The sentence is completely fine as it is. It is ambiguous as described in the comments and the other answer. But people speak like that (well, except they don't say "Lande") and they understand each other. There is no need to rephrase it; it is fit for print. Also, the possible double meaning has no bearing on the question itself and is henceforth ignored.
The short version:
Yes, German usually skips as much as possible in comparisons. English doesn't and in some cases can't.
Generally, there are certain parts of a sentence that, if they are repeated in the same sentence in the same function/role, allow you to skip all but one instance. A lot of times this is even called for to avoid sounding incredibly repetitious. The parts for which it is most common are verbs and all kinds of subjects and object.
Ich kann das Fenster auf[machen] und zumachen.
Ich habe gestern mein Fenster aufgemacht, [habe] meine Küche geputzt und [habe] meine Wäsche gewaschen.
Ich habe Kuchen gegessen und [ich] bin in den Park gegangen.
In theory you can think of any of these examples as consisting of two complete sentences where a lot has been skipped.
Ich kann das Fenster aufmachen und ich kann das Fenster zumachen.
Here, we were using the conjunction "und" but you can generalize that view to any conjunction.
Ich kann morgen kommen, aber [ich kann] erst halb acht [kommen].
Du kannst mich anrufen oder [du kannst] mir schreiben.
And the same goes of course for comparisons with "als" and "wie"
Ich habe mehr Geld als Thomas [hat].
In comparisons this is super common and it's also what happens in the example.
Ich bin jetzt nicht so glücklich wie [ich] früher auf dem Land [war].
Number 2: mixing location and time.
In the first part of the sentence, the speaker uses a time indication
English on the other hand is not nearly as skip-friendly with these things.
I can call you or [I can] send you text.
This works but the following not so well... at least I'm pretty sure that it's not as common as in German.
Today, I've found a dollar and caught a fish.
A reason might be that "caught" can be a preterit form of "catch" as well as the past participle. It's not clear and so people would repeat the "have" to have their tense be clear.
Anyway, it's the same for comparisons
He is taller than me … fine
He is taller than I … strange/high brow
He is taller than I am … fine
English has a different paradigm at work and there are different rules when it comes to skipping.