Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

October 9, 2017

Southern Belle in Vermont: 6 Months Post-Move Update.

     Six months!!! Holy cow. Six months ago today, I turned in the keys to my apartment in Charlotte, and started heading north on I-77 with my car, and my dad following in one big yellow Penske truck. In some ways, every day of the past six months has seemed like a year in itself, and in other ways it has gone by quite quickly. I am so glad that I decided to do these bi-monthly move updates for this year in Vermont, and I know in the future it will be a great way to look back on the small everyday moments from living here.

Annaliese Southern Belle in Training blog Vermont fashion blogger

August-October 2017 - Months 4-6 in Burlington, VT

     SUMMARY: Although there were some highlights related to growing in my career, overall I didn't have the greatest summer on a personal level. My birthday falls around Labor Day, and despite the fact that my mom visited and tried so hard to make it a celebration, I just didn't have a good one this year. I was so homesick for Charlotte and my old life and friends, and just felt all around very lonely. My birthday was kind of a wake-up call and slap in my face that Yes, life in Vermont is very different from what the past five years were, and I need to just accept that and also Yes, while I have been putting in effort to make life here happier and more enjoyable, the fruit of effort isn't always seen instantly. Aka - time to stop throwing a grown-up pity party, and really focus on making the most of the rest of my time here- for however long that is! It could be six months, a year, years... the future is quite unknown. So despite the fact that yes, I cried myself to sleep on my birthday this year... it really was a lightbulb kinda moment and brought a shift in perspective for me since then. My goal in the last update post that I wrote was to focus a lot more on building a social life here. I'll talk more about that later on in the post, but I've definitely been making more of an effort and even if my environment can't deliver the exact results I'm looking for, at least I know I'm trying.
      Lastly- Vermont has been SO blessed this early fall with the most perfect weather, which has been amazing! We had terrible weather for most of the summer, but late September brought a record breaking heat wave! Four days in a row of 90 degree heat. I seriously though I had died and gone to heaven. I think God was trying to give me a little present before winter comes- haha!! 😉 I thought that would be the last of the heat, but yesterday hit 80 degrees in Burlington and also broke a record! It's just been so warm and lovely and I LOVE it!!! Winter is going to be such a wake-up call for me....

     HOME: Not too much to report on here! I'm still enjoying living alone. As the weather gets colder and it'll be harder to spend time outside, I'm hoping to really take that extra time to do organization projects in my apartment. I have been keeping it pretty clean and am proud of myself for that, but sometimes after long work weeks I do let parts of it get "cluttered" easily.
     Recently all of my favorite Fall TV shows returned, so most weeknights after dinner I've been so enjoying getting curled up with blankets, lighting a candle, and watching my shows of choice for the evening! (See my Fall TV Guide blog post here!)
     One goal for the next couple months as the holiday season approaches is to start having people over to my apartment! I absolutely love entertaining- and some of my favorite memories from my last year in Charlotte were the housewarming and Christmas parties that I threw at my old apartment. I can literally count on one hand the number of times in Vermont that I've had local company in my place (not including out-of-town guests).

      WORK: A lot has changed with work since the last time I wrote one of these posts! My main radio station completely rebranded (from Planet 96.7 to The New Hot 96.7) at the end of August, and getting to help learn how to relaunch and rebrand a radio station so early in my broadcasting career was a very unique experience. My hours and schedule at work also changed at work in early September- which I wrote a little bit about in Friday's post. At this time I stopped having Mondays as my day off and it switched to Sundays, which has been AMAZING for my mental health. Even though I still work six days a week, having a weekend day as my day off has been so needed.
      Since the craziness of the station launch died down, things have been okay at work! I'm starting to really enjoy doing the Afternoon Drive, and am grateful to have that opportunity so early in my radio career. We had such a busy summer with non-stop radio events, and thankfully September didn't have any events which was nice. I have a couple fun ones coming up at the end of October which I am looking forward to.
      Lately (as in like the past two weeks lately) I've been trying to come into work early a few days a week so that I can work on saving audio clips from my favorite days of doing my show, and working on putting together new airchecks (An aircheck is like 2-3 minutes of a radio personality's best audio) to start updating my portfolio. If you search for my radio work online... most of what comes up is stuff that I did last year in broadcasting school- which I would like to think I've improved since then- ha!

