I have experienced both countryside living and city living fairly recently. I currently live in the countryside and have for the last six years. We moved to our current location from Philadelphia which is city living in any one's book, I'm sure. We moved to a small town approximately fifty miles southwest of Philly.
The first thing I noticed, when comparing the two lifestyles, was now instead of endless traffic slowing down my progress I had Amish buggies to wait behind. I have to say I am way more patient with the Amish than the rude, inconsiderate driver who just cut me off.
Instead of looking out my window and seeing stores, traffic and people, I now see a pond, trees and fields. This kind of setting just naturally makes for a less stress filled life.
I actually know my neighbors! We have barbecues together and stop to chat on the way to the mail box. My wonderful neighbors have collected my mail for me when I was on vacation, dog sat for me and invited me to dinner on several occasions! I knew very few of my neighbors in Philly, some just didn't want to be bothered.
I can take a walk without fear of looking at some one the wrong way. There are no thugs walking the country roads (just the occasional loose dog). Loose dogs I can deal with, loose thugs are scary and stressful.
The con side to countryside living is the commute. I now had to drive thirty-seven miles to get to work. When gas prices rose after Katrina I was putting fifty dollars a week in the gas tank, compared to thirty dollars before Katrina.
There is no nearby shopping. The nearest Wal-Mart is twenty miles away and the nearest mall is about forty miles away.
Visiting family and friends was now an all day event due the time involved in getting there. Don't get me wrong, I love my family and friends, but I like my home time too. Trying to squeeze everything into two weekend days off is too much sometimes.
All in all, the pros far outweigh the cons of countryside living. The stress that has been alleviated just by getting out of the city is well worth it. I love my countryside lifestyle. Now if they'd just build that Wal-mart...