In this article we focus on participation following traumatic brain injury (TBI) in rural and regional Australian contexts, asking how aspects of rurality, such as place identity and rural belonging, impact on participation for the individual living with TBI. We found a preference for country living, despite disadvantages including distance from services and lack of anonymity. A rural identity provides access to an enabling narrative, the 'rural idyll,' which allows people with TBI to inhabit the realm of social normality. A rural identity is enabling in this regard, because it cooperates with TBI-based preferences for social isolation and a relaxed pace that accommodates fatigue. Thus, people living in rural areas report satisfaction with their quality of life despite restricted access to resources and reduced social participation.