VBOs are Ditching the Big City Life!

I live on the Georgia-Bama border in a small, quiet town called Fort Mitchell.

We don’t have a McDonald’s. We’ve got a Native American heritage museum, great local BBQ, and farmland for days.

As a VBO, my work day starts like this: 

I wake up with the sun and go outside to collect eggs from my chickens. Then, I fix myself a cup of tea, play with my rabbit Luka for a bit, and head to my home office where I start writing from my couch.

Most days are a personal pajama party, unless I’ve got errands to run, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Living in rural Alabama as a work from home freelancer affords me the peace I need to set my own pace for the day, free from all the trappings of the scripted life –You know... wake up, commute to a job you probably hate, slave in a cubicle under the scrutiny of your boss, fight five o’clock traffic to make it home, rinse and repeat. 

If that’s your personal hell, know that it doesn’t have to be that way. Hordes of freelancers are ditching the big city life in favor of smaller communities.

As a VBO you can live, work and play where you want to, like John Kelly, a globe-trotting VBO artist who up and moved his family to Paris! Rural life certainly has its perks for those of us who want to avoid the misgivings of metropolitan America.

So why not consider giving it a try?

Rural America, Here We Come

When it comes to quality of life, rural America tends to beat out big city life in several ways. 

The stop-and-go traffic that’s so commonplace in typical business hubs like New York and L.A. is pretty much nonexistent in rural areas. And let’s face it, small town America boasts a better environment than more metropolitan areas.

Picture the idyllic pastures, rolling hills, and lush forestry that are abundant in rural America. 

Now imagine the dull office spaces and jarring skyscrapers of urban life. A life of fresh air and verdant scenery without the smog and noise pollution of the city beckons. However, if you're a fan of the city life you might want to consider learning how to turn your closet into an office space!

No Longer Bound and Tethered to the City

Generally, outdated technology is one of the biggest drawbacks to living in a pastoral place, but rural communities are doing more to get connected. Internet companies are providing service in rural areas. And hotspots and satellite internet are making online work possible virtually anywhere.

The Dream Life While Saving Money

Here’s why most freelancers make the exodus away from the big city: To escape a cost of living that’s just way too damn high.

The average rent for an apartment in NYC is around $3500, and it’s even higher in San Francisco. Compare that to the three-bedroom house you can get for $1200 or even less in rural communities across America.

Beyond rent, transportation and grocery costs are also quite pricey in the big city. You can save money on living expenses across the board when you opt to go rural.

The More, the Merrier

Local governments are offering monetary incentives right now to work from home freelancers who relocate to their communities. Take Vermont, for example.

The point is that rural communities are seeing VBOs as valuable contributors to their local economies, and these communities are finding innovative ways to attract freelancers.

Is rural life looking better to you? It’s definitely working out for me.

The exodus away from big cities is one of the biggest VBO trends to keep an eye on this year. If you’re tired of the stressors of urban life and want to create more freedom in your day-to-day – while saving money – consider making the move.

Break up the prescribed routine and go rural.

Chantel Baul

I’m a skilled communicator with more than four years’ experience in digital and print content creation, who has a keen ability to adapt messages for diverse audiences. I have demonstrated proficiency in editorial writing conventions, social media strategy, brand reputation management, and interdisciplinary collaboration. I’m a driven and progressive researcher with an aptitude for storytelling. I'm also a proud Public Affairs Officer in the United States Army Reserve.

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