Living where the grass is greener: Reflections on an alternative life in a mountain village in Romania
Nowadays there is an increasing number of people who invest (or would like to invest) in a second home in rural areas or who migrate (or would like to migrate) to rural areas. This thesis is about migration to rural areas; it addresses the question: “Which incentives and constraints do people weigh before migrating to a rural area and which challenges do they encounter once living there?” I conducted fieldwork in a rural area in Romania. I studied a case of an international migration, namely from the United Kingdom to Romania, by a couple Timothy and Karen. Initially Timothy and Karen had an 'idyllic' image of rural life in Romania, but while living in the mountain village in Harghita County, they had to adjust their image according to their experiences. In this (sometimes emotional) process they adjust their expectations and strategies; one example is their interactions and relationships with the other villagers, which got altered when they experienced increased frustrations while trying to become part of the local reciprocity system. Consumption preferences and ideas about a healthy lifestyle, and a preferred lifestyle in general, like production of own food and animal-human relationships, seem to be key elements, which are given importance by Timothy and Karen in their decision to migrate to a rural area and to live there. Other factors, such as mobility and motility, and financial 'independence', are also of importance.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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