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Healthy Country Air

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A frequent excuse for a city mouse moving out to the country is health. The air is cleaner than in the city and the atmosphere is more relaxing, leading characters to move to see if their health can improve. People with asthma and other lung-based illnesses are especially prone to this.

There is a Truth in Television aspect to this. In the past, clean air was used for the treatment of several illnesses, most notably tuberculosis. Tuberculosis has been a part of humanity for almost as long as humanity has existed (bones from the Neolithic Era have been found with telltale signs of tuberculosis, and some disputed evidence suggests the disease may go back much further than that). For most of recorded history the only treatments were giving people better food and moving them to a place where the air was considered better, which was usually out in the country somewhere. Ancient Greeks, for example, favored having the patient rest in groves of sacred trees, Scandinavians believed mountain air would aid in recovery, and 19th century America thought the dry climate of the western part of the country was better for the lungs.

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This might be a reason for From New York to Nowhere. Usually a treatment for Victorian Novel Disease. For when winds are explicitly shown to have healing properties, see Healing Winds.


Examples:

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     Anime & Manga  

  • This is a plot point in the backstory of Love Hina. Naru had asthma as a child and had been sent to the Hinata Inn for this reason. This is how she originally met and fell in love with Keitaro.
  • Uta No Prince Sama: The heroine Nanami's backstory involves this. She had an unspecified Soap Opera Disease, and moved to the country to be with her grandmother for the sake of her health. As a result, she's very sheltered and doesn't know a lot about the idol industry.
  • In Fushigi Yuugi: Genbu Kaiden, Mrs. Okuda is suffering from tuberculosis at the beginning of the story. The family moves from Tokyo to Morioka, hoping that the mountain air would improve her health. The other students in Takiko's new class gossip constantly about it, and the Okuda family takes great pains to keep Mrs. Okuda's illness a secret, for fear that the social stigma would jeopardize 17-year-old Takiko's marriageability.

     Comic Books  

  • Superboy: Conner Kent/Kon-El, the young clone of Superman has two moments as this: the first one invoked this trope in his own series by moving to Hawaii after the Reign of the Supermen arc to make a name by his own instead of being under the shadow of Superman. Later, this trope becomes straight after being part of the Teen Titans, moving to Smallville and living with the Kents to get mental stability, first before Infinite Crisis and later after being revived in Legion of 3 Worlds.

     Fan Works  

  • In The Not-So-Great and Powerful Escape, Trixie is left comatose after a Bungled Suicide. She is sent to recover in Ponyville because of its rural atmosphere.
  • In Blind Courage, Impa and Ganondorf debate what weather is best for the chronically ill Zelda. Impa believes that the moderate climate of the forest is the best environment, while Ganondorf thinks that Zelda should live with him in the desert.

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     Films — Animation  

  • Arrietty has Sho. He was sent to the rural setting of the story due to needing an operation on his heart. The trope ultimately proves to be true given that the setting allows him to meet the titular character as well as abandon his You Can't Fight Fate attitude concerning life.
  • When Marnie Was There starts with Anna's mother sending her out to visit her aunt and uncle in the country for the summer. Her reasoning is that it could help with Anna's asthma.

     Films — Live-Action  

  • This was referenced in Casablanca.
    Louis: And what in heaven's name brought you to Casablanca?
    Rick: My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.
    Louis: The waters? What waters? We're in the desert.
    Rick: I was misinformed.
  • The Stewart family in Hannah Montana The Movie move back to Tennessee because Miley's dad believes she's grown an ego as Hannah. When Miley protests, her dad calls the vacation a "Hannah Detox".

     Literature  

  • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Hagrid claims that he took a semester off to travel because the fresh air was good for his health. Umbridge, unconvinced, quips that as groundskeeper fresh air must be hard to come by.
  • In Anna Karenina, Kitty's doctor urges her to leave Petersburg and travel through Europe to cure her mysterious illness.
  • The Yellow Wallpaper is the first-person narrative of a 19th-century woman who's on enforced bed rest in a country house for a summer to treat her "nervous depression" and "hysteria", up until she Goes Mad from the Isolation instead. Such diagnoses and "rest cures" were unfortunately common in the time period.
  • Several Sherlock Holmes stories start with Watson dragging a very reluctant Holmes out of London on medical grounds (usually overwork). Being Holmes, he always ends up involved in solving a criminal mystery anyway.
  • In Black Beauty, the titular horse had to run for the doctor when his mistress fell ill. The doctor prescribed moving to a warm country for two or three years. Since Black Beauty couldn't come with her, he was sold to a new owner.
  • The Moving Finger: Jerry Burton and his sister Joanna move to the sleepy village of Lymstock to help Jerry recover after a plane crash. Â They soon get a poison pen letter accusing them of being lovers instead of siblings because they don't look alike.

     Live Action TV  

  • In El Chavo del ocho, Sr. Barriga, the owner of the neighborhood needed to sell it so he can move to Acapulco, since his doctor stated his heart needed more oxygen. At the end it turns out that he got his results mixed with someone else, so he doesn't sell the place.
  • In the theme song to Green Acres, Oliver sings that one of the benefits of living on a farm is the fresh air.

     Video Games  

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     Real Life  

  • In the early 20th Century, Tucson, Arizona grew into a city from a small town because it was believed that the air there was good for treating tuberculosis.

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