Okay, let me start right off the bat with something crucial to this article – moving to the countryside is romantic and dreamy only in movies. So, if you’ve decided to say goodbye to the big city life and hello to the village, just because it looked cool in “The Holiday”, then forget it.
As someone who has made the incredible switch and moved from London to the countryside, I can tell you, there’s a lot of things you’re going to miss. I remember the first few days into village life, I was ready to cry at any given moment.
First, the Internet was awful, it was either slow or non-existent, so I quickly had to say bye-bye to streaming Netflix all night. Then the quiet: IT’S SO QUIET, ALL THE TIME, at one point I thought I’d died.
Now, because I don’t want you to go through my terrible experience, I will share with you something that I like to call “An Ex-Londoners Guide to Surviving the Countryside”.
Forget Amazon Prime, Meet the Farmer’s Market
First rule of living in the countryside: Forget food deliveries, fast food chains, and convenience as a concept. Here, people have things called “a farmer’s market” where you buy fresh produce, usually harvested by the person who sells it.
There’s no grab-and-go at the farmer’s market. Instead, it’s a slow experience, where you have to talk to each merchant about what you want to buy, and then you have to listen to them explain what else they make that’s great.
And guess what? This whole thing goes on for each little thing you want to buy.
By the end of my first time going, I wanted to cry, sleep and not talk to any human being for a week. And then I wanted to print out an “I love Tesco” t-shirt and wear it proudly.
Things only got worse from there. Not only do you have to do the whole ordeal of buying the products, but then you actually have to cook – Every. Single. Day.
There’s no UberEats, you can’t order food when you’re too lazy. Nope, it’s either cooking or starving. No other options available.
Throw Away the Expensive Suits, Get Used to Sweatpants
Gucci, Tom Ford, Versace – you can forget them all. Leave them in London, the countryside is no place for fancy clothing. Here people live by this foreign concept of wearing what’s comfortable and makes sense. Weird, right?
So my advice is: ditch the fashionable clothing and get some comfortable sweatpants and a warm sweater – that will be your everyday wear. And to answer your questions – yes, you will feel like your grandpa. It’s inevitable and horrible at the same time. However, that feeling lasts for about one week. After that, you want to spend all your time in comfy sweats.
No More Not Knowing the Neighbours
Big city people, we’re always in a rush to get somewhere. We walk fast, headphones on, passing by strangers without even making eye contact. On the other hand, people in the countryside walk around like they have all the time in the world on their hands.
No one’s moving fast, even the dogs walk at a slower pace, I swear. Also, everyone greets you, wants to meet you, and asks you questions. Prepare yourself for that. I definitely wasn’t and I spent my first few interactions with my neighbors thinking: “What do they want from me and why are they asking so many things?”
So yes, along with feeling like you’re living in slow motion, you will also feel like a part of some weird hippie community where everyone knows everyone and it’s all love, rainbows, and roses.
Get Ready for Nature: Bugs and Animals Galore!
Ah yes, getting bitten by everything that makes a buzzing sound. Yet another incredible feature of life in the countryside. Unlike London, where animals are usually either cats or dogs, here you will feel like in an episode of Animal planet. Cows, goats, all sorts of insects I can’t recognize – you name it, the countryside has it.
So in preparation for all that: get a spray to protect you from insects and also some of those anti-bug devices for your home. I swear, those things are lifesavers, they’re a huge part of why I was able to survive all of the mosquitoes and other weird bugs.
Don’t Worry You Will Make It
In the end, as the famous song says – you will survive. However, living in the countryside made me feel like I was Bear Grills, trying to survive in the wilderness. It also showed me all of the ways in which our lives are made easier in the big cities and made me love that life even more.
So if you want to experience the craziness of living in nature without embarrassing yourself on national TV (on a show like Survivor), you can look into moving to the countryside.