I’ll step right out and say that rural suits me in nearly every way. Most of the time if I had my way I’d choose an even more rural location than the one in which we live. Except in short doses I can’t abide crowds of people, clogged up traffic, high levels of background noise or lights that prevent me from seeing the stars at night. I like the idea of neighbours so long as I can’t see or hear what they’re doing. Our nearest neighbours are about a half mile (1km) away. We are surrounded by thousands of acres of farmland and pasture.
This suits my personality perfectly. I can shoot at a rabid opossum without rising from my kitchen table if it suits me. If my truck breaks or one of the tractors decides it needs mechanical assistance we are well covered to get that looked after locally. Similarly if your horse requires veterinary assistance there are several practitioners on whom we can call. Farm supplies, basic services and basic groceries are all reasonably easy to come by without leaving the county. Since on most counts I’m a basic kind of guy I don’t find many gaps in services available locally. The gaps that do exist (fancy restaurants, opera, performing arts theatre, good bookstores) can be remedied by driving to Nashville, about 60 miles/100 km away.
There are a few things that even I find unhandy and inconvenient. When something important breaks that requires expert technical assistance (think computer or certain appliances) nobody is coming to your house to fix the important item. You’re going to have to take the item to them and it’s going to cost you time to get it done. Internet services are slower and far more expensive than than the cable or fibre internet connections available in more urban settings. Similarly doing anything that requires sending or receiving something from beyond the borders of the US is certainly going to require a drive. Mailing items to Canada from my local post office has been a frustrating experience at times. Since my immediate family is scattered across Canada this happens more frequently than you might guess. Still, for me living in a rural place is more than worth the trade offs that come with it.
I’m curious as to how our readers feel about this topic. Where do you live now ? Are you happy about it ? Where would you live if money/jobs/family obligations permitted you to move ?