So, you’ve finally decided it’s time to get away from it all and head out to the country. You’re certainly excited to get back to a simpler way of living. However, there are some key differences between living in a rural area and living in a more urban one. Moving to a rural area means you’ll have to make some serious lifestyle changes if you want to live comfortably. We’ll walk you through what to do before moving to a rural area so you can enjoy your new country life to the fullest.

Get a Good Layout of the Area

If you’ve lived your life in a city or suburb, you may know the streets near your house like the back of your hand. When you move to a rural area, however, you’ll need to learn a much larger area to know where everything is. Make sure you find out where the nearest grocery stores, doctors’ offices, and repair shops are to ensure you’re never caught unawares and without help. You’ll come to know the area very well in time.

Get a Reliable Vehicle

Your city car may not be the best choice for country living. You may need to swap out your vehicle with a new SUV or truck to survive in rural areas. Remember that roads will be rougher, and road conditions may be harsher than you’re used to seeing in more urban areas. You’ll want a vehicle that can see you through all sorts of weather and road conditions. You’ll also want to make sure your vehicle handles long distances well since rural living is much more spread out.

Prepare for Cold Weather

Most country living involves dealing with some amount of cold weather. While we’ve already mentioned the road conditions, you should also be prepared for the cold in your home. Having backup heaters and warm clothing is a crucial element of country living. You’ll also want to have solid boots to deal with mud and snow when the weather gets extra bad.

Plan Out Your Commute

Rural houses can sometimes be very far from commercial spaces such as strip malls or shopping centers. There will probably be multiple ways to get to where you need to go, but knowing the nuances of each route will help you in your daily commute. Whether you’re driving to your job or the nearest restaurant, commuting will definitely take longer, so it’s good to know the best routes to take.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.