+1 david's post.
distilled, life is but a series of choices, no?
living UL is no different.
this said too, i'm extremely! fortunate.
i live in a rural area, always have, likely always will,
as i'm entirely unwilling to sacrifice the safety and beauty
of nature. it's what keeps me ticking!
though i reside just 45 mins. from the heart of the whites,
in the interest of time and money (mostly money),
i opt to keep it local.
james, to answer your question, i'm not really spending the time in the backcountry like i once did/wish to, but, healthy compromise it must be!
i also too live in a town that requires a great deal of travel to any conveniences. hence another reason i must be frugal/judicious with use of my resources.
foothills lace my backyard; i make the best of it!
(think: breeds creativity, resourcefulness and i still can fortunately find my peace of mind in the doing so). yes, i am blessed!
all i can share is that i purposefully chose to live my 20's with reckless abandon (so-to-speak) as an outdoor instructor simply b/c i anticipated things to drastically change later on.
my focus now being career (teaching), it's difficult at best for me to really "get out" in the backcountry. still, another echo to david's post...
by living frugally (research your purchases! saves you heaps of time and moola later on) and choosing to live with/on less, getting outside more frequently can in fact be done. au contrarire...
i'm rare in the sense that i've outwardly pledged (again, through a series of conscious life choices) to not own a home, marry, or have a family. surely there's a price to one's own freedom even, but getting outside and living my chosen lifestyle trumps the "shackles" that my married, home owning, city dwelling, stable job, child-popping friends have. they can't understand my choices anymore than i can undsertand theirs.
at 35, i live in a town with a 70% retired population; everything comes at cost.
.02: it's what you can't live without,what choices you make, and/or what chooses you.