How are people who moved to Vermont during the pandemic doing now?
Vermont has been a popular destination for those relocating during the pandemic. Brave Little State checks in with some who made the move to see how they’re adjusting to their new lives.
Sydney Lucia grew up in Vermont, lived in Washington, D.C. for a few years, and then moved back during the pandemic. “And that was a huge change moving from D.C. to a very small town,” she says.
Sydney’s not alone. A recent study from the moving company United Van Lines found Vermont to have the highest rate of inbound migration among their customers in 2021.
Throughout my reporting, I spoke to many who moved here recently, and it’s clear folks came here for a wide range of reasons: some came for the landscape and slower pace of life, some were seeking climate refuge and … y’all remember when folks were getting paid to move here?
The Vermont Relocation Incentive Program, which was created in 2019 to encourage people to move to the state, initially offered remote workers $10,000 to move to our brave little state. But this program quickly ran out of funds in the summer of 2020 due to high demand. (Joan Goldstein, Commissioner of Vermont’s Department of Economic Development, says to stay tuned if you’re still plotting your move — she’s working to secure more funding for the program.)
Meanwhile, Brave Little State has been hearing from many of you who are curious about those who moved here during the pandemic: Who are they? When did they arrive? Why did they come? But it was Sydney Lucia, a recent returnee herself, who asked the question that won in a public voting round: How are our new neighbors doing? Specifically, she asked:
“How are people who moved to Vermont during the pandemic doing now?”
“I’m just curious!” she says, “Like, people who moved here from the city — is it a culture shock? And do they think it's a good one or a bad one? Is this what they thought it would be or are they thinking more of going back to the city?”
Listen to the full episode to hear more from some Vermont newcomers about how they've been adjusting to their new lives:
p.s. We're thinking of hosting an event for all those who moved to Vermont recently, and we'd love to hear from you: Should it be remote? In person? What kind of stuff should we do? Email us at email@example.com to let us know what you think. Or, leave us a voicemail at 802-552-4880. And make sure to sign up for our newsletter so you see any announcements we make about this in the future.
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Myra Flynn reported this episode and did the mix and sound design. Additional production and editing from the rest of the Brave Little State team: Angela Evancie and Josh Crane. Ty Gibbons composed our theme music; other music by Blue Dot Sessions, Jay Green and Myra Flynn.
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Brave Little State is a production of Vermont Public Radio.