City life vs country life: As a born-and-raised city girl, having temporarily adopted a country life in Australia, I think it is safe to say I have experienced the best (and possibly worst) of both worlds. They are two entirely different ways of life – each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Note: since the writing of this article (many years ago!), I’ve lived in a few dozen other urban AND rural locations around the world. In general I tend to lean towards rural (or semi-rural) locations, however I still like getting my “city fix” from time to time.
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City Life – Advantages
You can get pretty much anything you want, at any time of the day or night. (Gosh, do I ever miss sushi and dim sum).
“Mail Order” is an entirely optional part of your vocabulary.
Public transportation (in some cities), or at least living close to amenities, saves the need – environmentally and financially – for a car.
The variety of jobs and careers available is wide. Where else can you be a slinky repair technician AND be in demand?
The variety of accommodation available is even wider. Urban lofts, flats, houses, skyscrapers, hovels, you name it.
A faux pas or fall-out with somebody is easily overcome. Just make new friends and hang out with different people.
There is always a general interest course or class available for you to take, on any variety of topics. Belly Dancing? Wiggle away. How To Write a Romance Novel? Craft those prose. Poker Website Design? Please, just….don’t.
Proximity to fire departments, police, and hospitals can make city living safer.
You wouldn’t think twice about going out to see a movie or show. It’s all right there.
You can streak through the city, completely naked, and chances are it will never get back to you. (Not that I’ve ever…never mind).
City Life – Disadvantages
Cities are inherently expensive. Besides the higher cost of living, something happens whenever I find myself in a city: I spend more money. I don’t even know where it goes. It just….goes.
The anonymity can be suffocating.
Crime is higher. The really bad kinds of crime too.
Competition for jobs is fiercer. When newcomers move to the area, they’re likely to move to the city.
The cost of accommodations is considerably higher. Even hovels come at a premium.
The rat race.
Stars? What are stars? Do you mean movie stars?
It can be a real dog-eat-dog world.
Country Life – Advantages
You look out your window every morning to see what people from the city drive for hours (and sometimes pay big money) to enjoy.
Peace and quiet. Real quiet. Hearing a car – a single car – drive by within a kilometer is a noticeable event.
Stars. Many, many stars.
Inhale. No really. You won’t smell garbage. Inhale!
Fresh air, blue skies, and way healthier living.
The grapevine is awesome (if it works in your favour).
Locking your doors is entirely optional.
People work together and look out for one another, creating a greater sense of community.
Living in the country can make you stronger and more independent as a person.
You can walk down the street of a country town, and chances are you’ll see somebody you know.
Cell phone reception sucks. (Yes, this is – or at least can be – an advantage!)
Country Life – Disadvantages
Your mail is delivered to a place that you have to drive to get to. That is, if you have a mailing address at all. (In Grenada, my address was “3rd house on the right past the pasture”. Amazon doesn’t have an address field for that).
Being sick or tired is difficult if you’re on your own. Pizza delivery is rare in the country, so you’ve got to take care of your self (or yodel at a neighbour to help you).
Piss one person off, and expect not only the whole town to know, but expect the whole town to give you the cold shoulder along with it. One move can make or break you in the country.
Because you’re so likely to see somebody you know in the street, everything seems to take way longer to do than you think.
While you’re chatting with that somebody you just saw in the street, all the stores are closing and your next chance to buy milk will be in two days.
Technology isn’t always top of the line. For example: fiber optic internet – what’s that?
The politics are brutal (if they’re not in your favour).
Anything within 50kms is considered “close”.
Expect to be required to order something you really need by mail at some point – and have the wrong thing delivered. (Again, if you even have a mailing address to begin with).
Getting a social life can be very difficult. (If, however, you choose to be social with trees, you’ll have no problem).
Streaking through the streets in the nude will only lead to trouble.
Want to see Where in the World I’ve Traveled and Lived?
Click on any of the dark coloured countries below to learn what I did there.
Where I've Been
How to Decide Between Checked Luggage and Carry-On (hint: it’s not as straightforward as you may think)