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Why live in the village?

Updated: Sep 26, 2019

My wife and I were both born in cities and lived all our lives in them. We had no experience of living in the country. So why did we chuck all the comforts and conveniences of an affluent city life and move to a farm in rural India?

When we first told our friends, families and colleagues that we were quitting our careers and moving to a farm, we got a lot of different reactions. Advise from family, on how we were being foolhardy (read foolish), giving up secure, lucrative careers, with everything going good. Disbelief from colleagues. Envy from those who wanted to do it, but couldn't (or wouldn't?). Only a very few really understood.

We still get this question all the time, both from friends as well as guests at our homestay. What made us move? What was the trigger? How much money is enough to give up regular income and venture into the great unknown? How did you know you would not be bored out of your guts? What do you DO with all the time on your hands? Don't you miss the action and excitement of a big city and a powerful, well-paying position? Don't you miss Dubai (where we last lived)? Do you ever regret it?

Let me first say that giving it all up and moving to the country is not for everyone. You need a certain kind of personality. Does a Jacaranda in bloom take your breath away, more than a lit up skyscraper would? Are you ok spending time with yourself, rather than a bunch of noisy friends? Is a good book more fun than shopping? This is not to say you don't enjoy the company of good friends or don't go shopping – but you get my drift. If you are that kind of person, you can live in the country and be happy.

Earth Kitchen Hesaraghatta A Jacaranda tree in full bloom
A Jacaranda tree in full bloom

So what made us take the plunge?

As a young person, you go out in the world to prove yourself. You work 14 hours a day, build a business or a career, achieve success and recognition. You arrive.

That is all good. Nothing wrong with that. There are some of us who continue to do that throughout our lives. It gives us the buzz, pushes all the right buttons. We thrive on the excitement, the achievements and successes. Great!

Then again, there are some of us who – after the thousandth deal is closed, the umpteenth milestone achieved and the X number of zeroes added to the bank account – stop in our tracks and ask, what next? Who are foolhardy (or foolish?) enough to say “is that all there is to life?” Who get this hollow feeling inside every morning that echoes ”what is the point?” Again, I hope you get my drift.

It is different kind of life and if you like that kind of life, there is nothing to beat it.

So why live in the village?

It is different kind of life and if you like that kind of life, there is nothing to beat it.

First off, you are time rich, something very rare in today's world. You have all the time in the world to do whatever you like to do. Most mornings, you wake up and ask yourself, “what shall we do today?” That is scary for some people. For us, it is empowering. WE decide how we want to spend our day - not a client, not a schedule or a target, and definitely not a boss.

Second, you live a very high quality life at a fraction of the cost you spend in the city. I can confidently say that our standard of living today is higher than what it was when we were making a quarter of a million dollars a year. All you need to do is build your infrastructure so you don't lack basic comforts, and then you are set. To do that, decide how much money you are going to need and double that. Once you hit that mark, you are ready to go.

Third, you get a few basic ingredients of a good life in a village for free that you have to struggle for in a city: Clean water, fresh air and a no-stress lifestyle. I think these three are grossly underrated in our lives when they should be at the top of the list. Definitely above all those extra zeroes in our bank that we are never going to use in our lifetime.

And last but not the least, there are a few things that cannot be put into a logic box. When was the last time you woke up fresh, before dawn, and opened the front door to breathe in a cool breeze, scented with flowers? When did you last pick a fresh fruit off a tree and bite into it? Do you remember the taste of fresh milk – I mean fresh, not out of a box that says “fresh milk”? After 8 years living on the farm, I still marvel at the plumage of metallic green and yellow sunbirds. I am still enchanted by the pink clouds of a monsoon sunrise. I still sit and stare at the trees of our young forest. What is that worth? Surely, some of the zeroes we gave up in our bank account?

We are not that far from the city – Bangalore is just 1 hour / 35 kms away – and we go there when we absolutely need to. This, I think, is good for us, because every time I go there, I am reminded of how blessed I actually am, to be rid of cities. As the car leaves the city and country roads open up, I roll down the windows and breathe in deep.

There is no place like home.

Earth Kitchen Hesaraghatta A village road near our home.
A village road near our home. Please note the traffic - or lack of it.

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