Had enough of city living? It’s not hard to see why. Increasing house prices, congested traffic and growing pollution and crime can all lead to greater levels of stress and depression.
But while moving to the country for some cleaner air and simplier living may seem like a great idea, it’s not as easy as chucking the kids in the car and setting up home among the gum trees.
A few things to do before you uproot include:
• Sort out your finances: Living off the land still requires money. If you’re saddled with debt, it will be hard to find the funds to run a country property properly. So, before you move to the country, get out of debt and save, save, save! You’ll also need a job when you get there to keep the money ticking over while you start up your new life on the farm.
• Broaden your skills: Rural life means you can’t always call an expert when something goes wrong so knowing the basics of plumbing, electrical wiring, building, butchering and gardening could be handy! It’s also a good idea to check out the plumbing and wiring in any country homesteads before you buy because it can often be old and dodgy which means more money. Plus make sure you know how to drive a manual car, change a tyre and charge a car battery.
• Take trips before you decide on a location: Do your resarch. Moving a million miles away because you fall in love with a duck egg blue cottage is very romantic but you need to be practical when looking at land and the town. Talk to the locals about weather patterns and conditions. Learn what areas are suitable for growing what and above all, ask about water. Where is it? How deep is it? How much is there?
• Be prepared to make sacrifices: You are going to have to give us some modern conveniences. Running to the corner store takes on a new meaning when you live miles from the shops. But how you adapt all comes down to attitude. Stay positive, stick it out and stay together.
•, Be willing to learn: Don’t presume you know all there is to know about country life because you’ve read a few books. People will be your greatest asset, so don’t be afraid to ask for help from neighbours and town folk. But be willing to return the favour because that’s the country way!
• Make a plan: It will take over a year before you feel settled and start to see the fruits of your labour so try not to do too much too quickly. Take one thing at a time and plan your projects. Sure, it’s important to fence your land, raise your animals and repair your house but it’s also important to sit on your balcony and watch the sunset. You are in the country for a reason, after all!
Catch Escape to the Country on the LifeStyle Channel.