On March 31, 2021

How to move back to Vermont

Style is genetic. Brooke and her parents, John and Carol Geery.

By Brooke Geery

You did it! You moved away from home. Whether you chose out West, the big city, or overseas, you fulfilled your childhood dream of going somewhere else — moving for bigger mountains or opportunities. But, after being gone for many years, you may have come to realize (like I did) that the grass is not actually greener —or in my case, the snow is not actually whiter. And that the Green Mountains provide some of the best recreation and career opportunities out there (and you don’t have to fight crowds or climb multiple corporate ladders to get your foot in the door!)

I moved back to Vermont in Oct. 2019 from Portland, Oregon. I grew up in Clarendon, attended Mill River, but had already set my sights on a West Coast college before I was even ready to apply. When the time came, I applied to University of Utah, Montana State University and Western Washington University, settling on the latter thanks to its proximity to Mt. Baker and the fact I already had friends in Bellingham, Washington.

To my parents’ relief, I ended up attending Plymouth State University (back then it was called College) in New Hampshire for my freshman year, but it only delayed the inevitable. I started at Western my sophomore year. Post college I bounced around some, trying out Chicago, Illinois and Boise, Idaho, before settling in Portland, Oregon, and buying a house.

I found happiness and success in the Rose City, but something about the West Coast never quite felt like home. I didn’t realize just how much, however, until I sold my house, packed up my car, and moved back.

I do not regret it one bit! Based on my experience I’d like to offer a few tips if you are thinking about doing the same.

By Brooke Geery
The neighbor’s dog Vinny visits, hoping for a play date with Hank, our rescue dog.


This is the biggest question I hear is: What would I do for work? Well, if you’re working remotely now, maybe you can continue to do so from Vermont. Check with your employer. Most towns now have high speed internet, and that’s definitely your easiest option.

If that won’t work, don’t despair. The “big fish, small pond” saying is very relevant in Central Vermont. There simply aren’t enough people to do the jobs that need to be done.

And if you can’t find one you like, maybe it’s time to start your own business! There’s a great community here for support and organizations such as the Rutland Young Professionals will get you quickly plugged in to the scene.

By Brooke Geery
Snow and icicles hang off the back of the house in winter. While the path to the stream is covered, the dogs find their own way.


If you’re from here, then you might still have family here. Having a landing pad (with delicious home-cooked meals) made my transition a breeze and gave me time to find my dream house in Rutland Town.

That said, I beat the rush and the real estate market has heated up significantly. Good rentals are tough to come by, so give yourself a little time to find a place once you get here. If you don’t have a place to stay, start looking now, before you even pack.

Several of my friends have bought houses sight unseen, too. Even though prices are going up, they’re still reasonable compared to any major city— and the whole West Coast — and if you’re a property owner there, your equity will go a lot further here.

By Brooke Geery
A wrap-around porch expands the outdoor living space and a slate path leads to a stream.


I’m not saying it’s going to be 100% easy for everyone to make the transition. If you’re used to being able to get anything you want delivered at any hour of the night, you’ll have to adjust. But it’s actually not that hard to get your grocery shopping done before 7 p.m. I have also found I cook more and eat better than I ever did in Portland. Harvesting vegetables from my own garden in addition to the abundance available at the year-round farmers’ market is a truly amazing Rutland asset.


Skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, golf, fishing, snowmobiling, boating, hiking… the list goes on and on. Plus there’s a great art scene in Rutland, and live music daily in Killington. Honestly, you’d be hard pressed not to have fun in Vermont!

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