Author Topic: Regretting Relocation  (Read 7025 times)

Gumption

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Regretting Relocation
« on: July 05, 2019, 07:21:34 AM »
We recently moved to a more rural setting. Mid life crisis. We have 2 kids (13, 9) that have adjusted pretty well so far.

Although being near nature certainly has its benefits, we are finding many of the unforeseen aspects of living 10mins outside a small town (25k) is not sustainable, nor MMM-compliant.

The driving, the hassle of not having easy access to stores, the expense of the local grocery store (whole foods was much cheaper) and the lack of connections are killing us.
The schools are very good, but that is not a big enough reason to deal with the downsides.

Anyone been through this? Has anyone moved back because of this?

I know we will lose some money selling our house and moving back to our original "home"town, but we are seriously considering doing it. We had a fairly decent FIRE plan in place there. That is now in limbo given our situation here. I want to move back and into less of a house to make up for the decision we've made to move out here.

Help :-)

erutio

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2019, 07:30:30 AM »
Well, what were the reasons you moved in the first place?  Are you already FIREd?

fuzzy math

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2019, 07:30:57 AM »
How recent? Does your spouse feel the same?

I see 2 schools of thought.

1) it's summer and you could potentially get your kids back into their old schools by the start, if going back to your old school district was your desire

2) take some time to plan and figure out exactly what you did wrong so you can avoid making similar mistakes in the future. Also potentially give yourself enough time to settle in your location while you are looking to see whether the grass is truly greener back in the city.

It's a tough position to be in for sure. I've made a couple moves where either the new city was a bad fit or the new job was a bad fit, both of which required moving. I let things completely fall apart and gave both locations a year before deciding it was time to go.

Gumption

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2019, 07:41:40 AM »
We are going to make it through the school year at least. It's simply too early to pull the plug as we have been here 6months.
We are old enough to know, however, that its just isn't going to work long term. Spouse and I feel the same way.

We originally moved as it had been a dream to live away from the ever expanding concrete jungle. We were going to wait until the kids were off to college (8years) to make the move to this area, but decided that it could be a good experience for them as well. Schools are great. We had some medical stuff happen last year that made us realize life is short and not to wait.

After having been here 6months, we have a different outlook now. We aren't complete morons, but basically the reality of this place has set in, and it is not what we are looking for.

Fuzzy math. thanks. I agree with your second suggestion. A mistake is not a mistake if you can learn from it.

use2betrix

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2019, 07:50:34 AM »
I canít gather from your post - is it the 10 minute drive thatís really bothering you, or is it a further drive to a larger city for regular things?

I grew up in a town of about 5k. A town with a population of 20k was 30 miles away, and the closest place over 100k people was 90 miles a day. We also lived about 10-15 minutes from town for several year. Nowadays, with amazon prime and the internet, living in smaller towns is much less of a hassle than it used to be.

FIREstache

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2019, 07:56:51 AM »
Although being near nature certainly has its benefits, we are finding many of the unforeseen aspects of living 10mins outside a small town (25k) is not sustainable, nor MMM-compliant.

The driving, the hassle of not having easy access to stores

It often takes more than 10 minutes to get to stores in a large city.  I would rather drive through 10 minutes of the countryside myself.

Gumption

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2019, 08:04:04 AM »
10 mins to the village, 12 minutes to the larger town. Larger town has very limited stores, including one grocery store that is super expensive.
Some box stores are 20mins away.

basically with 2 kids, there is a ton of driving back and forth. Its hard to enjoy nature when you are in a car most of the day.

I work at home, so am feeling pretty isolated except when i can get it town to do errands.

It isn't the drive per se, but rather the cumulative effect of all the tiny things we overlooked (or were not visible) during the 10 or so years we visited before moving.

OtherJen

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2019, 08:06:53 AM »
Although being near nature certainly has its benefits, we are finding many of the unforeseen aspects of living 10mins outside a small town (25k) is not sustainable, nor MMM-compliant.

The driving, the hassle of not having easy access to stores

It often takes more than 10 minutes to get to stores in a large city.  I would rather drive through 10 minutes of the countryside myself.

My reading was that it takes 10 minutes to get to a single grocery store more expensive than Whole Foods, and everything else is much farther.

Kris

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2019, 08:06:57 AM »
I hate living in rural areas, precisely for this reason. You tried it, you didnít like it. I think you cut your losses, recognize that youíve learned a valuable lesson, and move on.

OtherJen

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2019, 08:16:30 AM »
10 mins to the village, 12 minutes to the larger town. Larger town has very limited stores, including one grocery store that is super expensive.
Some box stores are 20mins away.

basically with 2 kids, there is a ton of driving back and forth. Its hard to enjoy nature when you are in a car most of the day.

I work at home, so am feeling pretty isolated except when i can get it town to do errands.

It isn't the drive per se, but rather the cumulative effect of all the tiny things we overlooked (or were not visible) during the 10 or so years we visited before moving.

I understand that, completely. Husband and I have romanticized the idea of leaving our suburban home and buying land in the upper peninsula of Michigan. But...I also work from home and do not particularly enjoy winter sports, and it snows there for 7 months of the year. Where we live now, I can easily get to several grocery stores, a library, and good medical facilities even if the weather is lousy. Our area also has lots of museums and a big conservatory that I use in winter when I need a break from the cold and gloom, plus my choirs and other volunteer groups. I would miss all of those things tremendously.

