City life or rural living – which is better? This is a question that has been debated for centuries. Both lifestyles have pros and cons, and the answer depends on your individual preferences. This blog post will discuss the pros and cons of living in the city vs. the countryside. We hope this information will help you decide where you want to live!
The first thing that comes to mind when considering the difference between the city and the countryside is transportation.
The fact is that it is much easier to move around a big city with public transport systems. Overall, cities tend to be well connected in transport and have much more regular services. They also have services running earlier in the morning and usually later into the evening.
However, the downside is that much more stress is involved in commuting around the city than in the countryside, where a car is likely to be your principal mode of transport. You have less independence in a city and are much more prone to be jammed in with other people.
Commuting via public transport from a suburb is also likely to be an unfun experience.
One way around this in a city is to use a bicycle, which carries risks and stresses.
And if you thought you could take your car into the city, think again.
Big cities like London have strict restrictions on cars coming into the center. It’s expensive to get the requisite permits, parking will be a nightmare, and if you try to go anywhere near southeast London, you are likely to be stuck in long traffic jams.
Essentially the transport story is a reflection of the city rat race.
Shopping and restaurants
The countryside loses out on city living when it comes to dining out. Because of the much more diverse cultures and populations in a large city, the variety of food and restaurants in cities is very wide. Certainly much better than you find in the countryside.
Rural residents can forget about getting sushi in most countryside areas!
Countryside restaurants tend to close earlier in the evening than their counterparts in the city. So, if you are into the 24/7 lifestyle, the urban lifestyle will suit you better because you have much more chance of getting something to eat at any time of the day or night.
Generally speaking, food in rural communities is healthier and more natural than in the city. Indeed, at a more affordable cost than city organic stores. Food in country stores is more likely to be locally sourced, meaning it will be fresher and better for you.
Regarding shops, cities beat rural life every day of the week. You cannot get the variety and quality of goods in shops in the countryside that you will find in any city. There is always the option of the county town, but usually, that will fall short of what you can find in the city.
At a time when many of us are shopping increasingly on online services like Amazon, this may not matter quite as much as it did in the past.
Food delivery services are another area where urban ones are favored over the rural living. It’s not so easy to get high-quality pizza in many parts of the countryside. Indeed, I’ve seen a YouTube video where the person presenting her country lifestyle admitted that there is a delineation lineation between pizza and nonpizza areas!
Things like cellular networks can be a real problem in the countryside. Cities are almost always universally covered at high speed. You will struggle to get a decent connection in certain places in the countryside. You may even be forced to use landlines, which will feed into the types of internet access you might get.
Those in a small town will usually be better off. And, for those in the deeper countryside, it is likely to improve.
People like Elon Musk are planning satellite internet services to open up communications for people living in the countryside. But for the moment, we must accept that that country life means less communication at high speed compared to our counterparts in an urban area.
Modern facilities will, of course, be easier to come by in a city.
It remains the case that cities offer much more job opportunities and mobility, so if you are very career-minded, you may need to accept city life for a while to build up your career.
Some small towns outside cities in America are now called Zoom Towns. Plus, there is an increasing drive towards setting up small businesses and entrepreneurs’ cottage industries. Meaning that the traditional employment forms in large corporations are diminishing.
I’ve seen quite a lot of debate among Silicon Valley techs on this point. Some argue passionately that you must be a city dweller to find and qualify for specific jobs. On the other hand, some argue that providing you fit the skill set, you can find a job and enjoy a rural lifestyle. Even when remote working.
Cities usually win on the Hobby front, also. Whether it’s salsa dancing, writing classes, or one of the myriads of other enjoyments. There are, of course, some activities that can only really be done in the countryside—for example, hiking, rock climbing in nature, and so forth.
It will be much easier to find fellow souls via meetup groups in the city than will be the case in a rural village.
This brings us neatly to entertainment and social life. Forget about finding a decent nightclub or jazz club in the countryside. Nor are you likely to find the latest movie readily available in most countryside cinemas.
Increasing numbers rely on Netflix and Amazon Prime for our evening entertainment. Especially at a time of the Covid pandemic.
Although the fire department, police, and hospitals are usually located closer to you in the city, the unfortunate fact is that crime tends to be higher and worse.
People tend to look out for each other far more in the countryside. Generally speaking, there is much more of a sense of community. I believe it’s been shown that everyone knows everyone else where you have up to about 160 people in a community. This is something in a rural place that is almost impossible to achieve in a city, with its tall buildings and large population.
On the other hand, if you need to call the police, they are likely to be much slower in coming to the countryside than in an urban environment. The same is also true for things like ambulances.
Air quality is significantly higher in the countryside. There is much less air pollution from cars and public transport. Research published by the BBC has shown that city residents tend to suffer high levels of asthma, common allergies, and depression. Conversely, urban dwellers are less obese, have a lower risk of suicide, and are less likely to be killed in accidents. Auto accidents in a rural area tend to be much more serious than those occurring in an urban center simply because of the speed of collisions.
If you are living in the countryside, living by the sea appears to be a good health choice. It’s been shown to be better for your psychological state, and the more blue sky you see, the less stress you’ll experience.
Cost of Living
When researching this article, I was surprised to learn that, on average, in the UK, houses are more expensive in the countryside than in the respective cities. This, of course, does not apply to the UK’s capital city, London.
On average, living in a city is much more expensive than in the countryside. Food costs are just part of the equation. If you are renting, it will be more expensive in the city than in the countryside.
On the other hand, living in the countryside means usually petrol costs and a higher cost for heating your home than you would pay in the City.
People living in the city will drive 4 hours to experience something that people living in the countryside get every day.
Every day, I wake up to the sound of the birds’ chorus. It’s a real privilege. 5 minutes down the road is one of the most beautiful woodlands in England. Looking out of my window in the evening, I often get a starlit sky. Dark Sky is something to be treasured.
When I step outside my door in the morning, I first inhale deeply. Not something I would do in a hurry in a London street. Of course, there are parks in the city; but in my view, they measure up to the outdoor space that one can find in the countryside.
If you enjoy walking in nature, it’s a no-brainer. The countryside is for you.
What can you do to feel in the countryside when you live in a city?
One thing to work on is creating some silence and Solitude!
When living in London and Paris, I used noise-canceling headphones to diminish the sound of the street and neighbors.
Finding small corners of local parks, where not too many people would be walking past, became very important. Finding rivers, streams, and wherever there was water and greenery was also essential.
Do You Think the Countryside or the City Is Better?
I think to answer this question is to answer questions about your motivations and enjoyment. Partly, I think it’s a question of age. It’s to do with what you enjoy doing every day.
Cities offer more opportunities to grow a career and social network. Along with that comes the disadvantage that connections and friendships may be more superficial in urban living than in the countryside.
What’s It Like Moving From the City to the Country?
Providing that you have reflected on some of the issues above and done some introspection into what you want, everything will be OK!
The massive reductions in stress, noise, pollution, and traffic will take you by surprise, even if you have experienced the countryside before. It’s such a contrast.
Should Kids Grow Up in Cities or the Countryside?
This is a complex question, which I’ve attempted to answer in another article.