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February 25, 2008


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My fiance and I have been thinking about moving out to the country but despite all the advantages you listed I see two major drawbacks and would love to hear how you deal with them.

1. work - he can work from home mostly but I would end up commuting. What do you do for a living?

2. social isolation - I love the idea of living out on a farm but I also want friends and family around for support and socializing, which seems hard to do when you're out in the country. I enjoy living in the (small) city where I can volunteer for different groups and attend workshops that sound interesting and just feel like I have more access to people. Where do you get your social support?



Hi Maggie! Thanks for inquiring about our lifestyle. You pretty much hit the nail on the head with the two most difficult aspects of changing from a city life to one out in the country: social isolation and earning a living.

Let me first address the social isolation concern. Coming from the city, I certainly see a lot fewer people out here than I did in the city. The thing is, I interact with them much more intimately. I stop and chat with my neighbors, sharing lemonade and cookies or an afternoon walk (in the city I was always too busy to spend more than a minute or two with our neighbors). I chat with the post lady, the UPS guy, and the FedEx guy nearly every time they come by. They know me by name in the local post office and grocery store. There aren't a lot of younger people our age around, but we have visitors from the city nearly every weekend, which is really important. See, our new homestead is like a weekend "getwaway" for some friends and family members who are looking to get away from the city for a few days. The key to this happening is being close enough to your original place of residence to make it realistic to come up for a day or weekend trip (we are 2 1/2 hours away from Chicago).

Finding employment is a bit trickier, as it will be different for every person out there, depending on what you do. I was a teacher and was fortunate to find a local job. My husband is self-employed and was able to contract himself out locally, though he sometimes travels as far as Chicago when necessary (a headache of a commute). But we are now working towards earning a living off of our land. It is possible to make a living running an organic farm, especially if you don't have a lot of bills/debt/expenses to pay off, and if you have enough land. Another option is to move to the country, but still be close enough to a city or town where you can more easily find work. In our case, we took the plunge without lining up work first, and thankfully it all worked out. We are now learning all sorts of ways to earn money from our land, but its a slow process. I guess sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and go after your dreams.

But I can wholeheartedly say that for us, moving to the country was the best thing we ever did. Our quality of life has literally tripled, and we feel like we have finally found where we belong. We are learning to live a slow, simple, harmonious way of life that just wasn't possible in the city. I wish you much luck with your endeavors, and if there is anything else I can tell you that would be of help, please feel free to contact me! May your journey be a happy one!

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