Back in January I wrote about my own personal new possibilities for 2010. I offered an update on those possibilities in March in a blog titled Crunch Time. Today’s post describes one piece of the puzzle that has been completed. I recently completed a move from in town to the country. I’m no longer a townie.
I first heard that expression a few months ago as I was telling people about my move. A friend just blurted out “Are you tired of being a townie?” Since then I’ve come to learn the difference in mindset from living in town to living in the country. By the way, I’m only 7 miles (or 15 minutes) from town, so it’s not like I’m living remotely.
So what are the differences between living in town versus living in the country?
While the move has been both in planning and motion since the first of the year, the actual change of physical address only occurred in the past week. So with that disclaimer (i.e. I’m still new at this), here are the biggest differences.
In the Country:
When I lived in town, I was 7 blocks from the post office & the main street stores. The grocery store was 3 blocks away. The doctor and dentist and hardware store were only a little over a mile. During a typical day I’d make 4 or 5 trips to various places as the need or spirit moved me. I used my bicycle often in the warm months and frequently walked in the winter. I stopped in the grocery store almost every day and certainly at least 4 or 5 times a week – picking up the one or two items that I’d need. And when I did have to go someplace, 5 minutes was all the advance time that I’d need.
Living in town was social. While some days I wouldn’t even leave the house, I’d constantly see people traveling down the street in cars, on bicycles or by foot. I never felt alone even though I might not actually talk to any of them. Visits to the grocery store often took an extra 10 minutes as a visit with a neighbor or friend could turn a trip for milk into a 20-minute ordeal. I knew all the clerks by first-name.
Now that I’m living in the country I’ll need to be much more strategic in my trips. I’ll combine the post office with a trip to the grocery story and also stop by the hardware store. Planning becomes critical if I’m to limit my trips to town to 1 per day. I’ll use my bicycle when I’m only mailing some letters and picking up one or 2 items from the store – otherwise it’s the car. I’ve considered getting a motor scooter to save on gas for the simple errands.
From what other country folks had said, the quiet is the best part of living out of town. I’ve already noticed the difference. I have neighbors but the frequency of seeing them is probably less than 1/10th from when I was in town. I’ve already gotten antsy a few times from lack of other human activity, but I suspect those feelings will subside in short order. In fact, I anticipate thriving in the quiet of the country setting in no time flat.
Life is a series of tradeoffs. In this case you give up some social activity for peaceful solitude. And by becoming more strategic and with more careful planning, the lack of convenience doesn’t have to hinder one’s lifestyle. By being a townie for the first 3+ years since moving to Montana I’ve made many friendships in a relatively short time period. Now the advantages of consolidation and simplification combined with quiet will motivate me to be more strategic. With some proper planning, I won’t have to take more than 4 or 5 trips per week to town. Wish me luck
Next Blog title: Have You Ever Been on a Shrimp Boat?
Next Blog date: June 1, 2010