leahh: Sorry to hear about your health issues. Question to you: WHY does it have to be “All or Nothing” in your quest for a more peaceful surroundings? And WHY does it have to be South of the Mason-Dixon Line?
There are gorgeous, beautiful small hamlets up in Michigan/Indiana: great school systems (some of them in the top #10); state parks everywhere; clean air; good jobs; very friendly people; and a giant Lake Michigan to play in.
You could rent a rambling 50’s Ranch House with 4 bedrooms to rent out or a Farm House on acreage and still breath clean air and watch the Milky Way from your porch. My tiny hamlet is so small, they don’t even list a population on the sign. (LOL) There are tons of homes to rent around here with plenty of land around them. Then, if you want to go more spartan, you could use these places I suggested as your launching pad to a more secluded lifestyle.
It just seems to me that your desire to leave the rat race behind doesn’t have to be so drastic to achieve your goals. I don’t know what the fascination is with dry and dusty states with low rain fall and scorching Summer temperatures.
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