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Tips for Moving to a Rural Community

Jon Fesmire | August 7, 2017 @ 9:00 AM

If you grew up in an urban or suburban neighborhood and are preparing to move to a rural area, be ready for a bit of culture shock. Perhaps you’re moving for work, to be with your significant other, or you just want to live in an area with more trees. Whatever the reason, rural life really does have its differences.

No doubt you have ideas about what moving to the country will be like, but here are some unexpected things that you might encounter when moving to a rural community.

No More Short Trips

One nice thing about living in an urban area is that there are grocery stores, convenience stores, and restaurants everywhere. If you need just one thing, like a gallon of milk, you can hop in your car and go get it quickly.

In a rural or country area, odds are, you’ll be many miles away from such places. You’ll need to plan your shopping trips and outings more carefully, and you’ll probably have one or two grocery runs per week. If you’re not a shopping list maker by nature, you’ll learn to change your ways so that you don’t forget to buy any groceries or other essentials on these long outings.

Everyone Knows Everyone

If you’re used to living in a city, then you’re probably used to going out and not running into anyone you know. That will not be the case in a rural area.

Even if you live so far in the country that your nearest neighbor is miles away, you’ll likely meet them eventually at the supermarket, which likely will be something like a Walmart, where you shop for food and most other household items. You’ll meet people from all around the general area over and over, and people will want to talk.

If you’re from a city where strangers ignore each other every day, being approached by people you don’t know will seem strange at first. Just remember that most people living in the country are welcoming and will want to get to know you. Be kind yourself, and you’re sure to make friends.

If possible, avoid talk about religion or politics. People from urban areas and those who have grown up in rural communities often disagree heavily on these things. Let them see what a great person you are before delving into these topics.

People Are Helpful

In a deeply rural area, it may be tough to get a plumber or electrician to come out to your place. If they have the option to take jobs closer to where they work, they probably will. You may find locals though who know how to do those jobs and will help around your house. You should also be willing to help them when possible.

If you or someone you live with gets really sick, odds are, your new friends will want to make your life easier by bringing home cooked meals. Help others in their time of need, too.

This Doesn’t Sound Like the City

In rural areas, houses are generally spaced farther apart. You’re bound to hear more animals and other unfamiliar sounds from the surrounding wilderness.

If you really live far away from others, this can be scary. The “cabin in the woods” horror trope may even come to mind. Rest assured, you will probably be fine. Lock up your house. Get an alarm system if you must. It may take a week or so to get used to the sense of isolation, but in time, you’ll sleep well again.


Yes, cities have their share of household pests, from rats to roaches. In a rural area, you may have even more. Get used to setting traps. Be sure to keep your house nice and clean and put away all food.


Electrical power tends to go out more often in rural areas. That’s something else you’ll need to get used to. For some appliances, you may want to get backup battery.

If you’re used to relying on the Internet, make sure your smartphone has mobile hotspot and that you have a backup battery for your computer, or a laptop with a long-lasting battery.

Of course, the area may not have great cell reception at all. Do your research on this before you move, and find the carrier that has the best reception for the area. You may also want to consider a landline.

Overall, living in a rural area can be wonderful. Once you’ve adjusted, it’s not too difficult. We hope the advice here helps ease your transition from city life to your new rural community.

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