One of the most common comments we get when people talk about out tree change is "wow - I would, love to do that". The conversation then tends to go on to talk about living simply, growing vegetables, home cooked food, spending time with family, space, peace and quiet, living in a small community etc. Don't get me wrong, I really like our country life, and yes, some things are simpler, but some things are harder or more complicated too.
: Because we live so far from everywhere, we have to plan our food carefully. I try to do a big grocery shop once a month. Typically this takes 2 shopping trolleys. We always have a list on a noticeboard, where we write down everything we need to buy. If we don't get something in town, we generally do without it until we next go shopping. I do go to town to work several days per week, but with the amount of time I spend travelling, I avoid doing shopping too often.
: Shopping for clothing, home wares, or anything other than groceries is quite hard. We can go to the big town, but it becomes quite an ordeal. I have started buying a lot more over the internet. Clothing for me is the most difficult because I am picky (you can't tell how something is going to look without trying it on!). We went to a large shopping centre during the holidays, and I bought up.
: My work is an hour and 10 minutes (100km) from home. After only a short commute when we lived in the mountains, the extra time it takes to get to work gives me less time with family. It is also costing a fortune in petrol, and really putting a lot of kilometers on the car.
: It is fantastic to be able to grow such much of our own food, but it also takes a lot of time. Country Boy is a keen gardener, and studied horticulture at uni, so he knows what he is doing, but it is still labour intensive. Once the crop is grown, it has to be harvested and then dealt with. It takes a couple of hours everyday to deal with it all. I have had to be creative in how to preserve the food for later, and cook a lot of product up to freeze for later use.
: Growing your own food means you can't just leave it for a week if you have had enough. Animals need to be fed everyday, and fruit and vegetables will rot if you don't pick it and deal with it.
Do I like our tree change? Most of the time. But it's not all cakes and pretty views; the simple life is not that simple.