differences between rural and urban life

What are the differences between rural and urban life? Why should they interest you? Vacations out in the countryside always seem idyllic.

Real rural life can be as hectic and fast-paced as any busy city street. This article will examine some of the differences and try to offer an insight into rural life.


  1. Working Hours
  2. Patience
  3. Make Do
  4. Conclusion
  5. Recommended Top 5 Items List
Differences Between Rural And Urban Life sunset
Differences Between Rural And Urban Life sunset

Working Hours

The Sun Doesn’t Wait For You

Depending on the job, or style of rural living, you cannot waste daylight. If you are a homestead or farm with livestock you can expect to be up before the sun and hard at work. 

Many farms will have worked a few hours prior to breakfast dealing with animal feed, milking and general tasks. Plant based industries have a little more leeway, but will still be out in the fields with the sunrise.

This is a very different approach to get up eat breakfast and then go to work that most urban workers experience. It is often overlooked by most.

Darkness Doesn’t Mean Stop

Most rural jobs can and do carry on into the night. Modern technology means with the use of flood lights harvesting can carry on even after the sun goes down.

The urban equivalents such as working in parks and gardens usually stop once evening sets in. Rarely will you see a landscape team working at night outing grass in the local park.

The urgency of getting harvests in on time requires workers to continue even after sunset.

9-5 Is a Myth

The largest difference between urban and rural working hours is that for most urban workers there is a set workday. Even shift-based workers will have a start and finish time.

Rural work especially if it is your own land, doesn’t have a set workday. You start when you get out of bed, and you finish when you get back into bed.

Homesteading and farm life are constant, there is always a task that needs doing, a repair, an animal to tend, a crop to check…Add to this the usual household tasks that require doing.

Unlike an urban life, rural living merges both work and home into one consistent role.


Everything Now

High-speed City life has developed a fast-paced persona. Grocery shopping, ordering takeout, grabbing a coffee, and information access, are all undertaken at speed.

The larger the city the faster it seems to operate. Rural life tends to have a more laid back persona. Things get done when they are done, A coffee is a chance to sit for a while and relax, you are not grabbing it to drink on the way to work, you are taking a pause to savor the moment.

There are rural periods of fast-paced action but these are usually interspersed with more relaxed periods.

It All Takes Time

Anything plant based takes time to grow, nurturing crops is a long slow process. IF you are growing your own food, it’s not as fast as heading to the store to grab things, it’s also more seasonal based.

Supermarkets are now able to provide seasonal foods all year round due to advanced growing methods. The more rural and remote you are the longer deliveries can take. Next day delivery may end up being next week delivery. 

In Rural Living: 15 Useful Tips For Your New Life One of the tips discusses the fact that deliveries may not even arrive during bad weather if you live in a very rural area. Most urban areas on the other hand will see deliveries arriving on time despite the weather.


For the more remote rural dweller, it may be a long-distance to not only the nearest neighbor but also the doctor, dentist, hospital, or vet. Medical emergencies are very different compared to urban settings where an ambulance can arrive rapidly and emergency staff be on hand quickly.

In a rural setting basic first aid is a crucial skill as the nearest medical help could be an hour or more away. Schooling can also require children to travel a substantial distance each day.

You have to also take this into consideration if you are employed and do not solely work on the property where you live. This all adds time to journeys

Differences Between Rural And Urban Life Long Road
Differences Between Rural And Urban Life long road

Make Do

Less Waste

Unfortunately due to the easy access to products, urban life has become wasteful in nature. A simple walk around any city or town supermarket will make you aware of how many products are designed to be disposable.

A rural store will tend to stock far less disposable based things and more reusable or repairable items. This also tends to show in the general nature of urban and rural dwellers.

Looking back at grabbing a coffee earlier, rural folk will tend to sit in where ever they have purchased their coffee, and drink it from a mug that it then washed and reused.

An Average City person will grab a takeout coffee at a local coffeeshop probably in a disposable cup that gets thrown away. 

Fix It

One of the most important skills a rural person possesses is the ability to fix things. Most of the items they buy they do so with the subconscious knowledge that they can repair them later.

Urban fast-paced life particularly city-based life generally has little time to sit and tinker and repair items so they get taken to a local repair shop or thrown away.

The basic knowledge of fixing items for many is a lost art in a city life. Rural life brings with it the need to fix as quite often access to replacements is a long process.

Reuse or Adapt

Many things in a rural setting get reused or adapted for a purpose not originally intended. This recycling nature is part of the very core of people who’s families have spent generations living rurally.

Many urbanites dish out phrases such as Eco, Green, Organic and natural, in regards to new and trendy ideas. A closer examination of many of these trends shows that Rural communities have been doing these things for years and simply calling them life.

Organic homegrown overpriced city food, has been a staple diet of many rural families for years, and usually collected from the garden on the day of use.


There are many more differences between rural and urban life, and a grey area where the two merge in the sub-urban. These are just some of the ones that we find interesting as they are often the overlooked ones. Fresh air, clean water, great views, and mental health are quite often offered up as benefits to rural life.

For many the change from urban to rural life is quite a shock. Hopefully this article helps to start a thought process to ease the transition and encourage further exploration into the reality of moving to a rural area.

Recommended top 5 items list

  1. The Repair Shop: A Make Do and Mend Handbook
  2. The New American Homestead: Sustainable, Self-Sufficient Living in the Country or in the City
  3. The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!
  4. 4Ft Vertical Raised Garden Bed
  5. DELXO Vegetable Seeds 12,285 Non-GMO Heirloom Seeds

Going Rural is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and or Amazon.co.uk PLEASE READ THE Affiliate Disclaimer FOR MORE INFO.