Having grown up in the Essex countryside for the best part of my life (give or take a few years for a stint in India as a child and time away at uni…twice), I’ve had a bit of a love/hate relationship with living in the sticks.
As a teen I was desperate to live closer to my friends in town, closer to the action…but as I get older (and have gained a driving license), I’ve started to appreciate the countryside a bit more…most of the time.
Sure, there’s a lot more going on in big cities like London and I’m sure my social life would be a lot more exciting if I were to move to the capital, but there are some things about the countryside that you simply can’t recreate in urban areas. I’m currently on the brink of moving out and though I do intend on moving somewhere a bit more central, I will most definitely miss village life.
Read on for my run down of the reasons I love living in the countryside.
It’s dog walking paradise
Taking Cody for long walks is one of my favourite things to do. Watching his elation at rolling around in the long grass never fails to put a smile on my face and there’s no better way to enjoy some alone time, to clear the cobwebs away! Living opposite a farm, there are countless different routes through the fields to explore. Hatfield Forest is also a stone’s throw away, boasting a big lake that Cody loves to dive into for a paddle – though the submerged reeds and defensive geese often spook him (he’s such a big scaredy cat)!
There are loads of lovely critters
As an animal lover, getting to witness some of the wonderful British wildlife at my finger tips is definitely something that draws me to the countryside and I get pretty damn excited if I spot some critters on my travels. Living on my doorstep, I have herds of majestic deer, cute little snuffling hedgehogs, foxes that make terrifying noises in the night (I’ve been told it’s them getting up to hanky panky) and even the occasional shy and retiring badger. My auntie claims she saw a black panther in the field opposite our house one Christmas too, but I think that may have been the wine talking!
I can look like a mess
Out in the sticks, there’s no pressure to dig through my wardrobe to put together a perfectly planned outfit or conceal my eye bags with a smothering of makeup, because the chances are I won’t see a single soul. And if I do? Well, they couldn’t give a monkey’s if my hair needs a wash or my mud covered wellies clash with my elephant print harem pants. Chances are they’re going for “dog walking chic” too. Don’t get me wrong, I love my clothes (my wardrobe is bursting), but it’s also amazing to be able to rock the ‘rolled out of bed’ look on a Sunday afternoon.
It’s a haven of tranquility
Ok this is a bit of a lie….I’d love to say that all you can hear as I sit in my garden on a summer’s day is the sound of birds tweeting and children playing, however my lane just so happens to be located directly under the Stansted Airport flight path (which is located a mere 15 minutes away). Not only this, but it also crosses over the top of the M11. Cue the beautiful harmony of jumbo jets, HGVs and sirens!
There are moments of tranquility, however, and the rural setting certainly makes me appreciate our wonderful planet a little bit more. Opening your curtains to beautiful rolling fields in the morning definitely beats a concrete jungle, don’t you think?
The lovely childhood memories
I was probably part of the last generation of kids who were able to ride their bikes around the village (adult supervision free), without leaving my parents feeling sick with worry. From making dens out of twigs and grass in the fields (even better when it snowed) to riding our bikes down hills (thinking we were the bravest kids to walk the planet), my childhood just wouldn’t have been the same if it weren’t for my country bumkin surroundings. This being said, I did move to the very chaotic and over-populated city of Mumbai at the age of 8, so that was a whole new kettle of fish!
People say hello in the streets
Believe it or not, in a small village like mine people actually say ‘hello’ when they pass each other in the street. They might on a good day even stop for a chat – Yes, read it and believe it London folk!
I think there’s something about being in a smaller community that just makes people more approachable – most of the time anyway!