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, “Are you happy?” In a few weeks, our answer shifted from a tentative to emphatic “Yes!” as we realized we were 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 surprisingly easy for us, possibly because we did it 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 carry us through longer stretches of solitude.
- 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 frontier of career opportunities.
- We’ve 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 boxing match on TV 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, fear wildlife or the dark, don’t like camping, or would rather spend the 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 when they see an awesome moonrise, if you find yourself leaving the city every weekend to spend time 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 exacerbate depression and anxiety, and your mindset won’t magically change because you wake up to birdsong and the aroma of sweetgrass 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 sweetgrass and and snow-topped mountains and bear tracks in the mud is magical, not to mention evenings under the Milky Way, apple cider at the local orchard, identifying bird calls at dusk (the strangest are from the neighbor’s pea fowl), riding ATVs, shooting fireworks any night of the week, and driving a farm truck to the dump. (If none of those things sound fun, stay in the city.)
Find out what we found out in our first year of country life: Do/Don’t Listicle for Cityfolk Moving to the Country.