Newspaper report – Rural Vs. Urban Lifestyle Essay

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Aliquam id libero. Nunc cursus. Maecenas fringilla accumsan magna. Sed consectetur tincidunt nisl.By Shaun MellarsReading that quotation on a calendar reminded me about a recent cool summer’s evening when my dog and I went for a walk. The world was green, filled with the scent of nature with the sound of birds happily chirping and the gentle flow of a nearby stream. The bright sun was beginning to set, it would soon become dark but it felt to me like nothing could disturb this idyllic scene. We walked along the stream taking in the surroundings, so close to our own home.

For miles we could see nothing other than the paddocks where the local farmer’s cows were grazing and the odd kangaroo jumping by. It was beautiful, pure serenity.Earlier that day I spoke with Ellen Fitzroy and her husband Peter, who have moved to country Victoria in search of a tree change. They are typical of the semi-retirees who are looking for a less hectic lifestyle. Unfortunately because of constant population growth and developmental growth; the rural areas are being destroyed and replaced with buildings. Six months ago they purchased a vineyard just outside Shepparton with their lifesavings.“Both my husband and I have had a keen interest in wine for many years now,” Ellen explains. “After Peter retired, we decided to take our interest in wine further and purchase a small vineyard in this beautiful part of Victoria.

The weather is glorious and brilliantly suited to growing grapes. We have a lot of help, of course, as we’re not experienced in wine making, but are really enjoying our semi-retirement without being bored.” More and more retired couples are deciding to move out of the cities in search of a more relaxed lifestyle. While Queensland is still the destination of choice, country Victoria is also a popular spot.

The figures released by the Bureau of Statistics show Melbourne is on track to having a population of 4 million by the end of 2010. This shows that its population is growing by nearly 200 people a day. This could be for many reasons, one of them being young people are having difficulty remaining on the land, particularly if they are choosing to continue further studies after Year 12. Last week I spoke with 19-year-old Lexi Jones.

She used to live in the rural town of Swan Hill, but after deciding on studying Advanced Physics at RMIT, was forced to move to Melbourne. “The travel distance was just too great. I couldn’t manage to get to university if I stayed with my parents, so now I’m sharing a flat with my friend, who is also studying at RMIT.

Rent is much more expensive in the city, compared to what I’m used to. However, I do enjoy going shopping around the city, the variety is just amazing and the modern amenities are great.” Lexi told me. “I’m still getting used to the public transport system. I’ve never had to use public transport, as we rely heavily on cars because the distances are much greater. But because of the enormous amount of traffic around the city in the morning, public transport is necessary.” Lexi would love to take part in the city’s night life; however she has a lot of studying to do.

She has a strict budget and can’t afford to go out regularly to enjoy the wide range of restaurants, clubs and pubs Melbourne has to offer. I asked Lexi about her neighbours. She shook her head and said she had never met them.Back in Shepparton, Peter continues, “Ellen and I often enjoy hiking and bush walking through the local area.

The scenery is wonderful, there’s so much wildlife – you just won’t find this in the city… except for maybe in a zoo. Due to the wide open spaces available in rural areas there is plenty of room for our pets and the local animals to graze.” I asked them about the threat of bush fires. “The bush fires had us very worried in the beginning, but towards the end we considered ourselves quite lucky not to be affected at all.

” While I sat in their enormous kitchen, listening to their story, a knock at the backdoor announced the arrival of Margie, their young neighbour.Although there is a thirty year age difference between them, Margie’s family and Ellen and Peter have become good friends. This too, is typical of lifestyle in the country. It is said that there is a much stronger sense of community in rural areas compared to urban areas.

“We do sometimes miss the Melbourne culture but it is only a few hours’ drive away.” One thing that Ellen found astonishing was the amount of stars that she was able to see in the sky. “In Melbourne we were hardly able to see the stars – there was so much ambient light. Here, we stare in amazement at the sky – there are millions of stars to be seen every night.”Every coin has two sides to it. Urban on one side, offers a wide variety of opportunities, a great night life and wonderful facilities, whereas rural life on the other side offers tranquillity, ‘nature’ and possibly a cheaper lifestyle.

These different aspects attract different people, stereotypically senior citizens tend to travel out towards the rural areas to escape the hectic lifestyle in the urban areas, whereas generation Y tends to travel into the urban areas for the fun life or maybe because urban areas offer a lot more opportunities. In the end, we will all make our own choices, but personally, I’d rather be sitting on that hillside with my dog…


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