Why Live Rurally?

The advantages of living and working rurally

Why so many are making a ‘tree change’

 

There is no doubt that Covid-19 has forever changed the way in which we work. We are now well versed in Zoom and other online platforms that support remote working arrangements. After the year that was 2020, we have seen a trend in people moving from the city into our rural areas.  We have often focused on the disadvantages of living rurally, however there must be a reason underpinning why so many people are making the move. It is time for us to start thinking about what opportunities rural living provide us with both personally and professionally!

I was recently supporting a family member at a metro based inpatient facility and I overheard a health professional telling their colleague about how they also worked part time in a rurally based inpatient facility. When asked by their colleague how they compared their experience between the two facilities, this health professional described their enjoyment of working rurally and explained how their rural employment provided them with a broader range of clinical opportunities that had diversified their skill set. 

I too have lived and worked in the city and still visit when I can, however I now love living rurally! 

The things I enjoy most are the memories that are created with my two young children when we pick chestnuts off my sister’s property in Wandiligong and the smell of freshly mown grass as the sun sets in the evening. I also appreciate running into familiar people when I do my shopping and exploring the weekend markets for things that I don’t necessarily need. Beyond this idealistic work life balance, I too take advantage of accessing healthcare, study, and professional development opportunities via online platforms. On reflection, I currently feel more connected to the outside world than ever before.

So what is the attraction for other people going rural?  I asked my Going Rural Health colleagues to find out about what they like about living rurally, here is what they said;

  • “Reduced travel time in daily routine”
  • “Easier drive. No commute or gridlock / traffic jams”
  • “More career opportunities”
  • “Community support”
  • “Sense of community”
  • “More career opportunities”
  • “Work life balance”
  • “The friendly people”, “I talk to people I don’t even know on my morning walks”
  • “The short commute time;  I can walk to work!”
  • “How easy it is to just take off somewhere – 5-10 minutes and you can be on a highway on the way to somewhere fantastic, whether it is scenic, wineries or just a rural event.”
  • “Nicer surroundings (river, bushwalks, hikes, lake, etc.)”
  • “How easy it is to just take off somewhere – 5-10 minutes and you can be on a highway on the way to somewhere fantastic, whether it is scenic, wineries or just a rural event”
  • “Pretty country towns within a short drive”
  • “Cost of living”
  • “Lower cost of property”
  • “Cheaper property. I wouldn’t have a house yet if I was living in the city”
  • “Relaxed lifestyle with approachable people”
  • “Work life balance”
  • “Not having to travel too much from A to B”
  • “Being able to mix personal and professional more readily (can also be a con!)”
  • “The internet is better”,
  • “You can do internet shopping rurally”,
  • “The posties are friendly and I did develop a friendship with the post office owner ( I was there so often to pick up stuff) so that’s a positive!”

 

If you are not already convinced about the benefits of living rurally, you need to look at the stunning attractions that call North East Victoria (where I live) home:  https://www.visitvictoria.com/regions/high-country

Rebecca Oates

Associate Lecturer, Rural Health Community Placements

Going Rural Health Wangaratta

Speech Pathologist