Imagine driving your compact car into the underground parking garage of your condo building, pulling into the space you own between the yellow lines. You carefully open the doors so as not to damage your neighbour’s vehicle, and slug the groceries you just bought over to the elevator.
On the way up to your unit on the 14th floor, passengers get on to share the elevator silently with you and disembark with a slight nod in your direction. As you come through the front door of your 600 square foot apartment, you see yet another notice of a meeting of the condo board.
It looks like the building rules need to be discussed, as many of the owners have not been complying with some by-laws, and there may be consequences.
If you are breaking out in hives and feeling claustrophobic as you read through that day-in-the-life, you might just be a country mouse!
Although there are some people who genuinely love the city and all its quirks, many urban dwellers are there out of necessity, and are just biding their time till they can move out to where they can breathe!
Here are 5 clues that you are meant to live in the country:
1. You love to spend as much time in nature as you can.
The number one reason people will give for loving rural life is fresh air. To be able to sit out on a deck, a verandah, or a large yard and see nothing but greenery and wildlife around them is therapeutic for them. Their idea of relaxation might be a bonfire in the backyard, a barbeque with as many friends as they want to invite, or just to sit, eyes closed, enjoying the chirping of birds and the sound of silence.
Statistics show that gardening is an increasingly popular hobby in Canada, and indulging in the pleasure of getting your hands dirty while growing food or flowers is almost a given if you choose to live in the country.
2. You love animals.
Lots of city slickers love animals. But for some people, the limitations of the urban life style are way too restrictive. They need to be free to adopt multiple dogs, cats, ferrets, gerbils, chickens, or horses, if presented with the opportunity. If you are the kind of person whose heart is only full when surrounded by beloved pets, the country is probably the place for you!
3. Strong bonds with country neighbours are important to you.
That neighbour in the elevator, whose name you may never know, lives much closer to you, physically, in a condo than the closest house would be to you on a country lot. One of the ironies of highly concentrated populations in urban areas is that people remain strangers for many years, despite living in boxes in the sky, stacked tightly together.
Country communities are well known to be social and supportive of one another. Neighbours depend on and look out for each other in ways that don’t extend to their city-dwelling counterparts most of the time.
If you appreciate tightly knit circles of friends who live, work, and play in harmony, you might love being part of a small rural neighbourhood.
4. You crave a country-style, slower pace of life.
The stereotype of the frenzied city dweller stuck in traffic and running high blood pressure is sometimes not far from the truth. City life has accelerated the pace at which things are done, or expected to be done. Road rage and other manifestations of restless impatience are regular, daily occurrences in large metropolitan centres, and even in the suburbs.
By contrast, if you enjoy taking your time to enjoy things at a less frenetic speed, you will likely find more like-minded folk in the rurals. Evening walks in the open air, bike rides on country trails, and small talk with the neighbours at the mailbox provide a chance to unwind and recharge instead of rushing around under pressure.
It is a special bonus if you work close to your country home, or from your own home office, thus eliminating a stressful daily commute to the nearest office tower.
5. You want your children to grow up with space to play.
Even some people who thrive on the fast-paced excitement of the big city find themselves rethinking lifestyle choices when they start thinking of having a family. There is a timeless appeal to raising children in a place where they have lots of space to run and play and explore.
If your heartstrings are tugged toward a more traditional lifestyle for your family, you are not alone! And kids who grow up in the country often look back fondly, knowing there would have been no better way to live.
Where did you grow up? Would you raise your family in the country? Are there reasons we haven’t mentioned? We would love your input! Let us know your thoughts about the best place to live.