Many see in the countryside a perfect place to start a family. But you need to have the right profile to be happy there. Adecco wanted to shed light on this possibility for anyone who is looking for answers by asking Jennifer Paré, coordinator of the MigrAction strategy in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.
This organization, with offices in 11 regions of Quebec, focuses on creating conditions conducive to the establishment of people less than 35 years old in various regions. Jennifer wants to help you ask the right questions and find the right thing to do.
The reasons for living in the country
City or countryside? It is hard to decide which living environment has the most assets because the answer depends on the needs and interests of each person. “Yes, there are nearby services and a more diversified cultural life in the city, but the regions have their appeal too.” says Jennifer Paré. Here are a few arguments mentioned in the conversation:
- Employment opportunities: for many years, the government invested in job creation to fight against rural flight. Today, this decision is showing results in addition to the massive retirement movement. Therefore, your chances to find a job are real and the postulants are not as numerous as in the city. “For example, in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, we have many good jobs to offer with high salaries, even at senior levels, says Jennifer. Of course there is a wage gap with the city but the cost of living is not the same either” says Jennifer Paré.
- Access to property: with the property boom, the homeownership decreases in major centers. “Many people I met are opting for a region because it is still possible to buy a house with more land”, says Jennifer.
- Quality of life: forget the traffic jams and hours spent waiting. In the country, you can go anywhere in 10 to 15 minutes, freeing valuable time for family, friends and hobbies.
- Another factor to consider: finding a childcare space close to your home or your workplace is not utopic. No wonder so many choose to migrate when they are ready to start a family.
- Social network: being in a small community makes it easier to find your place and build a social life. “It is often easier to be involved in community organizations, boards and city councils. The participation of countryside citizen has a bigger impact than in the city. The influence is direct”, adds Jennifer.
- A safer life: compared with cities, crime is lower in the regions. And belonging to a social network and knowing the environment has a positive effect on the security of children and property. “When we know our neighbour, we pay more attention” says Jennifer.
- The proximity of nature: hiking, fishing, snowshoeing in the woods… outdoors lovers will be in paradise. You only have to drive for a few minutes to be in the woods and find several activities that cannot be practiced in town.
The challenge of adapting
Before packing up and leaving the city, you must know that the benefits listed above also have down sides. Yes, proximity and citizen involvement can promote exchanges and cooperation. However, you must have a personality that fits in this different way of life.
“In town, you can ignore everything about your third neighbour and even the one next door. In the country, you know your neighbour and you know the whole street,” says Jennifer. From this point of view, you must be able to deal with this new dynamic. A spirit of cooperation must also inhabit the person who lives in the countryside because a cooperative environment is built on this value.
Other realities to mention: you must be able to live with less cultural offer and the absence of what Jennifer calls a trendy life. And, we must say it; it is impossible to live in a region where there is no or very little public transportation without a car.
Finally, there are many provincial organizations that help people who want to move in the countryside like Migr’Action and Place aux jeunes, and association that supports young people aged 35 and under to promote establishment and social and professional integration in the regions of Quebec.
“This organization has liaison officers in Montreal, Quebec city and Gatineau who know every region of Quebec. During an interview, these agents will target communities that meet the needs and interests of the person. Afterwards, the person can participate in a free exploratory weekend to visit, get the just of the area and meet potential employers.” says Jennifer.
In short, it is a good address for anyone who wants to taste the adventure before taking the plunge.
In collaboration with Annie Boutet, editor.