Pros and Cons of living in the middle of nowhere
In today’s NJroute22.com VLOG – we’ll talk about the pros and cons of living in the middle of nowhere, often called “the sticks.”
For most of our life, we’ve lived in either “suburban” locales (you know, neighbors’ homes about 20 feet away) like Tim “Tool Time” Taylor, as well as dense cities (think Seinfeld).
Today we practically live “in the woods.”
So what are some of the things we miss about our previous living arrangements? And what we don’t and now love about where we do lay our heads down to sleep?
Observations about City living
- One of the first things is human contact. While that may actually seem like a good thing in 2021, being in the middle of nowhere has some downsides. When we used to live in a city (and walked our dog for instance), we’d almost always bump into friends or acquaintances. Definitely more social. At the same time – you’d also encounter “undesirables” much of the time as well. Including drunks, homeless vagrants, and other annoying people.
- Everything was in reach. Stores were open late. We could walk everywhere in just a few minutes. No need to drive most of the time. Although we still chose to have a car, which didn’t save us any money in that respect. In fact – we spent tens of thousands of dollars on parking garages, as well as repairs due to vandalism.
- You could drink at bars and restaurants, without worrying about driving. That of course, led to expensive nights of excessive drinking. It was just too easy and fun.
- Living was simpler. With smaller spaces comes less “stuff” to worry about. I guess you can call that easier to manage. To some degree, of course. A lot of people out-grow their puny apartments – or want to have families.
- While paying rent can seem cheaper than a mortgage and other household expenses – you get nothing in return. Some have said that renting in certain cases is actually less expensive long-term – we’re not so sure about that. And certainly BUYING in a “metropolis” almost always has absurdly insane high taxes.
Differences with Rural living
- As we alluded to previously, there are NO (or very few) people to interact with in the middle of nowhere. Which means very few annoyances, as well as threats of “infection.” Life is a LOT more quiet and peaceful – as well as safe from maniacs and criminals. It can get desolate at times, which can cause some people to go stir-crazy and seek more “excitement.” Perhaps that is why we seem to drink more often than we used to.
- You become a planner. When you have to drive to get your supplies, you naturally want to shop smarter, which means stocking up on necessities. And ordering online works just as well out here – with zero package theft. We don’t really have any issues with this aspect.
- MORE SPACE. While the benefit of a tiny apartment made life simpler to some degree – we are more prepared out here. Tons of space to house the things we want and need. However, it is the human condition to almost always fill any space you occupy TOO MUCH. You can become complacent instead of practical.
- Safety. There are dangers everywhere. Every locale as them. But the dangers of living in the sticks don’t involve sickos and criminals (as much.) There is peace of mind knowing it’s highly unlikely a roving gang of no-gooders is milling around. However, rural living has other dangers – such as wildlife (bears) and way too many falling trees.
- Property taxes / space. Per square foot of both land and housing – it is almost always lower taxes in the sticks. What you get in return is questionable. We still have to pay for garbage and have our own well. Seems like all you get is “roads” and “cops.” Even our fire department is a volunteer unit.
In the end it depends on what your preferences are
In our case – we got tired of city living.
It was likely a combination of reasons.
From the downfall of people in general (a lot of self-centered narcissistic assholes) to the increasing costs, higher density, and overall annoyances.
Plus – if you’re planning to have kids – you have to think about where you want to raise them. A lot of parents love cities, because of the density. Lots of playdates and tons of things to do. Which is good to some degree. But we often see it as just pawning your kids off so you can have cocktails with your friends. Kids usually come out better when they spend more time with their parents than less. It can be argued both ways for sure.
Over time, we feel that less “noise” in your life is better. It’s better for us – and that is why we chose the quieter life over the hectic one. Your mileage and preferences will undoubtedly vary.
But considering what has been going on over the past year – I think we made the right choice relocating to the “middle of nowhere.” We sure would hate to be in a city if something very disruptive happened in society. And this is why millions of other families are now doing the same coast to coast. For peace of mind.
It may be time to find an even quieter spot soon!
See you next time!