According to Statista, there were approximately 57.23 million people living in rural areas in the US, compared to about 272.91 million people who opted for the urban lifestyle in 2020. But even though a majority, 56.2% of the global population, now lives in cities, more and more people are tempted to leave the chaotic urban jungle behind and restart their lives in a calm and peaceful environment.

And for those who’re wondering what it is like to wake up to birds chirping instead of neighbors arguing on the other side of the wall, this Reddit thread may be particularly useful. A Redditor u/MotorArea posted a question “People who live in a rural area/out in the country, what will 'city folk' never understand?” some time back, and received 4.2k comments.

From nature smells to burn piles, these are some of the most quintessential features of country life we don’t ever come across in an asphalt jungle.

#1

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand In the city, you ignore the sirens and listen for the gunshots. Out in the country you ignore the gunshots and listen for the sirens.

CrazyNotion , Michael Pereckas Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
5 days ago (edited)

Where I live you don't really need to worry about either. Don't have sirens to warn of natural disasters and we have good gun control.

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#2

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand The scream you hear in the middle of the night isn't a woman being murdered. It's just foxes shagging.

BlameMeBlue , Marie Hale Report

Sarcastic Cow
Community Member
5 days ago

And it isn´t baby cry - it is cats shagging or fighting. Or both.

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To find out more about the joys of country life, Bored Panda has reached out to a former city girl from London, Amy Powell, who moved to live in rural Wiltshire with her dog. Amy runs a lighthearted blog “City Girl, Country Life” where she shares the snaps of her daily life. She was happy to share how her life has changed after she moved to the country.

“For me, the contrast of country life to living in the city was very stark—not just from the way of life, but even the pace of it. When I moved out here, I was constantly being asked 'why do you walk so fast?'" Amy guesses that she was used to storming her way through hundreds of people at a tube station or while walking down busy streets to work.

#3

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand The dark. In a city at night you can read a book outside. In the country on a cloudy or no moon night. You can't see anything. Not like it's kinda hard to see, but it's so dark you might as well be blind; the stars and gravity are the only way to know which direction is up. Also a clear night sky in places that get truly dark like that is something my vocabulary can't describe.

tinymonesters , Voxumo Report

Kira Okah
Community Member
5 days ago (edited)

Go out about 1am with no full moon, get out of the tiny town here, walk for about 5 minutes down the road, you can get some really stunning views of the milky way it's so dark. Get some really good views inside town about 3am because the lighting switches off, but just a little down the road is woooow.

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#4

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand "Watch out for deer" when saying goodbye is another way of telling someone you love them.

m1lk1e , Alex O'Neal Report

Coleonema
Community Member
5 days ago

Here it's "Don't hit a horse/cow". Those things cause car crashes at night

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Another stark difference between city and country lives was availability of things. “City life meant that if you wanted to go out for dinner after work, the only question was 'where shall we go?'—the options were endless. In the country, there is one local pub and then you had to decide who was driving or whether you should book a cab.”

But the benefits of leaving the urban jungle behind are endless, assured Amy. “My asthma all but cleared up, my pace of life has drastically slowed down, and I feel such a sense of community in the countryside that just doesn't exist in London.”

Simple things, like people saying good morning to you when you walk past , “just because” is something Amy hasn’t had while living in the city.

#5

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand A calm night, sitting out on your grandparents porch eating a grilled hotdog off a paper plate while listening to the summer rain hit the tin roof.

Mayr069 , Virginia State Parks Report

Rancho Schicklgruber
Community Member
4 days ago

Yeeeehaw!

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#6

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand When you hear a car door slam in the middle of the night, something is wrong.

7e8e7 , SurFeRGiRL30 Report

Botox
Community Member
4 days ago

In my case if you hear car or voice outside, it's or electrical checking or someone got lost.

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#7

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand Letting my kids just go outside and play. Ride their bikes down the street, go into the woods out back and explore. But more importantly just feel generally secure about their safety doing these things.

cbinette84 , Virginia State Parks Report

LoveThePanda
Community Member
5 days ago

My city in the 80s, couldn't do that now

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#8

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand Waving at people when you see them on the road

DeusVultEXE , JK B Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
4 days ago (edited)

We see this all the time when we go to rural areas on our way camping. And yes we wave back.

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#9

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand The extent of our pantries and freezers. We can't just "run to the store" to pick up that forgotten ingredient or spur-of-the-moment craving. But if we're well-stocked, we can whip up just about anything!

