When Claire Polfus made the move to Sheffield in Vermont’s beautiful, remote Northeast Kingdom from rural Maine, she was amazed at how accessible life was there.
“I actually moved from a more rural area so access to amenities is actually easier here in many ways. I like the rural, but not remote feel here,” Polfus said.
She originally wanted to move to Vermont to be closer to friends of hers, but says when she arrived, the greater community was equally welcoming.
“The folks at Do North Coworking were wonderful, as were a group of locals who ride bikes together on Wednesday nights at Kingdom Trails. When I bought my house, my neighbor brought over a basket of goodies from an organization in Sheffield that welcomes new residents,” Polfus said.
She was also surprised by how active people were on Vermont community networking site Front Porch Forum.
Polfus’ remote job was secure when she moved to Vermont; she works for a mapping company and applied for a grant through the Agency of Commerce and Community Development’s Remote Worker Grant Program.
She heard about the grant through friends and was surprised at how well the grant program fit her situation.
“The grant made the move to Vermont an easy sell for both me and my employer. I used the grant to become a member of Do North Coworking, which provided a professional space with high speed internet, and made the transition to remote work smooth and easy. I also used it to acquire the technology I needed for remote work. When I was considering moving, the grant definitely swayed me toward Vermont,” she said.
“It definitely opened opportunities that I would have questioned paying for out of pocket.”
Life in Vermont has been rewarding for Polfus.
“When I was considering moving, I think Vermont fit the parameters of what I wanted in a home best – access to world-class recreation opportunities (particularly cross country skiing and mountain biking), rural landscape, small towns, resilient ecosystems, community support, and local agriculture,” she said.
“I love the trail systems, but I also love that I have immediate access to woods, safe spaces, low traffic roads right when I walk out my door … I like the rural, but not remote feel here. Politically, I appreciate that there is better support from the state government for local communities than where I previously lived. And I LOVE the access to good, fresh, local food year-round … I think there is good community support here. And it is a place you can be physically and mentally healthy.”