There's a lot of advantages to living in the country, but the one big drawback is transportation. We are tied to our cars and trucks.
In the city, there's public transportation: trains, subways, buses, and taxis. There are plenty of neighborhoods where all your needs are within walking distance. A bicycle may be all that's required.
I've none of those things. Absolutely everything is beyond casual walking distance. On the plus side, country people tend to have at least some food stores. Can't run to the store every time you need a loaf of bread. Often I'd rather bake bread than run down to the store. Country people are used to providing for themselves.
There are still a few elderly people who remember how it was out here in the woods before cars were common. In the winter, it was an all day trip by horse drawn sleigh to the next town and back. It's a distance that modern people think nothing of traveling in a car. Back then, it was common to only go into town once a month. Even when they got cars, once a week seemed like more than enough.
Of course, cars were not quite as reliable as they are now. Roads were pretty bad too. I remember my dad telling me that as a kid, it was common for them to take 3 spare tires along for a trip to a town 50 miles away. Often they'd use up all those spares.
There were no school buses. People living on the outskirts would often board their children with people who lived close to the school. They may not have even really known them that well, but people did what they had to do for an education.
During the oil shock of the 70's, it was common up here at the lake to combine trips. Someone would announce they were going into town and did anybody need anything? That person might leave with a whole list of things to pick up for several different people. Plenty of car pooling took place too.
When fuel gets more expensive, we'll most likely do what what we used to do. At first, it'll be like in the 70's: car pooling and errand combining. Will things be like in the old days when people went into town once a week or once a month? That might be a problem. You see, back in the day, people out in the country lived on farms. They made a living where they lived. That's not often the case today. Most country people drive to their job, some for long distances.
A few people might be able to telecommute. That assumes the Internet infrastructure will be maintained out in the hinterland. My guess is that a lot of people will have to leave the country to look for work in the cities. A few may be able to generate income out in the country. Those old farms just might go back into production.
If you plan on living out in the country during the decline of the petroleum age, better have a way of making a living.
Now it is possible some whizzbang technological solution to easy motoring will be found, but do you want to bet on it?
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