T Nation

Leave the City Behind?


I'm starting to long for a less regimented lifestyle. I'm getting sick of the 8:30am start time every day. I was just chatting with a friend about moving out of the city, having cheaper rent and a more relaxed lifestyle, and I constructed a nice little to do list...

Lie in hammock, in shade, with laptop during afternoon, consulting.
Mow the lawn.
Go to the gym.
Read a book.
Annoy everyone here at T-Nation.
Feed the pets.
Weed the garden.
Chop or split firewood.
Go hiking or biking.
Watch TV.
Do some more freelance consulting.
Write something for my blogs.
Cook dinner on the BBQ.
Relax by the fireplace.
Do a bit more work on the laptop.
Annoy everyone here a bit more.
Spend weekends with girlfriend.

Is it just me, or does this sound a lot more enjoyable than the same old nine-to-five bullshit?


Seems like I'm not the only one who is getting tired of following a fixed schedule. If the financial aspect of the equation was sorted out, I definitely could imagine such a lifestyle. I guess I'm getting old...


I take it that you have a nice income to afford the nice life style change. But I think you'll get bored.


That is what I do in between my shifts. I work for money, but live for enjoyment. I love living in the "country" and always have for the simple reason that i set the pace of my days.


  1. You're right, it does seem more enjoyable.

  2. There's not much time left to sit in a hammock in Ontario.

  3. You should include some sort of sugar shack, or out-building/workshop where you can be away from the house. David McCullough, historian and author of "1776" and "John Adams" has one of these shacks, shown here


I've often wanted one of these shacks, where I can go and read, write, play music, and generally jack-off with no interruptions.

Good thinkin' though Vroom


It's an interesting topic, Vroom. Funny thing is, people with a "country life", basically me, often long for the excitement, opportunity, and convenience of the city. I think it's a "grass is always greener on other side" thing.

The perfect combo might be to live on the outskirts of a city, or 20 miles out. Problem is, urban sprawl often catches you!

About 25 years ago, my parents almost bought a house out in the country. My mother refused, saying she wasn't going to live so far away from everything. Today, the house is across the street from a big mall, several strip malls, two grocery stores, and about 15 restaurants.


Not so for me. I have never wanted to live in a big city. Piss on all that traffic and noise. If I want excitement, I take a trip to Houston and visit friends that live downtown. But I never want to move there. Nope I love my acerage and wide open spaces.


In the given context, I'm not sure if it actually is the fact that one lives in the city that is responsable for the daily grind and the inflexible schedule.


Definately not. You can be just as busy working at home or in a smaller town.

However, most of the time smaller communities are slower paced, and you're not in as big a hurry as having to drive 30 minutes or an hour to get from one appointment/client, etc. to another.


I agree. My dad is as country as you can get. We had to be the only family on the block when I was a kid with a horse in the backyard. Mind you, this was in the middle of Houston and we weren't on a farm. You have buildings, houses, and a horse in my backyard. I swear, if he could wear a cowboy hat to work, he would. My parents moved even farther out when I got to highschool to what was empty land years ago. It is now a major city growing by the second dumping right back into Houston. That didn't change the fact that they went to the same jobs in the city. Your lifestyle is based on necessity for the most part. If you are making enough to plan your own schedule and have a career that offers that benefit, more power to you. I doubt most will find that though.

Money makes the world go round. Career choice sets the number of days you work and whether you can afford to work out of the house.

I personally like big cities...and my horse is my motorcycle.


Well, I guess a lot of it has to do with the fact that I can do consulting over the Internet, so where I am is not so much of an issue.

However, some good points raised.

If I were to act on something like this, I'd want to live close enough to a real city that I could get decent groceries and be able to go out for a dinner and a movie every couple of weeks or so -- whenever a new good movie came out.

I suppose if the city grew too much I could always move further away...


I moved out of the city to a smaller town 60 minutes away. My wife loves it, I hate it most of the time.

I miss:
-Playing basketball or working out at my 24 hr gym in the city whenever I felt like it.
-Having lunch with friends at whatever restaraunt we feel like.
-HAVING friends.
-HAVING a variety of places to eat.
-The convenience of everything.

I don't miss:
-High gas bills (most of my clients are out here in the smaller town)

Given the chance, I would probably move back into the city if it was up to me. But, my son's in school, the schools are much better, commuting is impractical now due to gas prices, etc., etc. Wife is happy.