I wonder if thereís a happy medium. My husband grew up in a small rural city, where a 5-minute drive in any direction outside city limits places you in farmland. But itís large enough to have multiple grocery stores (including an Aldi) and lots of social and volunteer groups (my FIL is very involved in Rotary). A rural university town may also give you the best of both worlds.

habaneroNorway

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2019, 08:25:41 AM »
I read a study many years ago where an anthropologist studied people leaving the city for the countryside. He said that if he got to speak with the movers for 15 minutes, he could almost with 100% correctness predict if they would still be living there in 2 years. There are, in general, some serious misconceptions from city folks how it actually is to live in rural areas (and the other way around, for that matter). I come from a small place myself and I get quite baffled when someone with no clue talk about the relaxed joyful life of moving to a small farm and have animals, for example. It's a lot of work.

Regardless of what it is there are certain things in everyday life you take for granted and after a while you don't think about those anymore. Until they suddenly are unavailable to you.

You tried, it didn't work out for you. If the rest of the family agrees, cut your losses and move back at the end of the school year. You are now able to make a more informed decision. The place might grow on you, but from what you say, I don't think its very likely.


LifeHappens

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2019, 08:27:27 AM »
In 2013 my DH and I relocated from a medium sized northern city to an island community in Florida. Most people would say we lived in paradise, and we did enjoy it... for about 3 years. After a while the grind of needing to drive through horrible traffic to the mainland to do normal things like go to the bank, a decent grocery store, or to see a competent doctor really started to wear on us. We also didn't like the isolation and lack of social stimulus, especially in the summer off season. You can only have the same conversation every Wednesday for so long.

Last summer we sold that house and moved to a large metro area. We're still close enough to nature and the water to get there when we want, but every other aspect of life is more convenient.

Maybe it's time to do a more comprehensive location search. If there are things about your old hometown you don't want to deal with anymore, and your current rural location is not the answer, you might need to find an entirely new region.

spartana

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brandon1827

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2019, 08:29:48 AM »

I wonder if thereís a happy medium. My husband grew up in a small rural city, where a 5-minute drive in any direction outside city limits places you in farmland. But itís large enough to have multiple grocery stores (including an Aldi) and lots of social and volunteer groups (my FIL is very involved in Rotary). A rural university town may also give you the best of both worlds.

This is the dynamic my family enjoys currently. We lived "in the city" for almost 10 years prior to deciding to move to a more rural part of the same county. We built our house on a large piece of farmland that feels like it's in the middle of nowhere, but in reality we are 5-10 minutes from stores, restaurants, etc. So we get to enjoy the peace and quiet of being away from the noise and congestion of the city, but still being close enough to civilization to be convenient for groceries, dining, and recreation.

On the work from home front...I'm a little confused why working from home in the city and working from home in the country would be vastly different. Isn't working from home the same regardless of where the home is located? You're still going to be in your home, at a desk or in a work space, on a computer...right?

nick663

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2019, 08:44:23 AM »
Not to play captain hindsight but this is why we rented for the first year after relocating.  So many variables when making that big of a shift in lifestyle and you really don't want to put all of your eggs in that basket.


I wonder if thereís a happy medium. My husband grew up in a small rural city, where a 5-minute drive in any direction outside city limits places you in farmland. But itís large enough to have multiple grocery stores (including an Aldi) and lots of social and volunteer groups (my FIL is very involved in Rotary). A rural university town may also give you the best of both worlds.

This is the dynamic my family enjoys currently. We lived "in the city" for almost 10 years prior to deciding to move to a more rural part of the same county. We built our house on a large piece of farmland that feels like it's in the middle of nowhere, but in reality we are 5-10 minutes from stores, restaurants, etc. So we get to enjoy the peace and quiet of being away from the noise and congestion of the city, but still being close enough to civilization to be convenient for groceries, dining, and recreation.

On the work from home front...I'm a little confused why working from home in the city and working from home in the country would be vastly different. Isn't working from home the same regardless of where the home is located? You're still going to be in your home, at a desk or in a work space, on a computer...right?
Many rural areas do not have high speed internet outside of satellite or cell phones.  My parents live in an area like that and it is nowhere near as desolate as the Michigan UP.

10 mins to the village, 12 minutes to the larger town. Larger town has very limited stores, including one grocery store that is super expensive.
Some box stores are 20mins away.

basically with 2 kids, there is a ton of driving back and forth. Its hard to enjoy nature when you are in a car most of the day.

I work at home, so am feeling pretty isolated except when i can get it town to do errands.

It isn't the drive per se, but rather the cumulative effect of all the tiny things we overlooked (or were not visible) during the 10 or so years we visited before moving.
I grew up in a pretty similar situation and then went the other direction after moving out (going from a grocery store being 15 mins away to it being around the corner).  One thing that always shocked me was how many of my coworkers would "run to the store" for an item that they knew they would need 3 days ago, but didn't buy on their multiple trips to the store since then.

Living that far from a grocery store means meal planning and buying stuff when you're near it.  Takes more planning but once you're used to it, it becomes second nature.  This is something everyone should be doing honestly as the time wasted going to the grocery store constantly adds up quickly.

Gumption

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2019, 08:46:30 AM »
I appreciate the latest responses and the link to the previous thread. Glad to hear this is not uncommon.
I guess when one posts one of these things, they generally are looking for a response that confirms their wishes.

So far, for me, that is something like, "You tried it, it wasn't for you. It was expensive and set you back a bit on FIRE, but you learned some valuable lessons about who you really are and who you want to be."

I guess, perhaps, I am a sucker for civilization?

BTW, we are 12mins from a very good college, that has events, museums, etc. They are just kinda few and far between...and that's yet another trip into town.

To answer another question: Working from home somehow is quite different depending on what your surroundings are.

FIREstache

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2019, 08:55:54 AM »
Although being near nature certainly has its benefits, we are finding many of the unforeseen aspects of living 10mins outside a small town (25k) is not sustainable, nor MMM-compliant.

The driving, the hassle of not having easy access to stores

It often takes more than 10 minutes to get to stores in a large city.  I would rather drive through 10 minutes of the countryside myself.

