New England

A Travel Nurse’s Adventure in Southern Vermont

When brainstorming where to go for my first assignment, I asked my recruiter for “fall destinations”.  Without hesitation, her answer was Vermont.  Two weeks later, I was on my way to Brattleboro, VT.  The only thing I knew about Vermont was its biggest claim to fame-maple syrup. So…What’s in Vermont, anyway?  In this article, I will discuss what I learned about Vermont in 4 months. It also includes a miniature Vermont to Indiana dictionary.

The LandBack Roads of Southern Vermont | Vagabond RN

Vermont, the Green Mountain State, is serious about preserving our Mother Earth.  According to the Universal Recycling Law passed in 2012, recycling is MANDATORY and by 2020, composting will be included.  This is great, but totally foreign to this Midwestern girl.  Also, their highways are scenic and lacking advertisement overload.  Billboards are illegal.  There are also very few “cities”.  Vermont is made up of small towns surrounded by small towns.

When I told my mom I was going to Vermont, she was terrified that I would be mauled by a bear or a moose.  Unfortunately for me, I did not see either animal.  However, Indiana had a black bear sighting.  To be more specific, this was only the second bear sighting in Indiana since 1871.

Southern Vermont Snowliage in October | Vagabond RN

I was there through the peak of fall foliage season and I had attempted to time my exit before the famous snows came through (Which is lucky as I live next to a ski resort). My coworkers made fun of me for wearing a winter hat in September.  The joke is on them though because it snowed in October! We ended up having a snow ball fight on my last night there.

The People     

“Vermonters” (is that a word?) are very nice people. Southern Vermont was the location of hippie communes in the 1960s and 70s.  Their influences on the Southern Vermont culture are still there today.

The LBGT community will find a welcoming environment here.  It was refreshing to witness the love and acceptance that had been so lacking back home.

Vermonters don’t get road rage. Actually, they tend to wave you forward when it is their turn to go.  No, seriously.  This happened to me on a daily basis.  Cars also pull over and let me pass them when I am driving behind them.  This is an unexplained phenomenon as I am not one to speed or tailgate other drivers.

Brattleboro, VT BaconFest | VagabondRN

The Food

These people are serious about their food and they show their appreciation with multiple food festivals.  In the 4 months we were there, they had a Cheese Festival, Blueberry Festival, BaconFest and ChiliFest. They also embrace the farm-to-table mantra.  Even the hospital cafeteria uses local produce.  Ben & Jerry’s ice cream was born here.  There is a Dunkin’ Donuts connected to every gas station and store.  Then there’s the maple syrup, obviously.  After eating the real stuff for so long, I don’t think I can ever eat the fake stuff again.  If not for taste, for principle.  My poor husband, the poor soul, gained 20 pounds while there. (He may kill me for this)

Candlepin Bowling | Vagabond RN

Random Facts:

  • Vermont requires yearly safety inspection on vehicles which is why everyone has reflective stickers on their windshields
  • Until 1996, Vermont was the only state without a Wal-Mart.
  • Vermont has over 100 covered bridges.
  • New England has their own variation of bowling called candlepin bowling. The balls are considerably smaller and the pins are thinner, which makes scoring more difficult.  It is kid-friendly, though!
  • From my assignment in Brattleboro, VT (Southern VT), Boston is 2 hours away and NYC is 3 hours away.

Vermont to Indiana Dictionary

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Vermont to Indiana Mini Dictionary | Vagabond RN

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A Travel Nurse's Adventure in Southern Vermont | Vagabond RN

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