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Urban Refugees Embrace New Bucolic Lifestyles

Market Data + Trends

Urban Refugees Embrace New Bucolic Lifestyles

January 19, 2021
Outdoor porch facing the woods
Photo: Iriana Shiyan

Besides trading in their city lifestyles and luxurious penthouses, urban refugees are trading in their suits and Range Rovers for bicycles and flannels. The lifestyle change from living and working in a bustling city center to the calm, lush countryside led to a personal change for many urban refugees, reports A corporate VP left her 6,800 square foot home for a three-bedroom, three-bath island escape in South Carolina. Now, her days are filled with fishing for her dinners and exploring the surrounding wilderness. Many who fled the city have embraced their new lifestyles, finding a deeper connection to the surrounding nature, and questioning whether a life back in New York City can be sustained.

While some might miss the culture and socializing of their past lives, others have developed a sort of reverse snobbery, celebrating their inner hicks, switching up their Porsches for Ford Broncos and expressing pity for wretches who breathe fouler air. They take pride in their chicken coops, check in with their landscapers as if they were stockbrokers, and have that same gleam in their eyes that Eddie Arnold had as he traded in his suit for overalls in the TV show “Green Acres.”

In Raleigh, Ms. Trunzo and Mr. Malynn paid for their daughter’s horse to be groomed, but now the 13-year-old is mucking out the stables herself. Ms. Trunzo, who dined out almost nightly, has been catching dinner from the Calibogue Sound.

Recently divorced Louis Hoffer, 57, has taken on the roles of plumber, gardener and carpenter since relocating from Seattle. To flee Covid, he decamped to the $2.4 million, three-bed, three-bath vacation condo in Sun Valley, Idaho, that he purchased in 2007 and added on to in 2014. He is redoing his deck and bathrooms and trying to landscape.

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