There's something unique about growing up in the country. When I tell people I spent the first 18 years of my life moving around country areas, moving every few years, they sometimes share similar stories. Stories of quiet and calm childhoods. Stories of long school holidays with not much to do. Stories of finding your own entertainment.
Our childhood is such an important part of our lives. It sets in place many of our values and beliefs that we come to take for granted. It paves the way for the many assumptions we make, some of which will be knocked down later as our horizons broaden and we learn more.
The country has unique characteristics yet each town or region also has its own unique features. Sometimes people have moved on and left behind fences, old cars, tractors and windmills to rust away over the years. Sometimes the farms have been maintained meticulously and with great pride.
The feeling of space in the countryside always impresses me. It's like you forget that there is so much space out there when you spend most of your life in the crowded hustle and bustle of the city. Breathing air that smells fresh and untarnished is such a treat. The quietness is also apparent, no sounds of sirens, car horns or other noises that people love to make.
The countryside has its idyllic side but also has its drama, its distresses and its tragedies. The lack of opportunities for work, the pros and cons of such close knit communities and the limited options that people sometimes feel can be harmful. It can be hard to reach out for help if you want some confidentiality when you know everyone. It can be hard to have the options of training or work if there just aren't many there.
Travelling to the city can become the answer and that's what happened to me. Moving to the city as a young adult seems pretty common among people I know. It's like the idyllic life ends and you have to join the majority of people in the "big smoke". You then look forward to going back, going home. You can get a little fix every now and then that sustains you. You can re-live the memories of your childhood and plan for a future that might bring you back to the countryside again.