Although their lives in Florida were “a constant vacation,” Skye Devarney and her husband knew ultimately, they wanted their daughter, 12, to grow up in Vermont.
Devarney’s husband has roots in St. Albans, and she grew up in New Hampshire. The couple married in New Hampshire and moved to Florida, staying for five years before realizing it was time to pursue their Vermont dreams.
Devarney, 43, and her family have settled in Brownington, in Vermont’s beautiful, rural Northeast Kingdom. As they searched online for information about moving, they were surprised to learn help was available to them in the form of a Remote Worker Grant Program.
Since settling in, “We have felt very welcomed. Brownington is a wonderful small town with great people. Our neighbors have been very helpful and supportive. We have one neighbor who has tilled our garden for us several times. I am also working at Brownington Central School. The people I work with are kind, helpful, and very welcoming,” Devarney said.
The couple found jobs before arriving in Vermont.
“I started working as an 5-8 ELA teacher at Brownington Central School in January 2020 and am still there. My husband accepted a position at Bradford Elementary School as a Behavior Specialist. However, he has been working at Charleston Elementary School as a math teacher since Fall 2020,” Devarney said.
Moving has benefited their family exactly as Devarney hoped it would.
“Our daughter loves life in Vermont. She is happy to be closer to her family. She also loves rural life in the country. She loves being able to play outside and she and her father raised a wonderful vegetable garden this summer. She also loves her school. It is much smaller and more focused on social emotional learning than her school in Florida was. She feels less stress and pressure than she did in Florida.”
Devarney said her family would recommend others consider moving to Vermont, with the understanding that self-sufficiency is vital here, more so than in urban areas.
“In Florida, we had every restaurant and store we could imagine within a mile from us. We were one hour from all the theme parks. We lived on the beaches and life was a constant vacation. Here, we have to rely on deliveries and making our own entertainment. But we love it! Life is simpler and we are much happier… Although the work is harder (taking care of the land, heating the house, etc.), we feel a sense of simplicity in taking care of ourselves. Life here is less complicated.”