My reading was that it takes 10 minutes to get to a single grocery store more expensive than Whole Foods, and everything else is much farther.

Well, OP stated, "we are finding many of the unforeseen aspects of living 10mins outside a small town (25k)"

So, cities with a 25K population in my region have multiple grocery stores, a larger dept. store, clothing stores, multiple gas stations, drug stores, dollar stores, home improvement stores, schools, gyms, etc.  And as someone else mentioned, there's always Amazon and mail-order to get anything you can get locally, and it's actually more convenient anyway.

I agree with the comment from the other poster about working from home.  Why does that matter?  More peace should help you work.

It sounds like the OP is in a great situation but just isn't seeing it.  I think I would try to look at the positive aspects and not overblow what is being perceived as negative and give the place a chance.

The 10 minute drive to town is insignificant.  I can spend far more time than that driving across a larger city to get somewhere.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2019, 08:58:13 AM by FIREstache »

Kris

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2019, 09:06:27 AM »

I wonder if thereís a happy medium. My husband grew up in a small rural city, where a 5-minute drive in any direction outside city limits places you in farmland. But itís large enough to have multiple grocery stores (including an Aldi) and lots of social and volunteer groups (my FIL is very involved in Rotary). A rural university town may also give you the best of both worlds.

This is the dynamic my family enjoys currently. We lived "in the city" for almost 10 years prior to deciding to move to a more rural part of the same county. We built our house on a large piece of farmland that feels like it's in the middle of nowhere, but in reality we are 5-10 minutes from stores, restaurants, etc. So we get to enjoy the peace and quiet of being away from the noise and congestion of the city, but still being close enough to civilization to be convenient for groceries, dining, and recreation.

On the work from home front...I'm a little confused why working from home in the city and working from home in the country would be vastly different. Isn't working from home the same regardless of where the home is located? You're still going to be in your home, at a desk or in a work space, on a computer...right?

I work from home. I can tell you that there is quite a bit of difference. Not in the actual sitting at your desk part. But for me, when I need a break, I stand up from my desk, step out the door, and am immediately in an environment with people, houses, animals, stores within a few minutes' walk, lovely gardens to enjoy...

Contrast that with being out in the middle of nowhere. Where I would step out the door, and see... no one and nothing, and would have to get in my car and drive for miles just to be around other humans. Psychologically, it's quite different.

Kris

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2019, 09:09:05 AM »
Although being near nature certainly has its benefits, we are finding many of the unforeseen aspects of living 10mins outside a small town (25k) is not sustainable, nor MMM-compliant.

The driving, the hassle of not having easy access to stores

It often takes more than 10 minutes to get to stores in a large city.  I would rather drive through 10 minutes of the countryside myself.

My reading was that it takes 10 minutes to get to a single grocery store more expensive than Whole Foods, and everything else is much farther.

Well, OP stated, "we are finding many of the unforeseen aspects of living 10mins outside a small town (25k)"

So, cities with a 25K population in my region have multiple grocery stores, a larger dept. store, clothing stores, multiple gas stations, drug stores, dollar stores, home improvement stores, schools, gyms, etc.  And as someone else mentioned, there's always Amazon and mail-order to get anything you can get locally, and it's actually more convenient anyway.

I agree with the comment from the other poster about working from home.  Why does that matter?  More peace should help you work.

It sounds like the OP is in a great situation but just isn't seeing it.  I think I would try to look at the positive aspects and not overblow what is being perceived as negative and give the place a chance.

The 10 minute drive to town is insignificant.  I can spend far more time than that driving across a larger city to get somewhere.

I cannot figure out why you are arguing that OP's experience and feelings are... essentially wrong.

You are a different person than OP, with different preferences. Awesome. But... why feel the need to keep commenting here and tell the OP that they essentially need to be more like you?

FIREstache

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2019, 09:11:50 AM »

I wonder if thereís a happy medium. My husband grew up in a small rural city, where a 5-minute drive in any direction outside city limits places you in farmland. But itís large enough to have multiple grocery stores (including an Aldi) and lots of social and volunteer groups (my FIL is very involved in Rotary). A rural university town may also give you the best of both worlds.

This is the dynamic my family enjoys currently. We lived "in the city" for almost 10 years prior to deciding to move to a more rural part of the same county. We built our house on a large piece of farmland that feels like it's in the middle of nowhere, but in reality we are 5-10 minutes from stores, restaurants, etc. So we get to enjoy the peace and quiet of being away from the noise and congestion of the city, but still being close enough to civilization to be convenient for groceries, dining, and recreation.

On the work from home front...I'm a little confused why working from home in the city and working from home in the country would be vastly different. Isn't working from home the same regardless of where the home is located? You're still going to be in your home, at a desk or in a work space, on a computer...right?

I work from home. I can tell you that there is quite a bit of difference. Not in the actual sitting at your desk part. But for me, when I need a break, I stand up from my desk, step out the door, and am immediately in an environment with people, houses, animals, stores within a few minutes' walk, lovely gardens to enjoy...

Contrast that with being out in the middle of nowhere. Where I would step out the door, and see... no one and nothing, and would have to get in my car and drive for miles just to be around other humans. Psychologically, it's quite different.

Wow, having all that activity right outside my house would be distracting to me.  I don't even like to hear the train in the distance or the neighbor's lawn mower.  lol

Kris

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2019, 09:12:40 AM »

I wonder if thereís a happy medium. My husband grew up in a small rural city, where a 5-minute drive in any direction outside city limits places you in farmland. But itís large enough to have multiple grocery stores (including an Aldi) and lots of social and volunteer groups (my FIL is very involved in Rotary). A rural university town may also give you the best of both worlds.