MrsChickenPam , Bob Report

Jill
Community Member
4 days ago

..or you can buy even more when you forget what you have while at the grocery store.

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“I can walk nowhere in particular for the sheer enjoyment of it and I have found a love of bird watching from my garden—my colleagues endlessly mock me for this and the amount of money I spend on stocking up my bird feeding station for my little visitors!”

Another obvious country bonus was all the space Amy got. Plus, she got a dog almost as soon as she moved out of the city. “Walking him has proved to be the best tonic on so many occasions... if I'm feeling stressed, sad, worried or just down, a stroll with him in the fresh air never fails to improve my mood and my outlook.”

#10

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand The amount of animal noises at night.

BellatrixLenormal , ianpreston Report

Little Ms. Quirky
Community Member
5 days ago

at least it's better than random people singing at night and cars

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#11

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand Small Town Texas here

S**tty Internet

Friday Night Lights Ghost Towns

The smell of the rain

Country Road parties

Driving for an hour and not seeing another car

Small Town Festivals

Knowing everyone business and everyone knowing yours

Snakes are your friend

Dead Coyotes hanging from fence posts

The sky at night is inspirational

txbbqdude , Wolf's Nikon1 Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
4 days ago

We sometimes see dead foxes hanging from fences.

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#12

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand Chickens. They're a lot more animal than I think people realize. They eat almost anything organic, so their enclosures are barren. If you free range em - they will eat your garden, even buried stuff like potatoes.

Also they will both produce almost no eggs, then when you get 4-5, they will produce all the eggs. Like so many you'll start giving them away.

And animals love chicken. Hawks, coyotes, foxes, dogs, even damn raccoons get brave for some chicken.

Oh yeah - roosters. They totally sometimes call at 5am. Also they're mean suckers, and have large talons on their feet called spurs which are basically little chicken daggers for defense.

Oh, and eggs come from the same hole they poop from. Eggs almost always have poo on them.

I've loved raising chickens, but damn would I never want someone who isn't use to it to try. They're pretty gross at times, not at all intelligent animals, and tend to fight themselves when they aren't be predated by animals you'd never consider a threat.

They can be kind of affectionate though.

ZiggoCiP , Mary and Andrew Report

Coleonema
Community Member
5 days ago

I had a chicken once, she was more like a dog than a chicken. Loved people, slept inside and would even jump onto your lap

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#13

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand I temporarily moved to a rural village in order to get my foot in the door early by getting the EXACT job I wanted without the necessary 5 year experience. My plan was to get a bit of union time in then leverage that and my bit of experience to get back to the city. I moved 2.5 hours away from the city. It has been 11 years and I love it here.

I don't think urban people can understand how much more simple life is. There is no pressure to keep up on trends or make up, but if it interests you, then do it. It is a small village with not too much around it except the ocean so everything is clustered together. This clustering means 2 minute commutes to work. Empty beaches, no need to jockey for spots on the sand and those beaches are within 10 mins. Oh, you prefer the woods? Then drive 10 mins the other direction. Let me tell you, when you spend 4 mins a day going to and from work, a whole world of hobby time opens up for you and getting 8 hours of sleep is still easy.

Going to the "city" is now an exciting trip. I felt stupid when I realized that but then I realized it makes for cheap thrills to be this easily excited.

Saving money is easy peasy. Nothing to 5 dollar your life away at. At housing prices!! I bought a 3 bedroom, 1 bath (booo), 130 year old home for $100k.

Specific to where I live, I don't know if it is the same elsewhere, but our postal system is fast. I get things delivered here faster than my mom does in the middle of the big city where both our parcels go through. And couriers are hilarious. They will leave you a note letting you know who they left your package with if you aren't home.

Oh and the gossip, better than any soap opera.

dinosarahsaurus , Seth Maha Report

Teucer T
Community Member
5 days ago

The postal lady here painted her mail truck pink.

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#14

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand Seeing Deer isn't a special occasion, those f*****s are always showing up.

Quizzika , Rex Roof Report

Teucer T
Community Member
5 days ago

They're all over the place until hunting season. They disappear the day before hunting season starts. The f-ers can read and own calendars.

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Moreover, Amy said that “country pursuits are joy; much to the amusement of my London colleagues, I got a pet pig and I learnt to care for chickens. That's something you'll never be able to experience in the city. The more you throw yourself into country life, the more it gives back to you in spades.”

