Country Living - Is it Right For You?

by DuchessOBlunt

Want to get away from the city? Finally able to retire to the country? Think it’s healthier for the children? Deciding to live in the country is not a decision to be made lightly.

Is a move to the country something you have been working toward or dreaming of?

If you have lived in the country all your life, you would not even consider some of the things discussed here because you just take it for granted. But for those who did not grow up in the country, or for those of us who did - but it was too long ago to remember, there are major lifestyle changes involved that you should think about first.

We recently made just such a move. I personally love it, but then I grew up in the country so it feels like I have come home. If you have always lived in the city, it’s as different as night and day.

© Duchess O’Blunt, 2012; all rights reserved.
© All photographs in this hub are the property of the Duchess O'Blunt.

Country Living

When I was young

I remember growing up in the country and having to walk a mile and a half to catch the school bus.  Yes, it was uphill both ways and in the winter the snow was piled halfway as high as the telephone poles.  I kid you not. 

As a child country living meant you were away from all the action.  Staying overnight was best done from Friday to Monday so you could take the school bus to and from your friends house instead of your own.  If the parents were going to say yes at all, that argument usually went a long way in your favour.

Going to the movie was planned a week in advance and only if all the other errands were finished before the movie started and there was enough money left over when all the shopping was done.  So, you made sure the errands were finished and you got every possible sale at the stores. 

On the other hand, the creek offered unlimited and free swimming in the summer and skating in the winter.  The abundance of snow gave excellent tobogganing opportunities and playing outdoors was limited only by your imagination.  Making maple syrup candy was a favorite winter time treat!


Countryside Landscape

Countryside In The Fall
Countryside In The Fall
Stones Photos

Today's Country Lifestyle

Is it an improvement?

Today technology has reached most of the country areas in Canada.  So even with all of nature to explore, many children don’t.  They prefer to play their video games, watch TV or surf the net.  The young will be young no matter where they call home.

Today, it’s not so difficult to get around.  Snow plows clean up the roads in the winter and the township takes care of the trees that fall and block the roads during local storms.  Buses come to the end of your driveway, children no longer have to walk a mile and a half.  Getting from home to where all the action is, is a simple matter of sitting your butt in the seat of a vehicle and voila!  That doesn't negate the fact that it still takes 30 minutes to drive to the local corner store, so it is probably a good idea to invest in a freezer if you don’t already have one and not a good idea to continue shopping for dinner one day at a time.

Being mobile in the country today is most often easier than a few decades ago.  Does that make it better?  There is very little that is “just around the corner” when you live in the country.  Translation - unless you are a very quick walker, just about every place you go, you drive.  It’s much easier to get those required numbers of steps in for your good health when it’s simpler to walk to where you need to be than to drive.


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Before You Buy Your Home In The Country

Consider these 6 things:

Power sources – you can never go wrong having a good generator for back up.  When the power goes out in the country, it can sometimes be days before it is back up.  It can be very cold in the winter and your food will spoil within hours in the summer.

Heat sources:  Oil or propane are the most common sources for heating a home in the Canadian countryside, but  a wood stove backup is a good idea.  Locate the local companies and get yourself set up with them.  They will require a safety inspection of your furnace, so it might be a good idea to have that inspection included in your offer for the home.

Water sources:  Unless you are very close to a town, typically the water for a country home is supplied by a well.  Before you sign on the dotted line for your dream home in the country, check with the neighbors to find out if it's a good one and have the water tested.

Bathrooms:  One thing often overlooked is the facilities.  You will not be on the town sewage system, but will have a septic tank.  Before you purchase your home in the country, ensure it has been pumped recently.  I have been advised that every 5 years you should have this done.  You will also need to ensure the weeping beds are all in good condition.  Know where this is located so that you don’t allow ATV’s and snowmobiles to drive over it.

Transportation - make sure your vehicle is well maintained.  Being 30 minutes by car away from your nearest town is a very long walk if your vehicle breaks down. 

Alternate transportation for country living – It’s not a bad idea to have an ATV and a snowmobile.  They can get you almost anywhere.   Or if your neighbor has one, make sure you are on good terms with them, you might need them. 

Travel safely; have a safety kit in the car at all times - especially in winter.

Entertainment and communication

TV is generally supplied via satellite

Internet and phone Services:  Find out the service provider for the cell towers that provide the service in your area.  It’s a good idea to use that company as your internet and phone service provider.  Citizen’s Band radio or battery operated walkie talkies are good to have to have as a back up.

Heat Sources

A nice cozy wood burning fireplace
Wood Burning Fire Place
Wood Burning Fire Place
Stones Photos

Country Living

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Fresh Air And Nature

Peace and Quite

You might think that living in the country would offer you peace and quiet.  It is more quiet.  If it wasn't for the sounds of nature surrounding you, the silence would be deafening.

Now that we are back to our roots and living in the country, away from the big city lights and all the hustle and bustle that is sure to be created with millions of people milling about, it’s quite a change.

  • Instead of cars and trucks whizzing by, we have humming birds and blue jays.
  • Instead of city lights to brighten the night sky, we have the moon and the stars. 
  • Instead of music blaring from radios and noise from the neighbors, we are serenaded by frogs and crickets
  • Instead of an alarm, we have birdsong to greet us in the mornings.

 Sounds like heaven?  Maybe, but it takes some getting used to.


© Copyright to this article and photographs on Wizzley is owned by the Duchess O’Blunt and may not be copied without express permission from the writer. Payment for use of any photographs or articles written by the Duchess O’Blunt is by negotiation.

Updated: 04/24/2014, DuchessOBlunt
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frankbeswick on 12/30/2013

I lived in London for two years, under the flight path to Heathrow airport, and then moved to the West of Ireland for a while. The change from noise to silence was marvellous. I loved the silence. Only twice have I encountered absolute silence, while I was walking in mountains. It is a wonderful experience.

DuchessOBlunt on 12/30/2013

Hi Rose - yes, I can remember my first week here - the silence was deafening!

DuchessOBlunt on 12/30/2013

Thank you Francis. I hadn't thought about the school thing. Like you, my kids are adults and so it's not something that I think about. But you are right - it should be high on a young family's priority list.

frankbeswick on 12/28/2013

I lived for a year in North West of Ireland, and I loved it. But we were only two miles from the nearest village and fourteen miles from the town where we shopped. I was nineteen then, but I could see that mothers would want a school for their children near to their home; and you need a car for shopping, especially as rural bus services are so poor at the moment. I can also see that as you age you might be trapped in the country, if your mobility is declining.

I would go back to country living, but I would have to be realistic and not stray too far from town, but in Britain towns are rarely far away.

Rose on 12/27/2013

The countryside is certainly quieter than the city - the first few nights you'l be stunned at the lack of sound.

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