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Old 08-01-2011, 01:58 PM
6 posts, read 13,173 times
Reputation: 11


I am a single young professional guy in my mid-20's considering taking a position in the Burlington area. I have spent most of my life in Alabama and never thought much about living in Vermont. Being from the South, I know that people's stereotypes from other regions of the country are not always true - but nonetheless the idea of moving to Vermont would probably be a big change for me.

So, could I fit in well in Vermont and the Burlington area? Would I be able to make friends, become active in the community, and find my niche? To give you an idea of where I am coming from, I am kind-of your "typical" conservative suburban guy: I am very patriotic, go to church on Sunday (Catholic), in to things like watching sports, hunting/fishing, mainstream rock and country music, etc. I have pretty traditional values on issues like life and marriage, I don't care if my food is organic, I like to get involved in Republican politics, and I shop at places like Walmart and Barnes & Noble. However, I am not a "Bible-thumper" and strive to treat everyone with respect.

I just don't want to feel like a total outcast where I live. Any thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Last edited by kev26; 08-01-2011 at 02:07 PM..
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:15 PM
Location: mid south
353 posts, read 856,544 times
Reputation: 279
Well....I can tell you I moved from Vermont to the south to get away from the extreme liberalism that seems to run rampant in the Burlington area. There are some conservatives, and they are good people but the area is dominated by democrats..
Hunting and fishing is pretty good, sports is a mix. Friday night football is no where near what it is like in the south (despite what some people say..) college sports is UVM they are a strong mid-major in basketball and a better than average in hockey....there are a few small divison 3 college football teams....
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Old 08-01-2011, 04:11 PM
Location: Winter Springs, FL
1,789 posts, read 4,056,149 times
Reputation: 925
From a political standpoint you will go crazy here. There are people in both the Democratic party and the Republican party that are conservative and are in the center politically. I think most of Vermont has a feeling of being towards the center, but Burlington and several other larger communities in the state lean far to the left.
I agree, sports is nothing like in other parts of the country. Baseball (Red Sox) is the biggest thing going on as long as the team is doing well as is UVM basketball or hockey.
To say you would be an outcast is going far, but you will not have as many people with the same outlook as you have around you.
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Old 08-01-2011, 05:02 PM
Location: Brandon VT
190 posts, read 547,914 times
Reputation: 281
Well, you definitely won't be judged for liking sports, rock and country music, and walmart/barnes and nobles- I know a lot of people who like all of those things. While some people may be against big box stores, most people won't judge you for liking them (hey, sometimes I don't want to spend 4 dollars on an all natural recycled organic fair trade roll of toilet paper). Sports aren't as good up here, people don't get quite excited about them but there are still lots of sports bars and it shouldn't be too hard finding people with similar interests.

About the whole church thing- the way people view religion, as I'm sure you know, is really different up north. I really don't think it's true that "people just aren't religious up here." Most of the people I know either go to church or have a spiritual interest/background. Religion just isn't as pervasive up here as it is down south. Nobody walks around talking about their religion (or trying to force it down your throat). I don't know anything about the churches in Burlington but I do know that with a population this size there must be a very nice Catholic community that you could become involved in.

Politics would be my biggest concern for you. Burlington is extremely liberal. Based on your background and political interests I would say that the more libertarian North East Kingdom would better fit you, but if the job is in Burlington that wouldn't be realistic. My question I suppose would be, how much do you like talking about politics? If politics are viewpoints personal only to you and you prefer to discuss other issues with people, you might be alright. But if you enjoy talking politics (or if you get upset when other people talk opposing politics) it might be very difficult. Even if you don't like talking about politics, liberal policies are pervasive throughout Burlington. For example, Burlington has a very relaxed view on homeless people and puts on a Pride festival in July. If seeing these kinds of events would be very bothersome to you I would probably consider another city.
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Old 08-01-2011, 05:09 PM
Location: Brandon VT
190 posts, read 547,914 times
Reputation: 281
Oh, and by a "relaxed view on homeless people" I mean that the city allows them to panhandle wherever they want with absolutely no repercussions, to the point where you are literally stepping over throngs of them on Church Street. And you can't put your recycling outside before recycling day because they will walk right up on your porch with no respect for personal property. (I'm sorry, but I'm becoming irritated by the sheer number of beggars in this city. I've had them prowling around my car in my private parking lot, come up far on my porch, and trample all over my flowers looking for bottles).
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:28 PM
Location: Raleigh
1,204 posts, read 1,191,428 times
Reputation: 1377
I'm from North Carolina and have visited and lived in a number of places, both in the US and in another country. So I have "been around." Also, I am conservative.

I have a friend from Vermont. Her position is, "I want my state back." Apparently, Vermont has changed a lot from when she was growing up. My husband and I visited about two years ago. While it is pretty and people are certainly friendly, it is not a place that I would ever consider moving to. Even during a short visit, the liberal vibe was very obvious. Don't want to experience that day in and day out.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:12 PM
Location: Brandon VT
190 posts, read 547,914 times
Reputation: 281
It's interesting, but I think that really most Vermonters are more on the conservative side. Or if not conservative, than at least more moderate and laid back about politics. Burlington is mostly transplants. Most native Vermonters, whether liberal or conservative, are not as outspoken about their beliefs.
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Old 08-02-2011, 06:35 AM
Location: The Woods
16,935 posts, read 22,198,202 times
Reputation: 9019
The problem is a few cities control the state politically and are responsible for the insanity in the state and what people elsewhere think of the state.
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Old 08-02-2011, 04:13 PM
Location: in a cabin overlooking the mountains
3,079 posts, read 3,708,380 times
Reputation: 2253
kev from your post you sound like you have a really good attitude and could and probably be happy anywhere.

Like previous posters have said, some things will be different from what you may be used to in Alabama and especially if you are in Burlington (the tail that has been wagging the dog for years, kind of like what artic said) you won't have the feeling that you are surrounded by people who share your views on everything. But the niche will be there. I'm sure you'll be welcomed with open arms by the Catholic community, the VT GOP and some hunting and fishing buddies you'd be likely to make.

You're young and probably won't stay wherever you are for a while so why not come on up, see and experience something different, enjoy what the place has to offer and take it from there in a few years. Once you get older and have family it gets harder to get out and experience new things.
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:33 AM
Location: Albuquerque NM
3,165 posts, read 4,814,335 times
Reputation: 4701
I would worry more about the winters than the politics if I were you.

At the time I moved to the Upper Valley I was a conservative Republican. When I got involved in conservative politics there I discovered a strong undercurrent of racism and antisemitism which I hadn't experienced before. It made me listen to other points of view more and question my own positions on many issues. By the time I moved away from the area I considered myself a happy Liberal and still do. It happens!

Good luck to you!
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