walking in the countryside

Living in the Countryside a Year On

From city girl to country dweller, here’s the things that surprised and delighted me when I moved to the countryside. 

Before our move to the countryside, my husband, my then new born baby and I lived in a tiny apartment in the heart of Taipei. It was small. The baby’s new crib along with other new but needed baby essentials basically maxed out all the space in our apartment. We were at crossroads. It was either make it work by going minimalist or cut and run for wider horizons—and more space. Then, out of the blue a family matter was brought to our attention which helped us make the decisions to move back to my husband’s countryside hometown. And that was that. 

I really love nature

I’m literally surrounded by natural scenery so there’s plenty of photo ops! On a typical day, I take my one year old for a morning stroll through hundreds of acres of stunning farmland. As we pass the fields I point out to her the many fruits and vegetables trees in our view. 

Sometimes I get so excited about seeing a turtle jumping into the water, or seeing fish swimming in the river. I’m literally like ‘Look, there. It’s a turtle!’ 

As I watch the seasons pass by, I notice the smallest details change – the way the soft morning light highlights the dew on the grass, or the way lime fruit begins to turn from green to yellow overnight. Sunsets are vivid and beautiful, unobscured by high rise buildings, and on a clear night the stars are simply breathtaking. If I’m feeling anxious or stressed just I go outside and take in the sunset in utter quiet, or I walk down my road and soak in all that is around me in the peaceful moment.

I’ve gotten so used to living in the countryside that visiting the city becomes an adventure, rather than a chore. I look forward to my trips to the city, and my travels to foreign soil, because I don’t have to deal with that same hectic pace every day.

Rural doesn’t have to be boring and empty

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I find it amusing when city people  say there is “nothing to do” in the countryside. For those who are used to constant entertainment and stimulation, it’s true that the country life might take some serious adjusting. However, it is possible to have just as much fun in the country, you just have to look a bit harder. On weekends we make the effort to discover as many new places as possible. There are countless recreational farms and scenic attractions within a 20-30 minute distance  waiting to be discovered. 

A new appreciation for farmers

Most days the farmers greet us as we walk by and sometimes we have a chit chat. I’ve seen them work their tails off in the blazing heat and in the cold. No matter the season most days I see them laboring away pushing wheelbarrows and tending to their crops. It’s given me a new awareness of how important farming is and where our food comes from. We’re even buying everything organic from eggs, corn fed chicken and vegetables all from our farmer neighbors.

Living in the countryside isn’t all sunshine and roses

It took some time to adapt to this slower pace of life and really  appreciate the serenity and peace that comes with country life. For someone who has spent many years in the city this silence was disorientating.

I wouldn’t define where I live as remote. It’s not like I have to drive 30 minutes to reach the convenience store. Where I live is nestled between a bustling rural area and endless acres of countryside land. 

I still have access to most things I did while living in the city. But driving would make getting to places more convenient. For the first 6 months living here my husband was my personal chauffeur as I couldn’t drive. While he commuted to the city for work I was practically home-bound and having to wait for him to get home so I could go somewhere was frustrating. Now that I have my drivers licence, I’m not sure I want to drive because the country people here seem to drive recklessly!

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Final thoughts 

The day we moved into our country home, I found myself moving more slowly – walking gently around the house. I find that feeling has infiltrated all areas of my life. I feel less pressure and expectation, less competition. A kind of lightness. I think it’s a combination of less financial pressure and a recalibrated focus away from work and toward, family life  and shared pleasures. 

I know that country life isn’t for everyone. Where I live may not be the cultural epicture like London or New York, but it’s definitely growing on me. 

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