My husband drives an hour each way to his office. It’s not just the office that is far away. Except for the post office and the elementary school, there is nothing closer than 40 minutes from our home.
Living in the boonies was a hard adjustment for me. In law school we were surrounded by friends. There was always something going on. The kids and I had play dates all the time. We had friends over for dinner often. We were close to everything.
In the past year, I’ve learned to love the boonies. Living in the country, with acreage for the kids to roam and explore, has lots of benefits. It’s the way my husband grew up and he loved it . I think his work ethic, creativity, intelligence and good health are at least due in part to his growing up in the sticks.
Our kids don’t watch TV or play video games (though they do watch DVDs on the computer sometimes). They climb trees, build forts, grow vegetables, build animal traps, hunt bears (especially the 4-year-old), and let their imaginations run wild. We breathe fresh air, eat fresh chicken eggs, and enjoy a large garden’s produce most of the year.
At first glance, living in the boonies may sound expensive. After all, gas is our biggest expense each month (only because we don’t pay rent or a mortgage). There are, however some considerable financial benefits including
- Space to grow lots of our own organic food
- Fewer trips to the store means fewer opportunities to spend money
- Most date nights spent creatively at home
- When you don’t feel like cooking you can’t just run out and grab something
- Using a clothesline to dry clothes to save electricity
- No pressure for kids to be involved in loads of extra-curricular activities
Maybe I’m just being an optimist by counting the blessings of our current situation.
What about you? Are you a city mouse or a country mouse?
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kalina pritchett says
I love the boonies even tho I’m 12 I live about 30 minutes from town and I go school where I live I love roaming and exploring and love everything about it
That’s great Kalina! I’m glad you love where you live! My kids never tire of roaming and exploring either!
When I grew up my family moved around alot..mostly to little country places. I loved riding bikes, playing on the trampoline, playing games outside. About halfway through my childhood we moved to Houston. Its a wonderful city full of diversity, great opportunities for artists/musicians/education/business. As a teen/young adult I loved living here. There were so many opportunities to explore/learn/discover new places and try new things. The city has amazing benefits. As a newlywed (2 yrs) and new mommy/budding entrepreneur I really want to relocate to the country. I want to my son to grow up exploring/discovering/ unplugged from technology ( I’m not saying he will never watch movies/own a phone/ etc) I just want him to enjoy playing with toys and playing outside. I want my family to live a simple lifestyle, of faith, creativity, joy, serving. I feel like without so many demands on our time/opportunities to spend money we could enjoy each other/Life more. We already commute everyday (it’s a big city) so that wouldn’t be an adjustment. The cost of housing is so much here. I have a dream to invest in the future and leave an inheritance for my children… country living isn’t for everybody. But this Lady is ready to relocate! I’m currently not a SAHM but I’m hoping one day I can be. Working fulltime, taking care of home and baby is alot. I think away from so much noise and distraction me and my husband could enjoy togetherness more and our little family 🙂 So excited for your family getting rid of debt! Thanks for sharing your Journey!
I’m happy that you are able to raise children with freedom. I have always lived in the city, but man our yard was HUGE!!! we played basketball, soccer, softball- I miss having a yard so big.
Now I have my own family and am longing to have a home with a large yard. We live in a small home with a tiny patio- just sucks. You mentioned growing foods in your yard…that’s awesome!!
One day we will be able to get out of poverty and own a home, you lifted me up with that lovely pics of your children having fun. There is hope. Thank you for giving us the positive side of living outside the city.
Thanks KK! It’s great to be able to see the bright side of any living arrangement. It was a little bit of an adjustment at first, as I’ve never lived so far away from things and people. There is hope! We will move out of my in-laws’ basement someday and you will own a home with a yard! 🙂
I absolutely LOVE living in the country. I grew up in the country surrounded by fields, woods, and my grandparents farm right next door. We had pigs, rabbits, beef, fruit trees and a huge garden. I am the youngest of 6 children and many cousins. We didn’t have cable, internet or video games. We played outside all of the time. We made tree houses, forts, played hide and seek. Our imaginations ran wild.. We live in town right now and I hate it. We have raised our children in small towns and very large cities. I wish we would have been able to raise them in the country. Our youngest child is a Sophmore in high school and he is accustomed to the convenience of town, but we are hoping to change that in the very near future. There is nothing like living in the boondocks:)
Thanks for sharing Bren! Your childhood sounds just like my kids’ adventures now! I never hear “I’m bored” because the kids are always creating their own fun!
Sari Fulbright says
My Husband and I just bought our first house together out in the country. The town we moved from has a population of 21 people. We lived on the family ranch there and absolutely loved it! Where we live now is a bit larger, at a population of 221 people but I’d say we are still out in the boonies 🙂 We have an old farm house on eighty acres and there are no neighbors in sight but yet the little town which includes a small market, bar, post office, fire department, veterinary office and school is only 6 miles away. Our main grocery shopping is done about ninety miles away.