SO everyone's content but myself, but I'm having more time to watch TV and play video games, since THERE'S NOTHING TO F-ING DO AROUND HERE.

If I had a house with a little property (renting apt. now), I would probably be happier, since I'd build my own gym and be able to get a tire to flip, a sled to drag around and toss some kegs and have some fun. Maybe even chop some wood.


I've passed up a couple of promos so that I could stay in, what my company would refer toas, a rural market. I love the area, and the thought of raising my kids in a metro area is not appealing to me or my wife.

I'm within an hour or two of anything I could want. Some of the best fishing, hunting, camping...is in my backyard. I realize this wouldn't appeal to everyone, but it fits my lifestyle perfect.

The additional pay that would come from the added market size could not/would not offset what are in my mind the negatives of such a move.


I live in a town of 600 people. My line of work has actually "working" about 3 1/2 months a year. I live this country lifestyale that vroom is pining for.

Just a couple of downsides:
1. No restaraunt for 32 miles. No decent eateries for 100 miles

  1. No pizza delivery. This is hyooge for us. It's our cheat meal. We have to drive 100 miles to cheat.

  2. No doctors for 30 miles. No real medical facilities for 100 miles.

  3. No grocery store for 30 miles. No decent one for 100.

  4. And this may not be a bad thing - it's not for me - no gyms for 100 miles. I am not forced to share anything with anyone.

  5. mind numbing boredom. Thank God for the internet and satellite TV.

But all on all - I wouldn't trade what I do or where I live for anything.


Sounds like your trading one regimen for another.


I'd do it Vroom.

I live in the country, in Belgium, and we've got a lot of farms in my village here, and very old-skool type of people ... always willing to help out or chat, most of the day working hard, sitting on benches on the outside of their houses in summer, talking to anyone who drives by.
It's great to train outside during sunny of snowy days.

I study in the big city, and I appreciate it just as well ... because there is a sense of productivity in seeing all that movement when you walk the street.

However, when you get home after a week's work, you instantly calm, and come to rest in that certain sense of "home" .

I realise my situation isn't available or convenient for most, especially compared to the United States where everything is much further apart, but I prefer my country home over the city any day.

A drive to a bigger town is no pay off compared to what peace and rest can give you.


That sucks.

Where I live currently, it isn't loud at all and the beach is in walking distance. It is much smaller than the city I'm used to, but at least all of the things you mentioned are right around the corner. My gym is also in walking distance of my house.

Maybe there is some middle ground...unless the goal is complete isolation.


See, I'm in the middle. I live close enough to a bigger city that I can get what I need quick, but far enough away that it seems like I'm away from everything. It's a nice balance. I drive 15 min to work, 10 min to the big grocery store, 20 min to the malls, and 10 min to my gym. Small town living is nice.


I grew up in a town of approximately 350 people (about 35 miles from Dodge City, KS).

All in all, it was a good life, but I longed for more. I never wanted to live in the city, but my options narrowed as I got further into my career. Now, living in the city, I long for moments of the peaceful lifestyle of farm life. My family still lives in the rural KS area, so I get to go back and enjoy a few days of "country" a few times a year. My favorite time of year is wheat harvest. I go back and work on Dad's farm for a week or two, driving a harvest truck or combine. I always hate coming back to the city. Although harvest is "work", it feels like a vacation to me.

Perhaps you just need a vacation? Try taking a full two weeks or longer in a place that is remote. See how you feel about it. My wife and I had contemplated moving out to San Diego (which is German for Whale's Vagina). We went out there and stayed for a few weeks, but as we were driving home from the KC airport, I looked to my wife and said, "San Diego is nice, but KC is home." Now, I realize that is a comparison of one city to another, but I think you can see the point I'm trying to make.

If you can afford it, test the waters. It takes a certain type to be able to live in such isolation.



That's a nice goal you have. I used to live in NYC and now live in one of it's suburbs. I also have a place in the mountains of Pennsylvania where I do a lot of what you describe...and hunt and fish.

Do it. You will never be as happy as when you work for yourself. I gave up a very lucrative Wall st. career to own a company. Now we own two. Financially it was a better move and the enjoyment level is beyond compare. It really gives you control in your life. I still remember the day I got to pick the dress code. Seems simple but it's real freedom.