The countryside. The place where you don’t have to try hard to find a farmer’s market or a good place to grab a pint, even if you do risk being lost in a field of cows on the way there. For some the countryside is the ideal haven, a sanctuary of sorts. To others it’s a place of monotony; where excitement goes to die.
There are two sides to every argument, so why don’t we explore the arguments you haven’t thought about.
Lovely: Open Space
The countryside has a lot of space. 93% of space in the UK is not ‘Urban’, that means there’s a lot of places to play hide and seek in the woods. Whether you feel trapped by the proximity of the city or just like having a lot of places to work out, the countryside has the space you need. And there’s obvious health benefits to not being crammed in the countryside; the country can have more than half the air pollution of the city.
Depressing: No Spontaneity
This may shock city dwellers, but there’s no Uber in the countryside. You’re more likely to find a river to swim in than find a bus that comes at a convenient time. Everything that is exciting or fun will be as far from you and as hard to get to as physically possible. Spontaneity and country living are completely incompatible.
Lovely: Peace, Quiet and Comfort
Even when it’s quiet in a city it isn’t truly quiet, it’s just less loud. Whereas in the country, you can go for hours without hearing a sound other than birds tweeting. The countryside is the perfect place to cuddle up by the fire with a good book, put your pyjamas on and go to bed at a reasonable hour. If you thrive off of comfort rather than thrills, the country is the place to be.
Depressing: No Diversity
In a city you can find restaurants from every cuisine known to man, meet people from countries and islands you’ve never even heard of and befriend complete strangers on a night out, never to see them again. In the countryside things are predictable and familiar; you’re stuck with pubs that serve the same five meals over and over again, people who have never even left the county they were born in and who all work in the same job.
Lovely: People Know You
Your neighbours will volunteer to feed your pets when you go on holiday. You’ll spend ages in the local shops catching up with people you know, get amazing customer service in any cafés and you’ll be the first to know any village controversies. If you like being able to wield power and influence, the countryside is where it’s at.
Depressing: People Know You
Privacy is not an option. A trip to the doctors or the local supermarket can become the topic of local gossip within minutes. Nothing is ever quick and easy because people will stop you to talk wherever you go. You’ll be drawn into a hierarchy of established locals and new arrivals, all competing for power and control over important institutions like the cricket club or church fete. Put one foot out of line and you’ll be called out on the village Facebook group. It’s a realm of backstabbing and no anonymity, so is not for the fainthearted.
Tom @ OTSO