Octavian Viorel decided to move from the city to his grandparents’ village during the pandemic.
Octavian Viorel decided to move from the city to his grandparents’ village during the pandemic. For a while, he enjoyed the peace and quiet there and the somehow patriarchal way of living, but then he felt the need to socialize with people like him, who lived in the city. After a while, he came up with the idea to lure more people from towns and cities into the rural way of living. Here he is, talking about his project:
“I came up with the idea of the project right here, in the village. I used to live in the city but decided to escape the pandemic by moving to my grandparents’ village, Slatioara, in Valcea county. One here, I realized that apart from all the advantages that life at the countryside has to offer, there was also a downside to it, and that was the community. I felt I needed people from the urban area, like myself, to communicate and spend my free time with. So together with a friend, who also moved from the city to the village, decided to go to the mayor to see if they are interested in promoting the village and supporting the relocation of city people to Slatioara. Then we looked for financing and we found it. We set up a research group and we analyzed the village from the viewpoint of a person who wants to move here from the town.”
Most people who come to the village complain about the bad infrastructure they find here. This is not the case in Slatioara, as Octavian Viorel tells us: “I have discovered people’s huge need for living in the middle of nature, without so many restrictions. Unlike most villages, Slatioara has modern infrastructure, running water, high speed internet and locals who are happy to have new neighbors. At present I can only see the bright side of living in a village. The downside would be the aged population here.”
Given that the pandemic has forced us to stay indoors, crammed in small apartments, more and more people have started to dream about living in the middle of nature, at the countryside. Octavian Viorel: “This is a general tendency and we only drew the conclusions. More and more people come to the village and ask us about houses for sale or land on which they could build a home. We have discussed with the mayor about the next steps we should take, so that we can provide those interested with all the information they need about available houses and land.”
Octavian Viorel also tells us more about the goals of the people involved in the project and about the advantages that it brings to the village in general: “The village will prosper due to the newcomers. The average age bracket will decrease, which means that there will be more active people here. This category of people that come from towns and cities, with new projects and ideas, will open small businesses by capitalizing on local resources, which will help the village as a whole. So these newcomers will be the engine of the village for the following years.”
The project is not an attempt to convince people move from the urban to the rural area, but it is rather a message that, if they plan to do it, they are welcome. Octavian Viorel lives in Slatioara with his family, and have a hybrid village-town way of life: “School unfolds in a hybrid system. My kids go to school in Bucharest for one week, then they have online classes the next week. We, the parents, work in the same manner. For the moment we share our time between town and village, something that we also recommend others to do. Living in a village is very different from living in a town or city. It involves more physical work, it involves a schedule, perhaps less dependent on certain hours but dependent on nature and the time of the year. So we advice those who want to relocate, to give themselves an adjustment period of one or two months first. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve been coming here often since I was a child, spent most of my holidays here so I’m used to it, I know what is like to live here. My father, who is a pensioner now, also lives this hybrid village town life and he still offers me advice on how to do it better.”
Moving to the rural area does seem a good idea, for this autumn at least.