Shellmo said...

I love country life - and life in the woods. We built a log cabin in northern Michigan and it's like you said - an escape from the insanity. We look at our cabin as a connection to nature, a simplier, peaceful life.
I laughed when you mentioned the google search - I'm always looking for other blogs that talk about living in the country or woods or living a self sufficient life. I found your blog thru the comments at Hot belly mama.
(Come visit me if you get the chance at my log blog!)

Country Wife said...

Welcome, Shellmo! I'd love to have a log home. We have a sort of lodge style rehabber instead.

Country Wife said...

I'm surprised at how many people visit us and wonder how can we live 'way out here'. We are only 2 miles from fast food and gas (actually closer to those things than when we lived in the city). In a perfect world, I'd live smack in the middle of nowhere and you'd need a horse to come visit.

Southern Goddess said...

A horse to come visit! Me too, we can share a buggy. Grew up in the country, now live in the city, and it sucks. I miss the darkness, because you can really see the stars and the moon, I miss the quiet from traffic, I miss the animals, and the peace and not having my neighbor see me undress through my window...and I also love to live vicariously through you!

Moved to a farm said...

I would say that many of those people landing on your website searching for, "when city people move to the country" are actually city people considering doing exactly that.

They're a bit anxious and want to read about the experiences of other city people who have moved to the country - "did it work out?", "was it hard?", "how did they get by without a 24 hour convienience store?", and so on...

I moved to the country and I can assure you that it isn't all peace and quiet for me! We moved onto a dairy farm and there is a huge amount of work to do.

It is nice though being able to enjoy a 2 hour lunch outside on a warm sunny day...

Country Wife said...

Moved to a Farm: Thanks for your comment, and welcome to my blog!

I agree with you. I know we did a lot of research before actually moving to the country. But we discovered that the experience is very different for us than for anyone we read about.

How about sending some of that warm sunlight my way? It's been snowing here for over a week now.

Danny said...

I'm guilty of having googled "city person moving to the country" :)

We are city people who have never lived in the country before but are considering it for a variety of reasons. We also homeschool our two kids (6 and 3). We have reservations. My partner would have to commute 1 hr twice a day 5 days a week (but only one day during rush hour). And... I'm one of those people you described who is afraid of animals and the dark - I'm hoping somehow this move help me to change? I don't like being afraid of these things.

Also, I'm afraid of losing my mind/feeling isolated.

I'm off to check out the rest of your blog, it seems right up my alley.

Country Wife said...

Greetings, Danny, and welcome!

I'd say living in the country will certainly help you get over your fears. Once you see the night sky full of stars and take a walk under a full moon that is almost as bright as day, you'll wonder why you ever lived under those orange sodium vapor lights in the city.

You'll most likely have to move pretty far out to even feel isolated. I'd rather be more isolated, myself. lol Most rural areas are more populated than you'd think, but many of the people are friendly and there's generally a nearby village or small town where everyone knows everyone.

Do you plan to garden or raise livestock?

Hope to see you around the blog! Feel free to email me if I can be of any help.

Heather said...

I found your page when I searched for "moving to the country from the city" because I am wondering when and how it will be a feasible option for me. I have always liked the country, enjoyed gardening and taking care of animals. I agree with you that indoor plumbing is a plus. But I do love the sounds, and most of the smells in the country. And I do hate the big light just outside my window (intended to light the parking lot, probably the entire apartment complex, and maybe the school across the street), and hearing my neighbors' conversations even though they are in their apartments and I am in mine.
I can milk a cow, keep a garden, and I think I remember how to split wood. But I suspect there is more to it than that.
Congratulations on making the move back to the country!

DEEP END OF THE LOOM said...

I came to your blog through the google search and just had to laugh. The hubs and I have been city kids all of our lives we want to live quiter, simpler etc.. but it always comes down to what do we do to earn an income, health insurance etc.. The real questions of urooting your life.

tumamonita said...

I grow in a sheep farm in the very south of Argentina, later in Paraguay in a citrus orchard, and then I end up more North: here in Virginia, with even grandchildren now I see that my time to explore the country idea has come, before I die, I learned indoor gardening and my tomatoes still are flowering and giving fruit, and I have a mint plantation for fresh tea, but I dream of more space, I am learning everything about putting my own electric power plant, hydro, solar or whatever new, about propagating plants, about all kinds of gardening and time of production and planters, and RVs, and what kind of weather is characteristic of every place, and that my property should face South-East of any mountain to have sun in winter and more sun for my plants, and I brought from my young ages foreign knowledge from our country living in other countries like Paraguay and Brazil, plus I lived for 2 months in Guatemala 10 miles away from the nearest phone and electric pole, and I saw how the people managed and I learned a lot as well,so except for my age, 56 I secured a lot of knowledge and if I am still living I swear I want to die in the wilderness somewhere in South or North Caroline, maybe Georgia...I am not to convinced about Florida because I want a safe place where sutnamis hurricanes will not reach me,nor earthquake, far from military bases and far from nuclear power plants...far from cities and their problems...just far...Rosita

Country Wife said...

Thanks for the comment, tumamonita. It sounds like you've led a really interesting life and I'd love to hear more from you. Come back often!

LA said...