I absolutely love living in the boonies and wouldn’t trade it for anything, you couldn’t pay me to live in town / the city! I don’t think there is a better place to raise a family than out in the country… But then Again, if you couldn’t tell, I am a little biased!
Not only can you have a garden like you mentioned but you can raise your own animals too, you can be pretty much self sufficient if you want. Kids learn so much responsibility growing up having to take care of animals and having chores. Plus they have room to roam and play, shoot guns, go hunting, trapping, riding 4 wheelers and dirt bikes, learning to drive the vehicles & operate equipment… The possibilities are endless!
I could go on and on about all of the great things about living & raising a family in the boonies… But I have a calf to go feed! Thanks for your post!
That’s so exciting Sari! I think a town of 221 definitely qualifies as the boonies! Ninety miles away from shopping makes my 40-45 minute drive seem like right next door! 🙂
I also like the idea of being as self-sufficient as possible. We don’t have any meat animals, just chickens for eggs, but I could see getting some in the future.
Like you said, it is a wonderful experience for kids. Thanks for sharing your perspective!
I was born onto a farm and then lived in a small town. My husband was always in the city but last year I finally convinced him to move us to the country. Unfortunatly we are now overwhelmed and busy (with long commutes) but know that it will get better as we settle in with future kids and adjust to no tv/fast food and slowly ease off or extra work commitments.
It’s SO nice to sit in the morning for coffee and look into the trees/field and not see or hear neighbours (but sometimes it would be nice to have a puppy sitter a little closed).
Yes! It is busy still, but it’s not the hustle-and-bustle busy, more of a full-day sort of work (if that makes sense). The country definitely has some great, relaxing views! 🙂
Michelle @ Moms Are Frugal says
I would love country living. I have tried to bring the country to our suburban home by having chickens, but it is not the same. We have four boys that need to let out energy. I believe in alot of outside playtime so I also limit the electronics.
My kids have trouble playing at other kids’ homes because they want to actually play and the other kids’ are on the computers and video games!
That’s neat that you can have chickens in the suburbs! I agree about the electronics. They are a “treat” for my kids, but most of the time they spend running around outside and using their imaginations.
Jessica @ The Abundant Wife says
I grew up in a housing development in a small rural community of about 4,000 people. I loved it. We rode bikes everywhere, all day long, during the summer months. We hiked up and down the creek, swam in the swimming hole, and always felt safe. We had a grocery store, but any other shopping had to be done 20-30 minutes away. My dad was a large animal veterinarian in those days, and he took us on farm calls with him. I often wished I could live on a farm. I have so many wonderful memories of my country childhood.
I live in a city of 60,000 now, and I like that we live a couple blocks from the city high school where my husband works. It’s nice to have so many close choices for shopping, education, food, and parks. However, I miss my country upbringing. I don’t feel it’s safe for my children to ride bikes here, and the river nearby is littered with trash and crowded with a large homeless population. There have been shootings near our home, and the cars drive very fast down our street to avoid all the traffic on nearby roads. Driving anywhere takes a long time because of all the stop signs and lights.
I do love our house and our yard, our street, and even our city. I’m sure our kids will also have wonderful memories of their childhood. I just wish I felt better about letting them roam around outside on their own.
That sounds like a wonderful childhood. That would be so interesting to go along with your dad. Your kids will have a totally different set of memories, but they will still be wonderful.
There really are definitely benefits and drawbacks of anywhere you live. As long as you focus on the positive aspects, I think most people can be happy wherever they are. Thanks for sharing your experience, Jessica. 🙂
We are frantically paying down our debt right now so we can move to the boonies 😉 We want to be away from the city and just be able to let the kids roam. So… I’m jealous reading your post, but we’ll be there soon!
How exciting! That’s an wonderful goal! Letting the kids roam without having to worry is so wonderful!! Best of luck on your debt payoff!
Once we pay off our debt, we’ll move out of my in-law’s basement, but we still plan to live outside of town where we’ll have some space. We would like to at least cut my husband’s commute in half.
I grew up in the country and HATED IT. Maybe because we were so poor growing up, and my mother enrolled us in a charter school where everyone had money. That, combined with the fact that we couldn’t drive anywhere (no money for gas) made me hate living so far from everyone else. I love living in the suburbs! Everything is close!
Thanks for sharing your experience Caitie. That sounds rough! I guess the boonies isn’t for everyone! I’m glad you found the suburbs 🙂
I actually really like the suburbs as well. It’s nice to be so close to everyone and everything. Honestly I think we could be happy anywhere.