This is the dynamic my family enjoys currently. We lived "in the city" for almost 10 years prior to deciding to move to a more rural part of the same county. We built our house on a large piece of farmland that feels like it's in the middle of nowhere, but in reality we are 5-10 minutes from stores, restaurants, etc. So we get to enjoy the peace and quiet of being away from the noise and congestion of the city, but still being close enough to civilization to be convenient for groceries, dining, and recreation.

On the work from home front...I'm a little confused why working from home in the city and working from home in the country would be vastly different. Isn't working from home the same regardless of where the home is located? You're still going to be in your home, at a desk or in a work space, on a computer...right?

I work from home. I can tell you that there is quite a bit of difference. Not in the actual sitting at your desk part. But for me, when I need a break, I stand up from my desk, step out the door, and am immediately in an environment with people, houses, animals, stores within a few minutes' walk, lovely gardens to enjoy...

Contrast that with being out in the middle of nowhere. Where I would step out the door, and see... no one and nothing, and would have to get in my car and drive for miles just to be around other humans. Psychologically, it's quite different.

Wow, having all that activity right outside my house would be distracting to me.  I don't even like to hear the train in the distance or the neighbor's lawn mower.  lol

Different strokes. I far prefer it.

FIREstache

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2019, 09:13:38 AM »
Although being near nature certainly has its benefits, we are finding many of the unforeseen aspects of living 10mins outside a small town (25k) is not sustainable, nor MMM-compliant.

The driving, the hassle of not having easy access to stores

It often takes more than 10 minutes to get to stores in a large city.  I would rather drive through 10 minutes of the countryside myself.

My reading was that it takes 10 minutes to get to a single grocery store more expensive than Whole Foods, and everything else is much farther.

Well, OP stated, "we are finding many of the unforeseen aspects of living 10mins outside a small town (25k)"

So, cities with a 25K population in my region have multiple grocery stores, a larger dept. store, clothing stores, multiple gas stations, drug stores, dollar stores, home improvement stores, schools, gyms, etc.  And as someone else mentioned, there's always Amazon and mail-order to get anything you can get locally, and it's actually more convenient anyway.

I agree with the comment from the other poster about working from home.  Why does that matter?  More peace should help you work.

It sounds like the OP is in a great situation but just isn't seeing it.  I think I would try to look at the positive aspects and not overblow what is being perceived as negative and give the place a chance.

The 10 minute drive to town is insignificant.  I can spend far more time than that driving across a larger city to get somewhere.

I cannot figure out why you are arguing that OP's experience and feelings are... essentially wrong.

You are a different person than OP, with different preferences. Awesome. But... why feel the need to keep commenting here and tell the OP that they essentially need to be more like you?

Who is arguing?  I pointed out some things about a 25K city.  And I said I would give the place a chance.  Whether the OP will do that is up to them.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2019, 09:16:58 AM by FIREstache »

Blueridgeboy

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2019, 09:16:12 AM »
Hello,

Rural relocating can be tricky! Proximity to ammenities, employment, and connection to like minded people really are the bread and butter of life in my opinion!

Having relocated from coastal Massachusetts just a year ago to rural Virginia,, small town 30 min from Roanoke,, life is drastically different.

Honestly, my small town is kind of shitty but Roanoke supplies the amenities although it lacks a Whole Foods/Trader Joe's. Screaming!

To look on the bright side, your family is together and well, maybe do nothing in the meantime due to feelings of uncertainty and mid life crisis motives. Give it time, adjust, network, maybe carpool the kids somehow to cut down on drive time even if it means hiring someone..

My new life here is far better, than just a year ago. Keep that thought as motivation before scrapping your current in progress dream..

Forget about FIRE and charting progress on spreadsheets for a bit. This website focuses to much on the endgame at times and robotic like movement to achieve a measured successful outcome. We all have a limited amount of time on this planet.

I joke that I retired since having relocated from Massachusetts before age 40! But there is Truth to it.

Truth is I haven't worked in over a year except for daily construction on our homestead here in the hills. To me , I can always return to work but we only live once.

I'm just a residential carpenter by trade.

Good luck

Kris

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2019, 09:18:12 AM »
Although being near nature certainly has its benefits, we are finding many of the unforeseen aspects of living 10mins outside a small town (25k) is not sustainable, nor MMM-compliant.

The driving, the hassle of not having easy access to stores

It often takes more than 10 minutes to get to stores in a large city.  I would rather drive through 10 minutes of the countryside myself.

My reading was that it takes 10 minutes to get to a single grocery store more expensive than Whole Foods, and everything else is much farther.

Well, OP stated, "we are finding many of the unforeseen aspects of living 10mins outside a small town (25k)"

So, cities with a 25K population in my region have multiple grocery stores, a larger dept. store, clothing stores, multiple gas stations, drug stores, dollar stores, home improvement stores, schools, gyms, etc.  And as someone else mentioned, there's always Amazon and mail-order to get anything you can get locally, and it's actually more convenient anyway.

I agree with the comment from the other poster about working from home.  Why does that matter?  More peace should help you work.

It sounds like the OP is in a great situation but just isn't seeing it.  I think I would try to look at the positive aspects and not overblow what is being perceived as negative and give the place a chance.

The 10 minute drive to town is insignificant.  I can spend far more time than that driving across a larger city to get somewhere.

I cannot figure out why you are arguing that OP's experience and feelings are... essentially wrong.

You are a different person than OP, with different preferences. Awesome. But... why feel the need to keep commenting here and tell the OP that they essentially need to be more like you?

Who is arguing?  I pointed out some things about a 25K city.  And I said I could give the place a chance.  Whether the OP will do that is up to him.  I never told the OP to be like me - not sure where you came up with that.

Your first comment on this thread was, "It often takes more than 10 minutes to get to stores in a large city.  I would rather drive through 10 minutes of the countryside myself." 

