Buying a rural retreat or having a tree change by escaping to the countryside is an idea that is pervasive in society. And it’s not difficult to see why.
Being out in the open, a huge sky above you, and freedom to move in any direction you please – a rural retreat is very different to the way most of us live. Even living in a small town can make you feel like the walls are closing in on you; like there just isn’t enough room to be yourself.
If you have a job that makes it possible for you to really consider the viability of moving to the countryside, how do you go about it?
Acknowledge That A Rural Retreat Is Huge Change
While you may be tempted to focus on all the positives of moving to the country, it’s important to acknowledge that it might be very different from what you’re used to.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to take on a rural retreat challenge. However, there are flaws in your thinking if you fail recognize it’s just that: a challenge. If you breeze into the process of a huge upheaval and move, then you’re going to be brought down to earth incredibly quickly. By being honest with yourself and saying that this might be tough, but it will be worth it, you’re getting off on a good footing.
Which Country Do You Want, Anyway?
The idea of moving to “the countryside” brings with it many questions, but one of those you may overlook is… which countryside are you thinking of?
Maybe it’s your home country; that’s probably the easiest way to go about such a move. But what about looking further afield?
There are huge possibilities, from the stunning mountains of Scotland to American states like Colorado – locations that have plenty to offer, and you don’t need to learn another language to live there. If you’re going to be making such a huge move, why not make it a really huge move?
There are so many options in these remote, blissful locations. If Scotland appeals, then the countryside around the port town of Oban is worth researching; for the US, consider finding out more from Ranch Marketing Associates about what you might be able to find in terms of a rural retreat location. This is just the beginning, too: pick any country and it will almost certainly have vast expanses just waiting to be explored.
Does this sound extreme? Maybe it is; maybe you’d be more comfortable staying in your home country. However, if your job truly allows you to live anywhere, it seems a shame that you’d constrain yourself and not at least consider the possibility of an overseas move.
Think About Modern Conveniences
One of the reasons that humanity has a tendency to cluster around one another, forming towns and cities, is that it’s incredibly convenient. If you have always lived in or near a big city, you might not have the required level of appreciation for the convenience they offer. You’re too used to them; you take these services for granted.
It’s important to ask yourself if you could truly cope in a rural retreat without those conveniences. Could you handle not just being able to go to the shops if you realize you’re short on something for a meal? How about electronic and digital services? Would you be able to cope if you had to wait several days longer than usual for your latest internet shopping purchase to arrive?
The aspect that makes this kind of move so appealing – blissful isolation – can also be the one that lets it down. While you might take to it like a duck to water and never look back, you have to be really sure before you make life choices that are difficult to reverse.
What Is “The Countryside” To You?
This is an important consideration. If you take two people who are otherwise identical to one another, they might have very different ideas of what constitutes the countryside and a rural retreat.
For some, it will be small villages with a few stores and a low population. The village would be a half hour or so away from a major city, giving the illusion of a rural hideaway with access to modern conveniences if needed.
For others, the country should be… well… remote. It’s the kind of life change that would constitute sacrificing almost everything you’ve become used to. It’s the life on a ranch, surrounded by nothing but your own land, with your nearest neighbor many miles away.
When you know what your definition of the country is, it’s much easier to look for properties and begin to plan.
Choose An Area Then Visit It. Often.
Even if it means flying across an ocean multiple times, it’s essential you get to know your intended new home before you move there.
We all occasionally go on vacation and think that our destination is so nice, we’d like to live there. However, you need far more than that to find out if a rural retreat is actually suitable for you. You might find if you visit the area on a different day, in different weather, you feel very differently about it. It’s important to notch up at least three visits – ideally in different seasons – to make sure you’re totally comfortable with your rural retreat choice.
That’s not to say that you have to visit a particular house you are thinking of renting or buying, however. The internet now makes it possible to be relatively sure of a property. So if you have the spirit of an adventurer, then know some people have moved without ever viewing a place in person. Are you brave enough for that?
Learn Some Extra Rural Retreat Skills
The ability to be more self-reliant when living rurally is important. You might be hours from the kind of facilities you’re used to in the modern world, so keep in mind the need to brush up on:
- Basic car repairs, or at least have an option for what you’d do for transport if you woke up one morning to a dead car battery.
- First aid. There are an awful lot of misconceptions about what’s actually good first aid, so make sure you dig through and bust the myths. For example, if someone has a nose bleed, don’t tilt their head back – tilt it forward instead.
- Depending on how remotely you intend to live, it might be worth looking at satellite phones for use in case of emergency.
With all of the difficulties mentioned above, you might be wondering if you’re still as invested in the idea. This is not about trying to dissuade you; it’s about giving you the facts, so you can make the right decisions. A countryside idyll might be in your future, or it might be a daydream that remains just that. Only you know the answer.