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.
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.
The scream you hear in the middle of the night isn't a woman being murdered. It's just foxes shagging.
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.
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.
"Watch out for deer" when saying goodbye is another way of telling someone you love them.
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.
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.
When you hear a car door slam in the middle of the night, something is wrong.
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.
Waving at people when you see them on the road
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!
“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.”
The amount of animal noises at night.
Small Town Texas here
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
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.
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.
Seeing Deer isn't a special occasion, those f*****s are always showing up.
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…”
Constantly losing power because of wind and rain damaging old wires, transformers, etc.
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.
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)
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.
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.”
When a road sign says Last Gas for however many kilometers
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.
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.
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.
The reality is your neighbors are nosy little f*****s, they don't have a life and wanna know what goes on in others.
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.
How hard it is to get high speed internet.
They'll never truly understand the power of nature. The feeling of being surrounded by it and hearing every living creature all around you.
I don't have a leash for my dog, because where the hell is she gonna go?
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.