"Why on earth do you want to live here?"
I recently moved from one country town to another and I'm happy as a pig in a peach orchard. But when people discover that I actually chose to move here they can't seem to fathom why. Have we lost that sense of pride in being closer to the land, or do we no longer realize how good we've got it?
Australia isn't the only country experiencing a mass exodus from the country to the city, a concept also known as urbanisation. For the first time in history, more than half of the world's population live in towns and cities, a figure that is expected to swell to almost 5 billion by 2030.
It seems the young are especially prone to migration, often in search of the excitement and opportunities that they don't feel they can find in the country.
Here are 10 things I love about my country life:
- It's literally five minutes to everything -- work, shops, gym, cafes, parks... all five minutes away.
- The night sky. The word mesmerizing still doesn't seem to do it justice.
- The clean air... it's so fresh you can almost taste it.
- Wide-open spaces. I'm talking about a distinct absence of manmade stuff as far as the eye can see (in every direction!).
- The cost of living is lower -- food, entertainment, rent, the whole kit and caboodle is much cheaper in the country.
- It's like getting a big warm hug every day. Smaller communities make it easier to meet people, even though there aren't as many around, and they're generally much friendlier too. (If you don't like the people, there's always the internet.)
- The wildlife. There are so many more beautiful birds, let alone all the other flora and fauna.
- Peace and quiet. Forget aeroplanes, car horns, and the endless drone of traffic and replace it with crickets, bird song, and absolute silence.
- Personal safety. I feel much safer walking up the street, any time of day or night, in the country.
- Visiting the city becomes an adventure, rather than a chore. I look forward to my trips to the city, and my travels to foreign soil, because I don't have to deal with that same hectic pace every day.
What do you like about the country life? Please share in the comments section below.
Pearces Creek Road by Mark Davis.