A Desire For The Wild Is Natural – And Entirely Possible
There’s an ongoing trend of Americans looking to swap urban areas for rural seclusion. The World Economic Forum found that nearly half of all American adults stated they would prefer to live in a small town or ruralized area – a 9% increase on the previous year. There’s a pull to the country – clean air, distance from the mayhem of city life, and peace and quiet. That much is obvious to most modern American men. What’s the difference, then, in 2021, that is stirring a desire in so many men to get out of the city?
Looking for room
For many, the benefits are purely economic. America is in the throes of a concerted housing boom right now. Equity levels have been at record high levels for year, and interest rates are staying low. As a result, there are more buyers than sellers, and urban stocks are running out. Increasingly, consumers are looking to semi-rural areas. A good example of this is the Texas Hill Country: homebuyers are able to pick up ranch-style accommodation at a far cheaper price than in the nearby Dallas-Fort Worth conurbation. KVUE has found record breaking levels of property sales as a result. That’s one reason the country, or rural areas, are better – you simply get more bang for your buck, and being smart with your cash is very much part of being a modern man.
Rural areas are, almost by definition, cleaner than cities. Less congestion means less pollution, and more sparsely arranged housing means less waste and less chance for problems such as flooding and fires. Forbes also notes the fact that 90% of infection cases are reported in urban areas – it’s medically safer to be in the country. That’s an important factor in physical terms, but there are proven mental benefits to country living too.
A calmer environmental
Cities are stressful. Numerous medical journals, including an influential study published by Deutsches Arzteblatt International in 2017, outline the inherent stress and risk of mental illness posed by cities, and the general contrast of that in rural areas. Rural areas are, of course, not without their own mental health risks and specific stressors that can impact on happiness and wellbeing. However, for a man making the shift from urban to rural living, there are benefits to be gained. The lack of city-based stress is one. The quiet of the countryside, and the relevant peace that it provides in everyday life through its animals and plant life, is another. At a time when life pushes men in different directions, the slower rate of living in a rural area is associated with a better quality of life and more agency over everyday decisions.
Taking back that control can be a wonderfully empowering experience. Matching it with more money in the pocket, and greater levels of physical health, even more so. Getting out of the city and into the country could be a life-defining moment for the average man.