When asked if she ever misses some city things, Amy said that it would be cocktail bars. “Oh, how I miss perusing a cocktail menu as thick as a bible and happy hour drinks with friends after a long week at work! A pint of cider at a cheese festival on a Sunday just doesn't have quite the same effect…”

#15

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand Burning trash in a barrel or a "burn pile."

odomotto , Gord Webster Report

Glynna Bowood
Community Member
5 days ago

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This isn't really a good example as almost everything shown is reusable!!

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#16

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand Constantly losing power because of wind and rain damaging old wires, transformers, etc.

luckymonkey12 , Chris Hunkeler Report

LoveThePanda
Community Member
5 days ago

Here too in my city

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#17

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand Our traffic is tractors during harvest / planting.. usually you can just zip around.
There is something so empowering about being able to go outside in your panties and tshirt and have no one around to give you a second look. ( best way to watch the stars at night and drink your first cup of coffee in the morning)

Kendlyfire , Rab Lawrence Report

Yvette Desmarais
Community Member
4 days ago

Unless it's winter. Then you need to wear pants.

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#18

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand Sorry mr, Thompson. I have to leave class today. Cows got out.

Your mom has a list of who you can and cant date, and when your cousin gets married the list gets cut in half.

The monthly Costco run

Having literally everything. Seriously I have so much sh*t laying around, but cant get rid of it because who knows when you will need an extra carburetor.

Chatting at Dutch bros with the barista for 2 hours because there's nothing better to do.

Gutting a deer during lunch break.

Driving 45 min to the nearest bowling alley.

Not going anywhere because you forget to fill up gas before the weekend when the stations are closed.

Knowing every single logging road by memory and practically a rally driver in a lifted truck, but freak out when your driving in a city where there are roundabouts.

EducationalResult8 , Andrew Wilkinson Report

Sasy
Community Member
4 days ago

Roundabouts are scary things.

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#19

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand How little politics affect your every day life when you aren't surrounded by people talking about it. If it weren't for social media (which I avoid 99% of the time) we'd have no idea what's going on out there.

Also, how quiet it is. I have city friends that love to come out just to listen to the quiet.

techno-d , Charles Hutchins Report

Serial pacifist
Community Member
4 days ago

So blessed. 99% blessed.

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For all the people out there thinking of leaving the city behind and moving to the countryside, Amy suggests looking for a community as soon as you can in order not to feel loneliness. “If you're doing it alone, you'll struggle more than you think you would... the emptiness in the countryside can feel overwhelmingly lonely.” 

That community can be found through exercise, a hobby, or an animal. “The rural community has so much to offer, but being so spaced out, it can be hard to find people to connect with at first unless you make a solid effort.”

“Yet, once you have been embraced into that community, you will never find a more supportive bunch of people.” Amy concluded that “The way people look out for others in the country is unparalleled and really restores your faith in humanity.”

#20

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand When a road sign says Last Gas for however many kilometers

yelofoley , Susanne Winter Report

Coleonema
Community Member
5 days ago

This comment has been deleted.

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#21

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand I moved from a busy suburb to a country house for a few years because my parents dream was to live quietly for the rest of their lives. We all ended up moving away after a few years back to a suburban neighborhood because they figured out it wasn’t for them. There are a few things to get use to:

it is extremely quiet, almost no noise unless coyotes are nearby then all you hear is howling all night at random times during the year

mowing the lawn takes all day

there’s no one to talk to, unless you bike several miles away to hang out with another kid, and you may not like them but tolerate them because you have nothing else to do.

snow turns into huge drifts, and the forts you can make are amazing

people in small towns have nothing better to do than to gossip and talk trash, so when you are new they all judge you for the first year then decide if they’re going to treat you like s**t.

ignorant white kids saying really dumb things about minorities, which is information they got from their parents. They got really upset when I told them they were wrong and told them stories about friends I use to have before moving. They get really offended and hurt when someone uses facts and experience while having a discussion, especially when you disprove something they say.

There’s a bunch of cool stuff about living in the middle of nowhere, but the worst part of it is the people who live there.

mrinkyface , USDA NRCS Montana Report

C G
Community Member
4 days ago (edited)

The latter two paragraphs was unfortunately my sister-in-law's experience and why she couldn't bear growing up in her small town. During the last election, one of her old friends put up a Biden-Harris sign in the town, and their neighbor was so pissed that he took a picture of their house and posted their address and encouraged people to harass them. Just for wanting to vote differently. In the meantime, I saw signs all over my city for both Trump and Biden and afaik no one harassed their neighbors over it. Living in a diverse place, you realize it would be stupid and exhausting to try to control your neighbor's politics. We may debate it a lot, but we don't encourage people to come to your house to tear down your sign and physically intimidate you!