Found you on a Google Search!
With the kids grown and in college now, Hubby and I are longing for the earlier daze of rural living.The sights, the sounds, the smells,the lower blood pressure! ;) We came from Deep East Tx to DFW to give the kids more options and better provide for them, but now, as I said, providing time is pretty much over. Now it's just a question of "Do we go back or not"?

Country Wife said...

LA, glad you found me! Thanks for the comment.

My only regret about moving from the city to the country is that we didn't move sooner! I hope you find what's best for you.

lina said...

you asked, and i'll tell you that i found your blog by typing "country or city? where to move." but yes, I came across the opossum poster. I actually had to find roadkill in 7th grade, boil it, and then put the skeleton back together with super glue. i found an opossum. i grew up in a rural town of 700 people and that's what our science teacher thought would be a good learning assignment. it was certainly interesting. in any case, i think i'm getting closer to the answer to my question... city or country? i crave the darkness, the stars, the smells, the frogs, the woods all dark and moody, and so many other things. i just worry about the commute and gas prices. that's all really. i want an orchard, a garden, and some sort of camaraderie among myself and my like-minded neighbors. so, thanks for your blog! i look forward to delving in.

Country Wife said...

Thanks for the comment, Lina. Commuting is a concern. We live near the interstate, which makes for an easy commute, but the noise is annoying.

Wren said...

Yep, I typed "when city people move to the country." I've lived not just in the city-- but in our near downtown-- for nearly the last 20 years. I've called myself a "downtownie", swore I could never live anywhere else. But I think I've realized, recently, that I probably haven't been a downtownie for a very long time-- it was just how I was accustomed to identifying myself, and I didn't question it.

Anyway, my partner and I are looking toward a quieter lifestyle somewhere on the Alberta prairies come spring '10. Some days I can hardly wait and want to leave NOW; other days I wonder if I've lost my mind.

SO, I came here searching, perhaps if only to be reminded that I'm not the ONLY ONE who has thought of doing such a thing. Your post and this thread has been interesting and a comfort. Thank you!

Country Wife said...

Thanks for stopping by, Wren! Some days I still wonder if I've lost my mind, but for the most part, living in the country is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I hope you find your peace and quiet!! Stop by often and let me know how it's going!

Jason said...

I came across the possum post while googling for quite the opposite from everyone else who has commented. I was googling for "move from country to city". Why on earth am I considering that? Call me crazy but I'm torn between my love of living in the country and my love for a city girl who has a hard time wrapping her head around country living (not tractors and cows, just quiet rural area that require a 5 mile drive to the nearest store; a daunting concept for a city girl who doesn't own a vehicle) Everything in our relationship is great except for that fact we want to live in completely different places. I want the house secluded by forest at the end of a dirt road, she wants the cute top-floor-of-a-house apartment in an artsy neighbourhood of downtown Toronto. Our latest compromise is to spend a couple years living together in her neck of the woods, and if things work out for the long-term then we'd later move to an area that's more to my liking (although she still doesn't want to move quite as far out in the country as I do.) I love living in the country and never imagined I would consider moving to a city. I'm still having a hard time getting my head wrapped around the idea. Maybe I never will, but I'll continue my search for some inspiration and hope that helps me make up my mind.

Country Wife said...

Jason, thanks for the comment! I wish you the best. It's awesome of you to volunteer to live in the city just to be near your sweetheart. I hope she realizes what you are giving up for her, and maybe decides the country life would be better suited for romance. Stop by often and let me know how it goes. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!!

Anonymous said...

I found you through the google search i mentioned. I lived in the country but not on a farm or ranch, when i was a child. i now live in the city and i am desperate to get out. i googled that phrase looking for some advice as to how to start a life back in the country.

sickboy said...

Found your blog via a search for moving from the city to the country. I think we were mostly hoping to find like minded people and be able to learn from their experiences. I grew up farming during the summers and returned to the city every fall for school. I'm very familiar with country living but most of the people I know have some huge objection to us leaving. My wife and I just want a simpler lifestyle. We aren't afraid of the hard work. I just can't take the noise and chaos of the city another minute. Lots of acreage for our dogs to wander, the ability to run a boarding kennel and grow a garden for ourselves. Not too much to ask for.
I don't really understand the naysayers. People tell me I am going to go crazy, that I will hate it, that people will not welcome us and that I will be starved for intelligent conversation as if the city is chock full of the only intelligent people around. From what I've seen, they can't all be that smart or they'd stop selling today for promise of tomorrow. We need something simpler.
I love your blog and thanks so much for sharing it. It's a great inspiration

Country Wife said...

Thanks for the comment..and the compliments! :)

I hope you find the place of your dreams. One word of warning - the country isn't always quiet..especially during hunting season, the weeks leading up to hunting season, and just whenever people decide to target practice. But you get used to it eventually. After our city adventures, it took a while for me to stop hitting the floor every time I heard a gunshot. lol

Anonymous said...

I am wondering about how expensive it will be to live in the country. What extra expenses would we have? We are semi-retired and want to slow down and have a bigger garden and some chickens and more dogs. It is a brick home with plumbing and water and a spring fed pond and six acres with lots of trees.

Country Wife said...

Anon: That's a good question. I started to answer it here but it got way too long. Look for a whole post on the subject within the next week. Thanks for asking!!