After spending the last four nights camping in South Devon, I declare myself initiated in the sport of white van driving. In between the concentration anxiety of approaching blind corners like some kind of avalanche slalom race, I somehow managed to contemplate the pros and cons of living in the country versus the city.
Be Honest, Can you embrace adventure in your daily life? Do you need to get in, out and around, often? Has country life opened up opportunity amidst the “new normal” for remote work?
Fashioning a Sense of Home
I’m not in a habit of thinking further ahead, I like to feel my way along with a steady optimism – but when my boyfriend asked what my dream house would look like the common perception is that an architect would have that well mapped out.
Well, I dont have a house scratched into a “borrowed” restaurant napkin. And as I think that doesn’t fall into being “architect-y”, saying “It’s not about how it looks, its how it feels, and how it fits how I want to live”, does. Pretenciously, one might say!
If had to use a word to describe Home to me, that would be ‘organic’; following a natural ebb and flow. I know I prefer to travel to cities on short breaks to extended travel. The lack of certainty in the upkeep of a lifestyle, like income and a sense of stability makes me anxious. I love visiting new Cities but don’t have quite the same wanderlust in my hometown, because its familiar; I dont feel the need to explore because I know where and how to meet my needs here. Home is a sanctuary to me, and I love to sit out in the garden to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Summer. If I had a balcony of some sort I’d definitely sit out in the rain and Winter too!
When you’re looking into locating your life you have to start from the base – unless you’re planning to live in a literal mobile home or van there’s a reason your house is bedded on the ground like feet! For extroverts though, the House can be more of a passing shelter than an introverts nest, bringing a sense of Home to yourself rather than exterior places.
Potential for the Daring – For building from your own design, to pursuing hobbies or crafting a small business online
Can you live undirected by society norms? Are you an introverted optimist, and able to construct your life away from the noise of others?
Function follows Form, and now you’ve contemplated the environment on your daily life, you’ve got to also think of the impact on you internally. The thing here to consider in deciding between Country and City puts you and your needs first. Some people thrive on time alone, carving their own path and dipping in and out of the social pool. And some are the opposite! I like to think of it as a scale, introverted in the country, to extroverted in the city, with an alternative option of small town in the middle. People like to say that living in the Country is only for the wealthy but I don’t believe that’s necessarily true. I think this way of life is for the resourceful, and that resourcefulness translates as wealth to others. Everything moves that bit slower in the countryside, allowing us to get in tune with our circadian rhythms. The movment of the Garden City hoped to achieve this middle ground, it was unsucessful but we also obtained the individual private garden through it. You could chose a tree to plant in your garden and receive a brochure on how to look after it! Now we take our outdoor spaces for granted and symbolise wealth through them, allowing space to again become a luxury commodity,
Appreciate the Small; Learn to live more simply
This might look like a black box, but if you zoom in you’ll see it’s actually the night sky. I dropped this in to emphasise my ending thought. It might sound like I’ve massively romanticised the idea of living in the country, but I think this is the problem. We are all overspent, over-doing living and over complicating our own lives. You don’t necessarily have to live in the country to unravel the complexity of your life. It might be a trip to the country for a short break, living within acheivable distances from both town and country, or city and town. But my point is to consider these things, not only for your own health and achievement but as a contribution toward a better and societal design.