Urban Flight: Beware!

3 min read

Updated: Dec 13, 2021

One of the mega-trends we are now seeing in the WDC insurance job market is a frantic effort by some to move out of the hustle & bustle of WDC and Northern Virginia into the distant hills to work remotely.

This, is of course, of no surprise to anyone given the enormous publicity that the BLM and Antifa movements are receiving in the press. I mean, hell, a good friend and client hiring authority told me yesterday that one can hardly go out to read a newspaper at an outdoor coffee shop in Georgetown without getting harassed by some hooligan in a hoodie. I know, it’s a bummer being young, still living with mom, with $150k in student debt wrapped around your neck, but c’mon, can’t a guy and a gal drink a cup of coffee in peace on a lazy Sunday morning?

And then one wonders, “Why aren’t folks getting hassled in Winchester, Leesburg, or Front Royal? Why don’t they try that in our town or even in the larger midsize cities? Why isn’t Antifa taking hold in my town of Berkley Springs? Because they can’t. Simple. They’d be run out in a NY minute.

But can everyone live out in the country is the big question? Can city people really make the adjustment? I have lived in both. Let’s look at some of the challenges:

Throughout our country’s history rural people had to rely more on themselves for their own defense, obtaining water, hunting and fishing for food, disposing their sewage, raising livestock to feed themselves, and fixing their own stuff.

What they do not make or grow themselves, they saw as opportunities to trade and barter for such as firewood, metals, fuel, tools, supplies, etc. We do the same where I live now. Neighbors help each other with DiY projects, sharing baby-sitting duties, growing communal vegetable gardens to be self-sufficient, fixing fences and equipment, etc.

We respect, cooperate and work closely with local law enforcement.

None of this is romantic. It’s hard as hell work. It’s tiring. It never ends. But the food and drink taste a little better at the end of the day after a hard days work.

Nature for us is not distant, not a romance, but a mercurial partner to be respected, feared, and occasionally with difficulty brought to heel and for a while harnessed.

From the autonomy earned by working out our problems locally, comes a distrust of larger government redistribution and dependence on anonymous others. Self-sufficiency is an impossible luxury for dependent city-dwellers in a dense WDC and surrounding beltway communities where sophistication, position, and culture nuance are most valued but come at the cost of being entirely reliant on the extramural activities of those with less impressive speech, appearance, and manners…country folk who supply the food.

We don’t complain. We don’t whine. We just do. We get it done. However. Wherever. It’s a different mind-set. A different approach. A different life.

A political consultant attorney from Falls Church purchased the adjacent property that I live on and was out proudly touring and admiring his new acquisition when he came upon an old woodshed on the back part of the property. His freshly pressed Hugo Boss suit had caught my eye. We walked inside only to find a pile of snakes sliding harmlessly around inside a large basket. He jumped back and ran out the back door looking for a shovel to kill them. After calming him down, I explained that snakes were a good thing on a farm. They keep the rodent population down. He turned to say, “Rodents? What kind of rodents.? I replied, “you know, rats and mice.” He winced.

That next weekend while pulling into my driveway I noticed down the road what looked like a For Sale sign. Sure enough, it was for sale. He lasted ten days and decided country life was not for him. I noticed the shiny red toolbox he left behind on the table still had the Home Depot price tag on it.

What is strange is that so many who are not rural are becoming fearful of their cannibalistic own in the cities, thus are becoming desperate either to graft the values of the countryside onto the urban sprawl or leave the latter altogether.

All I am saying is just think about living in the country before you take the plunge.

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