Have you seen the recent spate of “what I wish I knew before having kids”, or “7 things you didn’t know about birth”- well here’s my rural orientated version- these are some of the things that I didn’t know I needed to know before I moved out of town to live ‘truly rural’. If I could go back in time to 8 years ago, this is what I’d tell the younger, pregnant, intrepid me.
You will fall in love with the land
I wasn’t prepared for the absolute beauty that living out of town, away from the noise, pollution and ‘big city lights’ brings. The stars glow like they are only jut out of reach- and the full moon is like nothing you have seen before. I look out from my backyard, over the paddocks and watch that sucker rise almost every month- it is huge, and bright and so amazing! The flora and fauna you see are (mostly) gorgeous- look here for some of the animals we see at our place. There is a beauty, living on a farm, that I feel so lucky to experience- it is the biggest reason I love living where I do, and probably something I least expected.
You will really value your community
Rural and regional towns have a special quality about them- old and young, rich and poor, no matter your background, you are all thrown together, week in, week out- you see the same people everywhere you go. Nobody told me that I would completely forget that age can separate us- it doesn’t play as much of a factor in a small town and that means your friendships are so diverse. The people you spend a day with at a community event might be 2 decades older than you, but a love for your community, and where you live brings you together like few things can.
Everyone relies on each other, and people come together in times of need, because we know each other- it’s a beautiful thing to live in a small community and watch everyone work together when we need to. An older lady got lost walking one evening, a call went out and within a short time about 3/4 of the community was at her property looking for her, that kind of thing shows the strength of a small town. Whether sickness, injury, fire or flood, when the going gets tough people band together- until you experience it for yourself you don’t realize how precious it is.
We don’t get the same services as our urban friends
Mobile phone signal, internet, health care, education- the list goes on, you might be lucky like I am where I live now and have access to a doctor and a great primary school, or you might be unlucky have nothing near you. People that have constant access, or dare I say choices for their kids education or mobile phone provider, or even which doctor they want to see, probably won’t quite understand how valuable these things are, and how much of an impact they have on your everyday life.
You’ll spend more time in your car than you’d like
I hope you have a nice comfy car seat because as I mentioned above the services that most of us need on a frequent basis are (if available at all) a fair distance away. We have a school bus that takes the kids to and from school each day, but there is inevitably parent/ teacher meetings, or a doctors visit- hell even to check the mail is a 30 minute drive! Your fuel bill and car maintenance bills will definitely increase, but it’s not all bad- you have so much more time to think (or talk if you are lucky enough to have passengers), you see so much more, more wildlife, more amazing or funny things, just more of everything. Yes living on a farm = a lot of road time for sure!
You need to plan a lot more
Spur of the moment entertaining is not as easy to pull off if you haven’t got any fresh veggies or a loaf of bread! It means you start to always have some extras in the fridge, freezer or pantry because you never know what will crop up- and you are always planning for what is coming up so you have what you need. Fancy dress costumes, or this weeks ‘sock day’ at the kids school, have to be catered for well in advance because you can’t exactly pop to the shops the night before to get what you need! I didn’t ever have a diary or planner until I moved to the farm, and then suddenly I needed one to keep track of what was on so I could be prepared! Not to mention you always have to factor in travelling time, which for us is often at least 45min so there’s that too…..
People always seem to think it’s further for them to travel to see you, than it is for you to come to them….
I really don’t understand the physics behind this but it seems to be a theme that people ask why you haven’t come to see them and when you tell them it’s because you haven’t been into town for a while, or you’ve been frantically doing 1000 errands and jobs that you can’t just ‘pop into town’ to do, and then invite them to come out to visit you, they often say “but it’s so far” queue awkward silence. Let me assure you that the distance to and from somewhere is the same, and someone driving out for a visit may just get to see something that they don’t normally get to see- worth the drive no?
Do you live in a rural or regional area? Is there anything you wish you knew about where you live?