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Thread summary:

Considering moving to Vermont, pros and cons of living in Vermont, overcoming cold feet when moving, seeking advice about moving out of state

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Old 01-18-2009, 04:05 PM
Location: North Central PA
85 posts, read 228,567 times
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Can you be homesick for a place you do not live? My wife and three boys and I have been to Vermont a few times, partially vacation and the other job interviews. We have been reading the posts for Vermont for over two years now. In that time, we have either gotten cold feet about our moving, or decided to stay where we are at due to family. Here we are again with a situation that we would be able to make our move. I would be away from the family for a few months, but my wife and boys are on board with this. The unknown of course is will we be able to sell our house here and make a good go of it there. We know how the winters are, (love them) know we would like the work. Our family of course would be less than thrilled us moving from Pa. to Vermont, but I am at the point where we need to live our lives, I mean we only go around once. My wife is worried about everything panning out for us, and understandably so. I truly love Vermont. I realize that things aren't a bed of roses anyplace, but I do not feel complete where we are at now. I don't know what the future holds, and I want to do what is best for my family. Until we figure ourselves out, we are homesick for Vermont in Pennsylvania.
I would like to say it has been very good and enlightening reading everyones posts, good or bad. Everyone we either ran into while in Vermont, or who we have had contact through City Data has been nice and very helpful. Thank you.
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Old 01-18-2009, 09:43 PM
19,699 posts, read 59,595,835 times
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There are VERY few people that I think would love living in Vermont, since most don't understand the downsides. However, based on your post, you are one of the few. Do it. Go for it. Live it. You need to do this.

(Gee, I wonder if I was clear? )
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:23 AM
Location: hinesburg, vt
1,574 posts, read 4,552,056 times
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I can truly understand the sentiment of the OP. I have now been in Vt for almost four years and can say that for over twenty years prior to moving here always had a so to speak dream of being able to live here. I got hooked by numerous hiking trips and road trips throughout the years. However, work and military commitments brought us elsewhere. Now after being here since 2005 I have to be honest and say that from our perspective we have decided due to numerous factors that Vermont shall always remain a great place to visit, but not to stay and live. No one single factor overwhelmingly has brought on this sentiment or decision, it's the result of several compounding factors. Many times folks are turned off by the weather and for those that really don't like long extended winters this should be considered. I personally have no problem with winter, but do want to have a milder winter while still being able to live in a true four season environment. Economic realities of life here have been to say the least very sobering. Of course for those who have dependable and decent incomes this pressure may not even make an impression, but it is definitely something to consider. In terms of reduced pay, shaky job security, and a fairly high cost of living, it has amazed me how much this has taken out of my reserve savings. Everybody is different and it is really not practical to say either yes move here or don't do it, but it is critical that those considering coming here take a very hard objective look. The positive aspects have a sort of intoxicating effect and everybody should know that you don't make critical decisions while under the influence.
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:57 PM
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It sounds like my husband and I wrote your post. We live in rural PA but our hearts are in VT. When I see the Welcome to Stowe sign all the tension leaves my body. We have gone there every year, sometimes 4X's a year since 1987. We love the Stowe area and when I sit here looking at photos I get very homesick for a place I have never lived except for a week at a time. We have friends there and when we are there we feel at peace, I open the curtains in the a.m., look at the mountains and I'm happy. I have never been happy in PA, I am here because this is where my husband's job is. We subscribe to the Stowe newspaper and keep up with the news from friends and our last horse came from Vermont.

One year we did look at a house and we are still kicking ourselves for not trying to buy it and rent it until my husband retired because if we did that we'd be moving there in June because he's retiring in June. The house wasn't my dream house but it was affordable, had acreage for our horses and the views were unreal.

I don't know if we'll ever get up there because of house prices, taxes and not leaving family but if I had the chance I'd be gone in as much time as it takes to pack! We understand what it's like there, it's actually more populated than where we live, we live in the middle of nowhere which is fine for me, we'd want to live rural there too but the costs are more than we can afford. Last yr we found a house that was sort of affordable but the taxes were more than twice what we pay. Maybe some day, maybe I'll end up in a retirement home up there or something!
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:22 PM
3,042 posts, read 8,325,194 times
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i know how you feel after having lived near vt for many years in upstate ny and taking most of my vacations in VT but understanding the limited job opportunities, the lack of affordable housing.