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#22

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand I live in a very rural, very northern latitude and almost full homestead area. There are lots of thing different.

Seeing stars and the Milky Way when it gets dark as well as full sky of northern lights.

Stocking up firewood in the summer when it’s hot and sunny. With that the dry warm heat from your woodstove in the middle of the winter is something everyone should experience.

Shooting guns off your deck to make sure they are still sighted in.

Having friends drop in just because they were in the area.

Taking a 4 wheeler to the store and spending an hour there because you keep running into people you know.

Fresh chicken eggs and veggies from the garden

Your local store is also your gas station, post office, deli, liquor store, movie rental.

There are so many other things, I don’t see how anybody can even live in the big city’s at all but that’s just how my upbringing is.

LongDuckDongus , Luke Jones Report

RayAnna Wilson
Community Member
5 days ago

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I don't see how anyone city or country could lack that much of an imagination.

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See Also on Bored Panda
#23

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand The reality is your neighbors are nosy little f*****s, they don't have a life and wanna know what goes on in others.

stnrnts , bertknot Report

Coleonema
Community Member
4 days ago

Not always, when I was younger my dad got along really well with the neighbors, the gate between our properties is almost always open and the dogs spend time in either. They braai together and help each other out. Its amazing and something like this would never happen in a city, they probably would have never talked to each other.

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#24

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand Its basically impossible to live if you can't drive, I live a few miles out of the village so I have to get lifts to work, to go see friends and everything. The only bus only leaves the village every 2-3 hours to go into the city and is ridiculously expensive.

But it is gorgeous and can be so peaceful, i often take my dog up the hill behind my house, there's no roads and only a couple of other houses and its so quiet and relaxing, i can lie there for ages on a nice day. I also have a horse and its great to go for a mental out-of-control gallop through the fields and the forests.

CB97sriracha , Kārlis Dambrāns Report

oddkiddo
Community Member
4 days ago

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You could ride a bike..? Even in urban areas here many people bike, come rain come snow.

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#25

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand How hard it is to get high speed internet.

Ask_me_4_a_story , Marco Verch Report

Kira Okah
Community Member
5 days ago

Our tiny town actually has the hub thing for the tv/internet/phone stuff that supports a lot of the villages and hamlets around here, like literally the other side of the hedge. For rural living people, we've actually got decent internet.

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#26

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand No light pollution, the night sky is amazing. It can also get extremely dark and silent. A large pack of coyotes sounds terrifying, but owls are music to the ears.

JagerGSXR , Timothy Tsui Report

Grumble O'Pug
Community Member
4 days ago

I love the chatter of coyotes late at night.

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#27

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand I don't have a leash for my dog, because where the hell is she gonna go?

WatchTheBoom: , Manoela Padilha Report

Ray Martin
Community Member
5 days ago

Well, if she attacks livestock she is going to doggie heaven, but you're otherwise right.

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#28

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand How small it really is.

When I graduated in 2014, my class was 14 people. And we were one of the largest grades at the school, the grade below only had 6 people, the grade above me only had 4. I originally grew up in a hamlet, population 20 people and then moved to a village where I went to school, roughly 300 people.

We have one bar, one grocery store that closes at 6pm, a carwash, a bank(in the neighboring villager 15 minutes away) post office and school in town. Everyone else is either oilfield workers or farmers.

And it’s f***ing boring, for fun in the summers we used to bike down the highway for hours to no where and then turn around and bike home.

cats-and-cucumbers , Erik Wilde Report

Kisses4Katie
Community Member
5 days ago

A hamlet becomes a village when it gets a church.

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#29

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand They'll never truly understand the power of nature. The feeling of being surrounded by it and hearing every living creature all around you.

mumbo_jumbo_man , Marius Benta Report

C G
Community Member
4 days ago (edited)

You know people from the city aren't confined to the city, right? We do have the opportunity to leave it lol. I've been backpacking and camping many times. I fish and hike regularly and have been to many local, state, and national parks.

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#30

Country-Rural-Folk-City-Things-Never-Understand Drinking and driving is more common cause the bar is so far away and Uber or Lyft are not a thing.

mke0192 , James Cridland Report

Sasy
Community Member
4 days ago

No, nope, not something to list and even worse to add an excuse....walk or sleep in the car.

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