Your second comment was talking about 25k cities in your region, and basically telling the OP that what they want wasn't a big deal. And then arguing about why it would matter where you work from home (even though you just told me that you would hate working from home in my environment, so you clearly see that it does matter). 

And then you say the OP's situation is great but they aren't seeing it. And that they are overblowing the situation. And that their drive to town is insignificant.

So yeah. Maybe stop trying to convince the OP that what they want doesn't make any sense.

dcheesi

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2019, 09:29:18 AM »
In 2013 my DH and I relocated from a medium sized northern city to an island community in Florida. Most people would say we lived in paradise, and we did enjoy it... for about 3 years. After a while the grind of needing to drive through horrible traffic to the mainland to do normal things like go to the bank, a decent grocery store, or to see a competent doctor really started to wear on us. We also didn't like the isolation and lack of social stimulus, especially in the summer off season. You can only have the same conversation every Wednesday for so long.

Last summer we sold that house and moved to a large metro area. We're still close enough to nature and the water to get there when we want, but every other aspect of life is more convenient.

Maybe it's time to do a more comprehensive location search. If there are things about your old hometown you don't want to deal with anymore, and your current rural location is not the answer, you might need to find an entirely new region.
My brother had a very similar experience. He and his wife are both Parrotheads, and shared that Jimmy Buffett dream of island life. But after living a few years on an island off Puerto Rico, they were more than ready to move back to the mainland, mostly for the reasons you mention (also adding local housing with no A/C, and weird local politics, to that mix). They live in Sarasota now, and they're much happier.

EDIT: And to show how even "mistakes" can work out in your favor: while he was down there, my brother fell into a line of work that provided a lot of income and great life experiences for them for several years. Probably never would have happened had they not lived there when they did.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2019, 09:31:37 AM by dcheesi »

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #25 on: July 05, 2019, 09:40:28 AM »
I appreciate the latest responses and the link to the previous thread. Glad to hear this is not uncommon.
I guess when one posts one of these things, they generally are looking for a response that confirms their wishes.

So far, for me, that is something like, "You tried it, it wasn't for you. It was expensive and set you back a bit on FIRE, but you learned some valuable lessons about who you really are and who you want to be."

I guess, perhaps, I am a sucker for civilization?

BTW, we are 12mins from a very good college, that has events, museums, etc. They are just kinda few and far between...and that's yet another trip into town.

To answer another question: Working from home somehow is quite different depending on what your surroundings are.

You know what you need to do, you donít need our permission or pat on the back. You have a plan and strategy, execute it. 8 years would be a long time to live unhappy. Move, as quick as possible, get the smaller place, and use this info to inform your thinking when the kids go off on their own.

startingsmall

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #26 on: July 05, 2019, 09:44:32 AM »
I can completely relate to all of this.

I live about 10 minutes from a town of 10k, 30 minutes from a town of 30k, and an hour from a big city of 800k.... and I hate it here. I've been in this particular area for 7 years and, if anything, it's getting worse and not better. We're on a 5-year-plan to move and it can't come soon enough.

It sounds like you're planning to give it another year, which I think is a good idea. At the same time, though, try to figure out what specifically you're missing. Maybe you'll find ways to reincorporate those things in your new location.... which would be ideal. If not, though, at least you'll have a better list when you start looking for your next location!

Also, travel more. I've decided that's the key for me. Long weekends, work conferences, whatever... I try to get out of this town as much as possible (sometimes with the husband/kiddo, but he grew up in this town and has higher tolerance, so often I'm leaving alone!).

They live in Sarasota now, and they're much happier.

I grew up in Sarasota and would move back IN A HEARTBEAT. This rural NC fantasy sounded fun and all, until a couple of years in. Now I miss civilization. And parks. And beaches. And diversity of thought. And people who have experience living in different counties, states, or even countries. And all the other things.

LilyFleur

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #27 on: July 05, 2019, 09:45:08 AM »
I read a study many years ago where an anthropologist studied people leaving the city for the countryside. He said that if he got to speak with the movers for 15 minutes, he could almost with 100% correctness predict if they would still be living there in 2 years. There are, in general, some serious misconceptions from city folks how it actually is to live in rural areas (and the other way around, for that matter). I come from a small place myself and I get quite baffled when someone with no clue talk about the relaxed joyful life of moving to a small farm and have animals, for example. It's a lot of work.

Regardless of what it is there are certain things in everyday life you take for granted and after a while you don't think about those anymore. Until they suddenly are unavailable to you.

You tried, it didn't work out for you. If the rest of the family agrees, cut your losses and move back at the end of the school year. You are now able to make a more informed decision. The place might grow on you, but from what you say, I don't think its very likely.
View it as an adventure. Sometimes we have to try something to see if we like it.
I prefer the city. I love that there is a Trader Joe's across the street from my condo complex. I like that a wonderful hospital is just 15 minutes away. I like that I have two Costcos within easy driving distance.  I visit a regular grocery store just a handful of times each year. I like that there are multiple hiking meetups almost every day within about an hour's drive. I like the abundance of churches around me. I like the choices of multiple free summer concerts in the park within a 15-minute drive. I can hear traffic from my windows. It's just part of the city.
You will recover financially.

havregryn

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #28 on: July 05, 2019, 09:55:13 AM »
I can relate to this.
We used to live in Stockholm. Scandinavian cities are as close to a Mustachian paradise as human settlements are currently getting.
We moved to Luxembourg, to earn more money, but it is a much different setting. We are not even as desperately rural as Luxembourg inevitably gets if you try to look for affordable housing, but even at its most urban Luxembourg is still not a city and not a Scandinavian one for sure.
I am unhappy and I want to move back. So even with the trade off of it bringing us closer to FI it is making me miserable.

I grew up in a rural area and I hated it. I only started to feel alive once I moved to a city.