i have never been happy in Pa, and moved here only because the job prospects were numerous
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:47 PM
Location: North Central PA
85 posts, read 228,567 times
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So what is so wrong with PA? Why can't we be happy here? Is it all a state of mind? All questions that we long for answering. It is sobering and depressing to even think about the obvious issues, money, employment, the actual move, ect. Maybe it is just a pipe dream but VT is definately in our blood. Being a spiritual person, I often ask for my "please give me a sign". It never fails I see a rare VT license plate in our hometown, VT maple ham is advertised on the front page of our grocery store circular, or some other out of the norm takes place! Of course, then we wonder, was that our sign? Geez, if only we could determine our lives outcome by the grocery store sales! LOL I think we would check out the Buy 1 get 1 free specials!
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:40 PM
Location: Winter Springs, FL
1,792 posts, read 4,265,263 times
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I understand how you feel because I felt the same way many years ago when I first moved to Vermont. I don't want to discourage you and your dreams, but thinking about my life here and looking at the places I have lived in the past I came to a conclusion about myself. My life has not changed anywhere I have ever lived. I still have the same values and the same lifestyle I have always had. A location has not changed that at all. My life in Ct was no different than my life here in Vermont. I have never kept up with the Jones nor will I ever. I have people in my development who not only keep up with the Jones but they out due the Jones. Vermont didn't change their lifestyle.
I quickly learned that a vacation to any state is very different than living there. You get up and go to work everyday like you would anywhere else, come home do whatever needs to be done around the house, eat dinner and spend some time with the family, go to bed and do the whole thing over the next day. We have the same issues other places have, but on a smaller scale. Don't take this the wrong way, but like Vter and others have stated living life will most likely be no different than where you are now. I bet you do more tourist things here in Vermont every year on vacation than I do in a whole year. With work and the priorities in life there just isn't enough time.
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:19 AM
Location: Western views of Mansfield/Camels Hump!
2,038 posts, read 3,497,023 times
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It's ironic because my fiancé gets on me about this all the time...though this year should finally be 'THE' year we move, I've been wanting to leave NY forever, for many reasons. But what he tells me is similar to what 68vette said - your problems will still be the same, you still have to work, you still have to do all the things you do now. The only difference will be your surroundings.

I sometimes wonder if, after all these years of wanting to leave, I've 'programmed' my mind to make NY worse than it is. In all honesty, if I break it down, it's not that bad at all. My neighbors, for the most part, are nice. I have a nice house. I live across the street from a park. Crime, in my immediate area, is not bad at all. I live within 20 minutes of downtown Manhattan and within 20 minutes of the beach (ocean), or within 5 minutes of the bay. Schools by us are rated some of the best in NYC. And at this point, I'm beyond used to the traffic.

I actually tried to force myself for the last year or so to take advantage of living in NYC and do things we haven't done in years - go the museums, etc...I've had limited success, just due to 'life'. Which probably means that my 'dream' of going on a hike every morning in VT with the dog probably won't happen, again, due to 'life'.

But for me, it's not so much being able to go on a hike every day as it is all about a different quality of life that I've been seeking. And for us, RIGHT NOW, I know where we belong. Vermont has been a part of my life in one way or another since I was 2, and I'm 36 now. I know it won't be easy, and I know that if I lose my job, I'll be screwed. But I'm willing to take the chance, because if I don't, I will regret it forever.

So if you can't move to VT right now, try to make the best of where you are...it might not be where you feel at home, but in the end, home is where your family is and everything else is just the icing on the cake. And trust me, trips up to VT help a LOT in easing the 'homesickness'.
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:52 AM
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My problem with PA is that I have always disliked it. My parents were from here but I grew up in the mountains of NY. We visited often because most of the relatives are from PA but I never ever liked it. I just happened to fall in love with a PA boy and we moved to what was the family farm. It is pretty here but we don't have mountains and I found out fast that mountains help me keep myself happy, I don't know why but I need the mountains and I miss them more every day. There are alot of things about PA I don't like, I wouldn't even know where to start my list.

I totally understand that living somewhere and visiting are different. We have lots of people coming to this area and wanting to live here because it is pretty and very rural. I remember someone from the city saying country life means long and lazy days laying in a hammock!!!! I asked my friend who is running a riding stable/farm if she's ever had time to lay in a hammock....not that she remembers, she barely has time to breath!!! One city guy who boards his horse there was watching the process of putting in hay and said he could get used to that kind of life and my husband told him to think of minus zero weather, the snow up to your waist and hauling hay to hungry horses, see if he can picture himself doing that. He changed his tune fast. Their views of the country and what country living is are two different things. So I know what you're saying. Keeping up with the Joneses, we've never done that, I'm the kind of person that pretty much keeps to myself and I don't care what other people have. My dream property would be about 1000 acres with me in the middle and nobody near me! My friend has 80 horses, no way would I even think I could have 80! 3 is enough but she lets me play with hers so that's nice but I wouldn't want to be responsible for that many! I don't like big fancy houses, my dream house is one I saw where we got our last horse. One side is the barn, the other side is living quarters. That's what I'd like to live in, a stable, so as you can tell I don't have any grand ideas! Mcmansions do nothing for me.

