Living in the country: a survival guide

As most of you probably know, I live in
a tiny village in the countryside. The benefits are many: less crime,
less pollution, less stress. And compared with the noisy and dirty city…
I mean, just look at it! Who wouldn’t want to live here? Well, plenty of people, actually. That’s why the cities are so big:
rural life isn’t for everyone. But some people who are more used
to an urban lifestyle may one day find themselves
having to relocate to a small town, and that will take some adjustment. So here are a few tips I have for you. I don’t know how much help they’ll be,
but I think they’ll be of some help. First, you may need to find
different ways of enjoying yourself. Out here we don’t have any of
your fancy clubs and bars. We did use to have a disco in the next village, and in the village after that some youngsters
have just opened a shisha bar, and… that’s it. But rather than think of giving things up, think of it as an opportunity to try something new. Go hiking or biking, learn to fly a kite,
go to a beer festival. It’s a different life.
But that doesn’t mean it’s less fun. You can certainly get very drunk
at a local beer festival, and many people do. Not that I’m recommending you do so yourself,
but the option is there. The tricky bit is getting to know people, because rural folk have this thing where it takes
them a long time to consider you a friend. But once they do, you have a friend for life. What can help is having children or a dog. At least then you’re likely to come into contact
with other parents or dog owners; but that’s not an option for everybody. But to be really accepted, you have to play
an active role within the community. Me, I’m the guy who posts those YouTube videos
of the annual Straw Bale Festival. Of course, you don’t have to be
an internationally recognized media star to gain the respect of the locals. For example, you can join a society. Rural Germany has societies
coming out of its ears: sports clubs, shooting clubs, choral societies, brass bands, historical societies,
the volunteer fire brigade, amateur dramatics societies, rabbit-breeder
societies, model railway clubs, rock bands, dance groups, you name it. There are many different ways of getting involved. But while getting involved
is unquestionably a good thing, trying to change things
might not be your best tactic. If you’re going to complain about the noise
from the annual village festival and demand that it stops dead at 10 pm sharp, you’re not going to make yourself very popular. You may even have the law on your side, but people are not going to forget
how you ruined their fun. Your best strategy is always to join in. And rural life can be full of excitement. Like the time somebody’s goats escaped
and started eating the neighbour’s garden. Or the time somebody tipped hot ashes onto their
compost heap and nearly started a forest fire. Or the time a tame magpie came
to live with us for a week. In all seriousness, though,
I find life here fantastic. If you’re a city dweller forced, for whatever
reason, to go and live in a tiny village, then my advice is: get involved in the community and find new ways of having fun. Hopefully, that will make life
a bit easier for you. Thanks for watching. If you’d like to
send me a postcard, here’s the address. And don’t forget to visit my website
and follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Also, if you’d like access
to special bonus content and help with the costs of running this channel, please consider making a small
monthly donation on Patreon.

37 thoughts on “Living in the country: a survival guide

  1. Als Student in einer Großstadt habe ich erst richtig gemerkt, wie entspannt das Landleben ist. Die Menschen sind freundlich, etwas lockerer als die Städter und der Bierkonsum ist wesentlich höher. 🙂

  2. If you're like me and moving from Hannover to the country, you miss nothing, you still got the same amount of entertainment, but have more pigs and cows.

  3. Vintage car and tractor clubs….
    It's amazing the number of 1950's era Deutz, Hanomag, Porsche, etc tractors tucked away in sheds and car ports.

  4. Solid advice! Though I wouldn't choose to live in a small town.

    I like being close to everything; shops, job opportunities, improved public transport ect 🌁

  5. I moved to the city a while ago and even though I find it quite nice to be able to walk to the station or bike to the grocery story, after a month I started hating to see nothing else than buildings and tiny, confined green spaces. Yet in the countryside you feel absolutely trapped (everyone knows you from birth and remembers all the uncomfortable bits). So its either physical or mental freedom but never both. 🤷🏻‍♂️

  6. One problem with living in small village is that old grumpy lady sitting by her window staring at one every time one walks by. They know everything about one, including what sort of underwear one like and wear.