I strongly believe that it is different types of personalities you need to have to thrive in a city vs. thrive in a rural area and the same person will NEVER be able to enjoy both equally.

We also have the problem that my husband doesn't share my skepticism of living here. If both you and your spouse agree that this arrangement is not working for you, run and don't look back.


FIREstache

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #29 on: July 05, 2019, 10:25:50 AM »
Although being near nature certainly has its benefits, we are finding many of the unforeseen aspects of living 10mins outside a small town (25k) is not sustainable, nor MMM-compliant.

The driving, the hassle of not having easy access to stores

It often takes more than 10 minutes to get to stores in a large city.  I would rather drive through 10 minutes of the countryside myself.

My reading was that it takes 10 minutes to get to a single grocery store more expensive than Whole Foods, and everything else is much farther.

Well, OP stated, "we are finding many of the unforeseen aspects of living 10mins outside a small town (25k)"

So, cities with a 25K population in my region have multiple grocery stores, a larger dept. store, clothing stores, multiple gas stations, drug stores, dollar stores, home improvement stores, schools, gyms, etc.  And as someone else mentioned, there's always Amazon and mail-order to get anything you can get locally, and it's actually more convenient anyway.

I agree with the comment from the other poster about working from home.  Why does that matter?  More peace should help you work.

It sounds like the OP is in a great situation but just isn't seeing it.  I think I would try to look at the positive aspects and not overblow what is being perceived as negative and give the place a chance.

The 10 minute drive to town is insignificant.  I can spend far more time than that driving across a larger city to get somewhere.

I cannot figure out why you are arguing that OP's experience and feelings are... essentially wrong.

You are a different person than OP, with different preferences. Awesome. But... why feel the need to keep commenting here and tell the OP that they essentially need to be more like you?

Who is arguing?  I pointed out some things about a 25K city.  And I said I could give the place a chance.  Whether the OP will do that is up to him.  I never told the OP to be like me - not sure where you came up with that.

Your first comment on this thread was, "It often takes more than 10 minutes to get to stores in a large city.  I would rather drive through 10 minutes of the countryside myself." 

Your second comment was talking about 25k cities in your region, and basically telling the OP that what they want wasn't a big deal. And then arguing about why it would matter where you work from home (even though you just told me that you would hate working from home in my environment, so you clearly see that it does matter). 

And then you say the OP's situation is great but they aren't seeing it. And that they are overblowing the situation. And that their drive to town is insignificant.

So yeah. Maybe stop trying to convince the OP that what they want doesn't make any sense.

Oh, I see.  I was offering my perspective on things since the OP appeared to be looking for feedback on the situation.  I'm sorry you thought I was arguing.  It was just friendly discussion from my viewpoint.

spartana

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #30 on: July 05, 2019, 10:27:27 AM »
I also think the OP should cut the cord and move back to the city asap. Unless there is some other reason to stay longer, I'd do it before the new school year. Could you possibly rent your current country home out and rent something in the city until you can sell and buy another place (or maybe continue renting)? That would allow for a move asap.

Cassie

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #31 on: July 05, 2019, 10:33:01 AM »
40 years ago we did the same thing and moved back after 2 years. What a pain to get kids in town for their activities. High grocery prices because lack of competition. Not much to do. It was a financial mistake but thatís life.

Watchmaker

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #32 on: July 05, 2019, 10:45:49 AM »
I strongly believe that it is different types of personalities you need to have to thrive in a city vs. thrive in a rural area and the same person will NEVER be able to enjoy both equally.

I'm interested in this because, as you say, people do seem to fall into one camp or the other, and they often seem to feel quite strongly about their preference. But personally: I enjoy giant cities, I enjoy college towns, I enjoy small towns (I live in one now), and I enjoy rural living. There are good cities and bad cities, good towns and bad towns, good rural areas and bad rural areas, but I've found all sorts of different types of places I could enjoy living in.

FireHiker

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #33 on: July 05, 2019, 11:03:04 AM »
Honestly, my small town is kind of shitty but Roanoke supplies the amenities although it lacks a Whole Foods/Trader Joe's. Screaming!

My son is moving to Roanoke for college in August. I have seriously considered the area but the lack of Trader Joe's makes me sad! I don't need EVERY city amenity, but we love Trader Joe's!

As to the OP, I have considered many relocation options and so far we're sticking with downsizing in our local community. I think if we do leave the area we'll take the often-dispensed advice to rent for a year to prevent what you're experiencing. Not that that's helpful in hindsight. To your issue at hand, I think to build off of the "life is short" comment...if you know it isn't going to work and you can make the change, do it and move on. See it as a lesson, next time rent for a year first to be "sure", and let your regret go.

Gumption

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #34 on: July 05, 2019, 11:13:48 AM »
Thanks for the feedback. Yes, i think using the word "regret" is a bit overly dramatic.
Indeed, it was something that we needed to do and the key is to continue to operate with a positive attitude even though it may be a temporary situation. Aren't all situations temporary?
We will be here for the school year and will do our best to enjoy the unique situation. Renting may have been a smarter option, but the logistics of that were difficult and rentals are few and far between here.

Who knows? it may all work out. I am still seeing things with my city operating system.

I think that one thing other followers can get from this thread is that even though you may do your best work in researching and visiting an area -- we've been doing in this particular area for 10+ years -- the actual reality of daily life is something that you will never fully understand until you actually do it. Renting might be the best way to accomplish this, although, even then, you always have that easy out if you need it.

This has been a level of suffering I never thought would occur as we were planning/executing this. But, now that it is here, I need to honor it for what is it...and that's an opportunity to get closer to my version of an authentic life.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #35 on: July 05, 2019, 11:15:45 AM »
Honestly, my small town is kind of shitty but Roanoke supplies the amenities although it lacks a Whole Foods/Trader Joe's. Screaming!