Some people do move here with stars in their eyes and don't last. They are not used to having to drive 30 minutes to get milk. A mall is an hr away. The town that is 30 minutes away that they thought was "quaint" they soon find out you can't actually shop in because prices are way over the top plus they basically have gift shops or antique shops and banks. It looks pretty but you can't buy much unless it's in Walmart.

I don't think we've done many touristy things while in VT, the first yr we visited we went to Ben & Jerry's and the Teddy Bear Factory and the Museum but mostly we don't do alot of things you'd think of as what tourists do except to take picturse, we take lots and lots of scenery pictures. We're pretty boring and are happy just to see the scenery so we spend time looking at it because it brings us peace but I know peace doesn't pay the bills. Since we bought the "timeshack" as I call it I really end up doing the same things there as here because it has to be kept clean so I clean it every day [It's easier since there aren't 7 animals in it like we have at home], we cook there which means grocery shopping so things aren't much different. My husband loves yard work and he itches to throw someone off of a lawnmower so he can mow! We don't ski or anything so that's not the draw for us. We always say that if we lived there we'd have the same work load etc as we have here it would just be a prettier place to do it in! We have horses here and we help at the local stable. Our VT friends have horses so we work with them, brushing, feeding, cleaning stalls, building fence etc. So we basically do the same things while there that we do here only the scenery is way nicer and we take more pictures. I got my last horse from VT so we spent quite a bit of time up there with him and helping on the farm he came from. It was like heaven.

I guess for me the biggest thing is that my mind is calmer in the mountains, it always has been. My school was in the mountains and I can remember being upset in classes and then looking out the windows and seeing the mountains and then I was able to get control again. I wish I never left but I did and it's hard to go back there too because of house prices and taxes, Vermont is prettier though. Seems everywhere we like house prices and taxes become the big issues. We have 31 acres and our taxes are 1/2 what the Hyde Park house we looked at with less land and no barn were. That was a small house but the views made up for any faults the house had.

My husband loves car racing [I don't] so we go to Thunder Road on Thurs. nights. Since lots and lots of locals go there I don't think that's a tourist thing. Since we live far from a movie theater here we sometimes go to the movies while in Stowe, not often but sometimes. If we're not with our friends and their horses then mostly we just ride the backroads or we stay at the "timeshack" and enjoy what we are seeing for the week we are there. I don't think we'll even get to go this year because our dog is getting old and his health isn't 100% and I won't leave him so I don't think that we will get there. It makes me very sad but he's more important than anything else right now.

I don't think we'll ever be Vermonters as much as we love it. It comes down to house prices and taxes. It's a dream though, I don't know why we fell so in love with it but from the first time we set foot there we loved it and our hearts are there even if our bodies aren't! This started with can you be homesick for a place you don't live in and my answer is yes because I think of VT as home even though I don't live there, it's so weird but I've always been more comfortable there and if we could manage it that's where we'd be. As I said earlier maybe I'll be in a VT nursing home!!!!
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:02 AM
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I lived in Central PA for a year. It was an odd, odd place. Yes, it was cheaper than NY but it had an odd vibe Vermont doesn't have. People there, on the whole, were very insular and ignorant. I don't think you can call people here insular or ignorant.

In that part of PA outsiders were NOT welcomed. People viewed everyone suspiciously and they liked to toss off the "N" word a lot! Having a conversation with many people was like watching paint dry...they were BORING!! (lawn motors seemed a big topic...)

People in VT have opinions and express them. Even your regular guy is up on politics and has an educated view. I have met very few 'rubes/hicks'. Maybe it's because your local buffet waitress has a BA in polysci and that's the best job she can get...I don't know...

In PA, or the part we lived in, everyone was 'strange' and thought if you came from NY you must be a criminal. Someone actually said to my husband at his job "You drove through Brooklyn and didn't get shot?"

Here in VT it's live and leave me the &&&& alone and I will do the same to you. And, neighbors wave...! Wow..
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