  7. Everyone should choose the right place for him/her to stay in. If you prefer the country, it's alright. If you like the city or the suburbs, perfectly fine. I had to live in rural areas my entire life and I wasn't happy with that. Now I'm living in a small city that is close to rural areas but has (almost) everything I need to survive within even running distance. But I can also go to bigger cities in a few minutes by train. To me that's perfect. It's relatively calm here too.

  8. Why do people seem to think that there are only large cities and rural towns? Not sure how it is in the rest of the world, but I live in a medium sized city in California.

    While my city doesn't have the sex appeal as bigger cities, it is comfortable to live in. And not having to deal with big city traffic is a huge plus. Sadly most people I know seem to be fixed on the big city mentality and want to leave.

  9. That's one thing I like to bring up every time an American tells me I don't know nothing about guns, because Germany…
    Around here, even three empty cans of beer have their own shooting club complete with annual parades and a shootout match to find the best shot…

  10. It also takes at least 6 weeks to slow down from city life speed. Having gone back and forth several times, you will feel bored quite often at first, then that will gradually move to contentment. As for living in the country, I live miles from my nearest neighbor, and the nearest village is about 10 miles away. I would definitely like living where you do.

  11. I would like to move from Dusseldorf to Nördlingen in Bavaria. Quality of life, good internet, very low crime, great school‘s


  13. As long as there's a good internet connection, I couldn't wish less for what people consider "good" about living in a large city. In fact I seriously dislike how little space and privacy one gets there and if you want a nice big living space, you can kiss your paycheck goodbye. Plus, like you, I live in a rural area that is well connected, while the larger cities are far enough to not bother me, but near enough if I need something. Only thing I dislike about rural areas is how "city folk" tends to look down on it – they even take "pity" on me from time to time!? So weird. I'm exactly where I wanna be and wouldn't ever trade it for their anthill life ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  14. In rural areas in Germany there is often a problem with to slow internet and no possibility to use mobile phones due to no connection.

  15. A city dweller forced to live in a tiny village?
    I am from Berlin and lived a few years in Munich, so I know what it's like.

  16. I lived in 2 kinds of small villages/towns in Germany:

    East Germany – a desert. Anyone able to work, speak a language, or run a company has already left for the west. If you want to join a society, you can choose between the unemployable nazis and the elderly ladies' sewing club.

    Bavaria/Baden-Württemberg – very conservative. If you're young, you move to Munich and find a lucrative job. If you're older, you buy a small house in the sticks. If you live in the village and don't have a house with a garden, your only option is to get drunk with the farmers during the biannual beer meets and eat some disgusting sausages. But even though there are so many multinational corporations offering thousands of jobs, people still want to have their cake and eat it too.

    I have since moved to the Ruhr area where a 'village' means a city with a population of 20k. I live within 20 minutes of my job, any kind of hospital or doctor me or my children may need, any kind of shop such as IKEA, any type of restaurant you may imagine, I am surrounded by cheap airports, can go shopping in Holland on a Sunday, and will never leave this paradise.

  17. For the last two weeks of my study, I moved to a tiny village right outside the University town. I really enjoyed being both close to nature, but also being able to take the bus and get to bars, clubs, supermarket and stores 24/7 in 20 minutes.

  18. How do you think a Brit would get on after retiring to Germany? Living in say the Black Forest or by the Mosel. Having some German language skills for minor conversation but with a willingness to learn and embrace the local community. Even maybe starting a Guesthouse or AirBNB? I know, a lot to think about but would appreciate your thoughts Andrew.

  19. I used to live in rural Lower Saxony… It was boring, now I live in a rural village in another country and honestly I really, really miss the city. Hanoi > Anywhere rural.

  20. One of my colleagues recently came up with the origin story of the "Zebrastreifen" which was quite interesting. Maybe you want to do a video about it. I think most people, including Germans don't know about this. Here is a link to the explanation:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *