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14 things you know to be true if you grew up in the country.

Toyota Australia
Thanks to our brand partner, Toyota Australia

There’s nothing like growing up in the great outdoors – going to sleep under a galaxy of stars at night, everyone within a 30-kilometre radius knowing your family and your family’s business, and being surrounded by people with big hearts and even bigger personalities.

The streets are wide, the beers are cold and the music is loud. That’s what living in the country is all about.

It’s also about the spirit of community, and banding together to get behind a good cause. Many rural communities are doing it tough right now, battling extreme heat, drought and bushfires.

At this year’s Toyota Country Music Festival in Tamworth, Toyota will partner with the famous festival again to support Rural Aid through different fundraising initiatives.

With a focus on the Rural Aid Mental Health program, the funds raised through last year’s festival – a whopping $270,000 in total ($240,000 from Toyota’s Raffle for Resilience, and $30,000 from festival hat donations) – went straight to counselling services for farmers and regional communities impacted by drought. And they’re doing it again in 2020.

While we reflect on the important work being done to support rural communities through the devastation of drought, we wanted to shine a light on some of the great things about growing up in the country.

Mamamia spoke to a number of people – some now city-dwellers, some still deep in the heartland – who are out and proud about their upbringing. Here’s what they had to say.

1. A flanno is a perfectly acceptable form of attire.

For any social occasion, from pub dinners to kids’ birthday parties. For a very special celebration, you pull out your fancy flanno with the good checks.

2. There’s no going to the beach. You go to the dam.

On a hot summer’s day, you’ll have to fight for the good spots close to the water. Best you bring an old towel as well, because you won’t leave covered in sand. You’ll be getting dirt off your feet for days.

country-kids
Image: Getty.
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3. Going to the grocery store for bread and milk takes an hour and a half.

Because you bump into everyone you know, including your old music teacher, your mum's best friend and most of the people you went to primary school with.

4. "Mate" is a perfectly acceptable form of greeting for someone you know.

But also, someone you don't remember.

5. You first learnt to drive out on your property (or a family friend's).

If it wasn't in a tractor it was in a Toyota HiLux. Always.

6. There’s one "good" boutique and one "good" cafe.

The people who run these institutions are absolute legends who've managed to reinvent their businesses year after year, and you're very chuffed when taking out-of-towners there. The downside? They're always full of tourists.

7. If your town got a traffic light it was a big deal.

Traffic isn't really a thing in the country. But you may get stuck behind a herd of cows crossing the road, and that's worse than peak hour in the city.

8. Country people do fairs and festivals better than anyone else.

We love our music, and we love digging deep to help out our neighbours. Country shows and festivals bring that sense of community goodwill together with excellent local music, markets and amazing food. And that combo can't be beat.

9. A friend's party can be three hours away.

So you'd better bring your swag or appoint a designated driver. Oh, and "just down the road" is an hour away, so pack snacks.

10. There may be a snake in your car.

Quaint country life = brown snakes. Always check the back seat, and never forget to look under the car.

11. There is such thing as a Main Street. Just one.

In your youth, you had hours of entertainment driving up and down the main strip with your friends.

12. There’s almost definitely a rivalry between you and the closest town. 

You're very different, OK? And much, much better than them.

13. You grew up listening to country music, and it will always be the soundtrack of choice at family gatherings.

Keith Urban ON REPEAT. You've seen many a country musician get their start in places like the Toyota Country Music Festival. Their Toyota Star Maker competition has launched the careers of Keith, Lee Kernaghan, Beccy Cole, Samantha McClymont...and yes, you'll be going again next year to see the new crop of talent.

14. On that note, the karaoke machine only has three settings.

These are Jimmy Barnes, John Farnham and Shannon Noll. No arguments.

What would you add to our list? Let us know in the comments.

Feature image: The Toyota Fanzone team at The Toyota Country Music Festival. Image: Getty.

Toyota Australia

Toyota has a long history of supporting rural and regional communities across Australia and is a proud sponsor of Rural Aid and supporter of the Toyota Country Music Festival Tamworth.

As presenting partner of the festival, Toyota proudly supports grassroots music in regional Australia, providing a platform for up-and-coming artists through initiatives such as the Toyota StarMaker competition.

During the festival, Toyota raises funds for the Rural Aid Mental Health program by donating proceeds from festival hats.

Toyota was also proud to support Rural Aid through the Mamamia Out Loud live tour by donating $1 to them from every ticket sold.

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