My son is moving to Roanoke for college in August. I have seriously considered the area but the lack of Trader Joe's makes me sad! I don't need EVERY city amenity, but we love Trader Joe's!

As to the OP, I have considered many relocation options and so far we're sticking with downsizing in our local community. I think if we do leave the area we'll take the often-dispensed advice to rent for a year to prevent what you're experiencing. Not that that's helpful in hindsight. To your issue at hand, I think to build off of the "life is short" comment...if you know it isn't going to work and you can make the change, do it and move on. See it as a lesson, next time rent for a year first to be "sure", and let your regret go.

That would be odd to me to build my living decisions around Trader Joeís. Canít live in Spain, no Trader Joeís. What about this place? Nope, no Trader Joeís. Life is just less enjoyable without our Trader Joeís! Weird.

jim555

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #36 on: July 05, 2019, 11:24:40 AM »
Close access to good stores is a great thing.  I had to move to a different town, and every time I needed something it was a 15 min ride in traffic.  What a drag.  Now I live within walking distance to a Walmart and supermarket, and it is so much nicer.

Gumption

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #37 on: July 05, 2019, 11:28:35 AM »
Im not a big trader joes fan either, but companies spend millions of dollars figuring out where to put new stores.
All that time and effort they put in going over education, demographics, education statistics etc can be useful if you are trying to sync with a particular area's community.

Kris

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #38 on: July 05, 2019, 11:30:55 AM »
 I grew up in rural areas and hated it. In my early 30s, I took a job in a small town that was a fair drive from anything larger. I spent 3 years there, and it wasn't until I managed to get out that I realized I'd been operating in an escalating low-level depression pretty much the whole time. It took quite a toll on me.

People can be pretty sensitive to their living environments. There's nothing to be ashamed about in admitting it matters.

OtherJen

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #39 on: July 05, 2019, 11:40:11 AM »

I wonder if thereís a happy medium. My husband grew up in a small rural city, where a 5-minute drive in any direction outside city limits places you in farmland. But itís large enough to have multiple grocery stores (including an Aldi) and lots of social and volunteer groups (my FIL is very involved in Rotary). A rural university town may also give you the best of both worlds.

This is the dynamic my family enjoys currently. We lived "in the city" for almost 10 years prior to deciding to move to a more rural part of the same county. We built our house on a large piece of farmland that feels like it's in the middle of nowhere, but in reality we are 5-10 minutes from stores, restaurants, etc. So we get to enjoy the peace and quiet of being away from the noise and congestion of the city, but still being close enough to civilization to be convenient for groceries, dining, and recreation.

On the work from home front...I'm a little confused why working from home in the city and working from home in the country would be vastly different. Isn't working from home the same regardless of where the home is located? You're still going to be in your home, at a desk or in a work space, on a computer...right?

Working from home, for me, means that I (and many others) need to get out and socialize. We don't have water cooler conversations in the office. It's much easier to socialize in some areas than others.

Blueridgeboy

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #40 on: July 05, 2019, 12:02:50 PM »
The citizens of Roanoke are working with city counsel on bringing in a Trader Joe, but it will be a couple years.

We do have an Earth Fare (identical to Whole foods) and Kroger on every street corner and one Aldi near the airport.

Local and legal moonshine distilling too.

dcheesi

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #41 on: July 05, 2019, 12:23:16 PM »
Im not a big trader joes fan either, but companies spend millions of dollars figuring out where to put new stores.
All that time and effort they put in going over education, demographics, education statistics etc can be useful if you are trying to sync with a particular area's community.
As I understand it, the demographic "problem" in Roanoke's case is as simple as a low average/median income. Which, given the equally low CoL, isn't as big a deal as it might sound in terms of community culture.

Parizade

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #42 on: July 05, 2019, 12:27:34 PM »
I love living in a small rural town, but I grew up on a farm so I knew what I was getting into. Plus I'm an introvert so my need for social connection is lower. For me the inconveniences are a small price to pay for peace and beauty in my life.

I have to drive back to the "metropolis" from time to time but I can feel my blood pressure rise with the ambient stress as I approach the cities. I have no regrets and would never go back.

I suspect I'm the exception though, I know many of my city friends still think I'll get tired of it and move back.

or maybe I'm not the exception after all:
People who live in Small Towns are the Happiest
« Last Edit: July 05, 2019, 12:32:56 PM by Parizade »

OtherJen

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #43 on: July 05, 2019, 12:42:52 PM »
I love living in a small rural town, but I grew up on a farm so I knew what I was getting into. Plus I'm an introvert so my need for social connection is lower. For me the inconveniences are a small price to pay for peace and beauty in my life.

I have to drive back to the "metropolis" from time to time but I can feel my blood pressure rise with the ambient stress as I approach the cities. I have no regrets and would never go back.

I suspect I'm the exception though, I know many of my city friends still think I'll get tired of it and move back.

My uncle is much like you. After he retired, he and my aunt moved to rural northern Michigan. They live on a lake, so the neighborhood empties out after Labor Day. He loves the lifestyle and has panic attacks if he has to drive any further south than Saginaw (halfway down the lower peninsula). My aunt, on the other hand, misses the regular socialization that she had with her children, siblings, and neighbors back in metro Detroit. The isolation has advanced her dementia significantly. They probably would have done very well in a small town neighborhood with a stable year-round population for socialization.

It really comes down to knowing oneself and what you can tolerate. You sound like you've found the right spot for you.

iris lily

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #44 on: July 05, 2019, 01:32:07 PM »
I never moved to ďthe country ď and never wanted to move out to the country for the precise reason you cite, every time you go someplace you have to get into the car.

I spent a couple of years casting about for another place to live that was maybe a weekend house maybe a permanent house I donít know but I always said I need to live within civilization and I define that as living within walking distance of a coffee shop. We have lived in the urban core for 30 years and are interested in moving out of that and having more space for gardens.

