If you’ve been living in urban and sub-urban neighbourhoods for most of your life, you may have a pretty romanticised idea of getting away from it all and moving out to a rural area. While this change in lifestyle can be very good for some people, it’s certainly not for everyone. Here are some of the biggest challenges that come with living in rural areas…
The most immediate, glaring challenge faced by people living in rural areas is the lack of jobs. The modern job market can be erratic and tough, and will feel even tougher when you’re bored or struggling with your personal finances. Even accessing social welfare establishments like Centrelink can be hard when you’re living in such an isolated area. If you’re thinking of leaving your current job simply because you’re sick of the bustle and stress of towns and cities, it may be worth talking to your boss, and seeing if there’s any room for carrying on in your role on a home-based basis. An increasing number of companies are making room for these positions, as managing remote workers becomes progressively easier. Aside from that, you can help yourself a lot by making connections with the local community ahead of time through social media, and actively searching for any leads that might spring up.
While the surrounding views may be serene and you won’t have to deal with overcrowded public transport anymore, there are various conveniences and luxuries that you’ll need to sacrifice when moving out to a rural area. Rubbish removal will be less frequent and accessible, and doing quick runs out to stores will be much more difficult. Perhaps the biggest challenge facing people who live in rural communities is managing the utilities for their home. Many rural properties rely on water sources other than regular municipal ones, and some older homes may even require petrol generators or similar machinery to assure they’re getting the electricity they need. Some rural homes will also have their own septic system for collecting sewage. You need to make 110% sure that the septic system for a given home will be adequate for you and your whole household. Make sure you understand all the difficulties of living with rural utilities before you commit to your decision.
When you’ve grown up in a certain town or city, and made all your friends there through school and work, it can be very hard to throw yourself into a new community and make friends with complete strangers. This is especially true if the culture and mannerisms of the rural community are very different to what you’re used to. Again, the internet can be your saving grace here. Websites like Meetup and conventional social media can be used to link up with people in the local area who you share an interest with, so get on your computer and start talking! Aside from that, simply making an effort to spark conversation in nearby stores and public areas can be a big help when settling into the community.