What is it that makes us city dwellers or country bumpkins? Is it through nurture or nature that we decide upon the location in which we hope to settle down, work and raise a family? As a true country girl, I got to thinking about our different preferences and wondered what makes us put down our roots either amongst the high-rise buildings, suburban streets or beside the village green.
Are those brought up with the conveniences of transport links, supermarkets on their doorsteps and an array of pubs all in walking distance more likely to want to stay put as they grow older, acclimatised to the modern conveniences they’ve always known? Or perhaps it has the opposite affect: plagued by 24-hour noise, glaring street lights and ambulance sirens, they can’t wait to escape to the peace and quiet of the countryside.
Similarly, do those who grow up surrounded by fields, fresh air and the nearest supermarket a 10 minute drive away, long for the convenience of fast food, a quick commute and friends who live merely a short walk or tube stop away?
Growing up my brother and I were so reliant on our parents for lifts because we lived a fair few miles from all of our friends in the nearest town. But for what we missed out on in spontaneous and fun nights out, we made up for in countryside jaunts, evening bike rides and adventures getting lost in the great outdoors.
I sometimes feel as though our childhood was more reminiscent of an Enid Blyton novel because we didn’t have the luxury of convenience which allowed so many others to roam the streets with their friends and have easy access to weekly parties. Although at the time you feel as though you could be missing out, I look back on those days growing up with such fondness and I think it was these which sparked my love for living in the countryside.
It’s no secret that when retirement comes knocking, many people dream of packing up their belongings to move from their city apartment to a larger house in the country. With no work commitments and fewer responsibilities, a yearning for more space, tranquillity and an opportunity to live that ‘good life’ finally, for many, takes hold.
Perhaps, after all then, it is our memories, hopes and own conveniences which ultimately draw us to – or back to – a place. One where we choose to put down our roots and make a house a home – whether that’s amongst the bright city lights or nestled within the comforts of the flora and fauna.