Chris and I have each dreamed about moving to the country and owning land for as long as we can remember. After we finally made the leap last spring, for the first few months, loved ones asked repeatedly, “Are you happy?” Our answer quickly evolved from a tentative to an emphatic “Yes!” as we realized more every day that we were actually as in love with the country life as we’d hoped.
Getting what you wish for can be harder than expected, but while Chris and I have learned plenty of lessons out here, the move was incredibly easy for us, possibly because we came to the country at the right time and for the right reasons.
Several things put us personally in the right place to make this move successful:
- We have an established and awesome circle of friends. There are far fewer social settings out here, and people can take a while to warm up to outsiders. Visits to and from loved ones mean the longer stretches of solitude are rejuvenating, not lonely.
- Our careers could move with us. We wanted to maintain our income since we’re not planning a big, off-grid shift (see our philosophy). It would be a bad idea to move to the country expecting anything like the city’s diversity frontier career opportunities.
- We’d had our fill of nightlife. These days, we’re stoked about a night of pizza and minigolf in Pigeon Forge or a jigsaw puzzle and a basketball game at the dome.
Additionally, our reasons for moving came from a place of peace and happiness:
- Love of the outdoors
- Desire to be around fewer crowds and less traffic
- Sense of adventure, trying something new and different
“Love of the outdoors” is an absolute. If you can’t stand bugs, are afraid of wildlife, don’t like camping, would rather spend a weekend shopping than hiking, stay in the city.
Conversely, if you feel that traffic is a perverse joke on humanity, if your friends know to text you when they see an awesome moonrise, if you find yourself leaving the city every weekend to find solitude in nature…the country will immediately feel like home.
“Sense of adventure, trying something new” is tricky. It’s one thing to run to a new adventure. It’s another thing to run from a situation.
This is important: if you’re trying to escape yourself, a bad habit, addiction or negative #currentsituation, moving to a new place will be the opposite of a quick fix.
Moving is hard. It can exacerbates depression and anxiety, and your mindset won’t magically change because you wake up to birdsong and the aroma of sweet grass instead of sirens and exhaust.
Though, if you are in a good place in life and moving for the right reasons, waking up to birds and sweet grass and animal tracks and snow-topped mountains is magical, not to mention evenings under the Milky Way, tasting apples at the local orchard, identifying bird calls at dusk, riding ATVs, shooting fireworks any old night and driving a farm truck to the dump. (If none of those things sound fun, stay in the city.)
If you want to find out what we found out in our first year of country life, check out our Do/Don’t Listicle for Cityfolk Moving to the Country.