Making a sea change: Moving to the Country from the City
Where to go?
Ah, this is the big question. Do you go coastal or inland? How far do you want to be from a major city or town? Do you want to remain in the same state you currently live in or are there more suitable towns interstate? Are you looking to purchase farm land and own horses or cattle or is a quiet house close to a town a better fit? What amenities do you require essential access to? Are there any towns you’ve visited on weekends away that you particularly loved? Moving to the country can be a great idea in your mind, but the country is filled with thousands of different towns and picking the right one for you takes more than just closing your eyes and pointing at a map.
Goodbye to anonymity
Small towns are… well small. And that means everyone is aware when a new family roll into town. The anonymity that you enjoyed in the big city, being able to wander the streets without bumping into anyone you knew, disappears the moment you decide to move to a small town. Expect people to stop you on the streets to say hello at every corner, expect the greengrocer to learn your name pretty quickly and absolutely expect everyone to know your business, because they will.
Hello being an outsider
Being a city slicker who moves to a small town can be awkward at first. There may be jibs about you not fitting in, or not being cut out for the small town lifestyle, and that might be true at first… and it unfortunately, that means needing to earn people’s trust and respect from ground zero in some cases. Get out and involve yourself in town activities and be friendly to everyone you encounter and you will soon be making friends and feeling like a local in no time.
Reassess your priorities
Unlike the big city, where there is always a thousand new things happening and the job opportunities are endless, small towns move a bit slower… Shops might not be open on Sunday afternoon, very few bands or theatre shows are likely to tour and you may find yourself limited in your career growth opportunities if you’re not in an industry that thrives in small towns. Reassess your priorities and remember why you moved to a smaller town, whether it was for a lower cost lifestyle or more space, these are the things that will help get you through during difficult times and help you make decisions about a new lease on life.