We ended up within walking distance of two coffee shops in a very small touristy town, but even better I am within nine doors of an established winery.

I could talk to you about forging relationships and making a social connections, but honestly if you have to get into the car every damn time to do that it really is a pain in the ass. I am with you. Move.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2019, 01:46:56 PM by iris lily »

FIREstache

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #45 on: July 05, 2019, 01:48:39 PM »
but honestly if you have to get into the car every damn time to do that it really is a pain in the ass. I am with you. Move.

I have to do this even living in town since I'm not near the urban center, which is about 2 miles to the get to the closest restaurants, and double that to get to some other popular places.

habaneroNorway

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #46 on: July 05, 2019, 02:08:33 PM »
but honestly if you have to get into the car every damn time to do that it really is a pain in the ass. I am with you. Move.

I have to do this even living in town since I'm not near the urban center, which is about 2 miles to the get to the closest restaurants, and double that to get to some other popular places.

Dude - 2 miles is walking distance.

brandon1827

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #47 on: July 05, 2019, 02:19:46 PM »

I wonder if thereís a happy medium. My husband grew up in a small rural city, where a 5-minute drive in any direction outside city limits places you in farmland. But itís large enough to have multiple grocery stores (including an Aldi) and lots of social and volunteer groups (my FIL is very involved in Rotary). A rural university town may also give you the best of both worlds.

This is the dynamic my family enjoys currently. We lived "in the city" for almost 10 years prior to deciding to move to a more rural part of the same county. We built our house on a large piece of farmland that feels like it's in the middle of nowhere, but in reality we are 5-10 minutes from stores, restaurants, etc. So we get to enjoy the peace and quiet of being away from the noise and congestion of the city, but still being close enough to civilization to be convenient for groceries, dining, and recreation.

On the work from home front...I'm a little confused why working from home in the city and working from home in the country would be vastly different. Isn't working from home the same regardless of where the home is located? You're still going to be in your home, at a desk or in a work space, on a computer...right?

I work from home. I can tell you that there is quite a bit of difference. Not in the actual sitting at your desk part. But for me, when I need a break, I stand up from my desk, step out the door, and am immediately in an environment with people, houses, animals, stores within a few minutes' walk, lovely gardens to enjoy...

Contrast that with being out in the middle of nowhere. Where I would step out the door, and see... no one and nothing, and would have to get in my car and drive for miles just to be around other humans. Psychologically, it's quite different.

Thanks for the perspective Kris, I appreciate that. I've never worked from home, so I couldn't really speak to why home in the country versus home in the city would really matter; while you were actually physically working. I see where you're coming from regarding the breaks and maybe leaving for a quick walk to get refreshed. My home is 5 miles from where I work, so while it can feel very isolated at times, we're within minutes of a bustling urban area. I go home every day for lunch just to get away from the noise, but I can see why others might enjoy having people, stores, gardens, etc. close by if that's what you like.

I think a lot of it can depend on what sort of things you value in terms of work-life balance. I'm a quieter person by nature, and tend to really love the peace and quiet the countryside offers. It helps me unwind to not have to be around people, and being able to walk out my back door to see trees, sky, crops, livestock, etc. and not hear the noises associated with a more city-based life.

brandon1827

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #48 on: July 05, 2019, 02:24:36 PM »

I wonder if thereís a happy medium. My husband grew up in a small rural city, where a 5-minute drive in any direction outside city limits places you in farmland. But itís large enough to have multiple grocery stores (including an Aldi) and lots of social and volunteer groups (my FIL is very involved in Rotary). A rural university town may also give you the best of both worlds.

This is the dynamic my family enjoys currently. We lived "in the city" for almost 10 years prior to deciding to move to a more rural part of the same county. We built our house on a large piece of farmland that feels like it's in the middle of nowhere, but in reality we are 5-10 minutes from stores, restaurants, etc. So we get to enjoy the peace and quiet of being away from the noise and congestion of the city, but still being close enough to civilization to be convenient for groceries, dining, and recreation.

On the work from home front...I'm a little confused why working from home in the city and working from home in the country would be vastly different. Isn't working from home the same regardless of where the home is located? You're still going to be in your home, at a desk or in a work space, on a computer...right?

Working from home, for me, means that I (and many others) need to get out and socialize. We don't have water cooler conversations in the office. It's much easier to socialize in some areas than others.

Thanks for the response Jen. I think like others have posted, it all boils down to each of our individual needs for interaction/seclusion. I go out of my way at the office to not have water cooler discussions and chat with people if I can help it. I spend a fair amount of time in my office with the door closed so that people will be discouraged from interrupting me while I work just to chat. The moment I get home all that anxiety usually just melts away and I can truly relax. So I fully understand where you're coming from on this. I appreciate your response. 

FIREstache

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Re: Regretting Relocation
« Reply #49 on: July 05, 2019, 02:25:40 PM »
but honestly if you have to get into the car every damn time to do that it really is a pain in the ass. I am with you. Move.

I have to do this even living in town since I'm not near the urban center, which is about 2 miles to the get to the closest restaurants, and double that to get to some other popular places.

Dude - 2 miles is walking distance.

LOL.  That's just to the nearest restaurant, one way.  I never see people walking on that route except for exercise and walking their dogs.  Work is 4 mile round trip as well.  And I'm not going to waste all that extra time walking in summer heat or winter cold, and we often have rain as well.  And carrying groceries nearly 4 miles isn't going to happen, either.  So the bottom line is that I am using the car every time I need to go somewhere, despite living in city limits.  It's well worth it to me - I don't mind using the car - that's what I bought it for, and I still have an 80% savings rate.  I use the bike for recreational exercise during the summer months when it's OK that I sweat because I'm not going anywhere.