     FAITH: Lots to report here! 😊 During my first two months in Vermont, I was church hopping, which is never an easy process. I finally found my new church home in June, and have been happily attending there since. It's a very small church, and seems exceptionally small to me since I attended a mega church in Charlotte for the last four years, but I have been so blessed to find this wonderful community of believers here. Everyone at the church has been so kind and welcoming to me, and best of all, there is a post grad/young professionals bible study group which I joined! They were on hiatus for the summer, but the group just started meeting again last week, and it's been so great to be back with them.
      I've also had the opportunity to serve through the church lately which was been so wonderful! Community service was a huge part of my life in high school, and is one of the things that motivated me to join a sorority in college, but when I first moved here with my crazy work schedule I found it too hard to even think about investigating local organizations for service opportunities. Now that work has calmed down for me a bit, I've been doing some volunteering at church and it's been wonderful! One of my bible study girlfriends and I prepared the after church food and drink refreshments a couple weeks ago, and this past weekend I filled in as a greeter for the service. Tithing doesn't always have to be financial and can definitely be done through "time and talents" as well, and I hope that more volunteer opportunities are in store with my church later this fall!
     Faith-wise in general, I feel like I am getting to be at a good place with God right now. My heart is really starting to heal from some of the things that happened last year, and although life here still isn't everything I wish it was, with His love and strength I seek contentment and joy each day!

     SOCIAL: I describe myself as an introverted extrovert. I need alone time, and if I don't have enough of it each week it can trigger my anxiety and not bring out my best self. But with that said- I'm very much still an extrovert as well and thrive off of social interactions with people!! Both sides of my personality need to be equally fulfilled for my best self to come out- hence why I call myself an introverted extrovert. I think by the end of my time in Charlotte I had a good grip on this. I saw my friends quite a bit and had a social life, but also made time to hang out by myself and relax at home. It was a good balance! Now that it's been six months here and I can really analyze how all parts of life have been in Vermont... I can't say my extroverted self is getting what it needs here. Haha.
      When I prayed over future job opportunities last winter, I told God over and over that I was willing to make sacrifices in other areas of my life to begin my radio career. Well- sometimes you quite literally get what you pray for. At the six month post-move mark, I am blessed to say I have made a couple friends here in Vermont. And I'm very thankful for that!! (And let me just say that with that has also come many failed friendship making attempts... that's a whole separate blog post topic!) However, social culture for young professional aged people is really different in Vermont, especially if you're single and a newcomer. The social culture here reminds me a lot of Maine... but like more extreme, since Vermont is a smaller and more rural state. Just about all the Vermonters that I've met are really into a few things: their family time, their dating/marriage relationships, spending time at home, and just into Vermont in general. Those observations are off of a lot of people that I've met- not just like one person or anything!! It really is like a whole social culture/attitude about life if you're a young person here, and I do sort of get it- as my hometown in Maine has a sort of similar attitude with people my age that stayed home after high school. Anyways, me on the other hand: no family in Vermont (and too far from Maine to see my family for the day/overnight), I'm not in a relationship, I currently spend too much time at home and am looking to spend less, and I don't see Vermont as my long-term home at all. I have a friend I met at church who is also from out-of-state and like me, moved to Burlington for her career. She has noticed a lot of the same similar social patterns about this area that I have, so I know it's not just me (and it's been nice to share those thoughts with someone else from out of town!).
     With all of that said.... I'm trying to get better about taking initiative with the friends I have made here and scheduling plans more in advance, and I hope to continue growing the friendships that I have made as fall continues, and overall just being content with the differences in social lives and culture here!  Good gosh this paragraph has turned into a novel. I will say this area of my life has really been a challenge here, but I hope future homes will be different, and I know I'm in this place in life right now for a reason! One positive: I've been investing a lot of time into maintaining my friendships that are out of state, and I'm thankful that most of those still seem to be going strong, despite me living here in Vermont!
     Next month I am planning to write a blog post about some of the ways that I have tried to meet people/make friends since moving here- what's worked, what hasn't worked, what I'll try in future cities... etc. Hopefully that might offer ideas to any of you who might be moving out-of-state soon!

     DATING: So the last time I did one of these updates- I wrote: I recently re-downloaded a dating app to my phone after a couple months off from that, so who knows, maybe I'll be swiping right on my Vermont Prince Charming? Very shortly after that blog post was published, I did actually swipe right on someone! And I enjoyed getting to know him. I don't see it becoming something serious for a few reasons.... but all in all I was able to meet someone new through this, and the whole thing taught me that I've matured a lot in the past year in regards to how I handle dating situations, which is always a great realization to have! That's all I have to say about that for right now on the blog at least, but it's something that I'm glad happened. 

      ACTIVITIES: Both of my parents have been to visit since the last time I wrote one of these posts (my mom twice!), and when they come up it's always an excuse to do fun Vermont touristy things. I was able to cross a few things off my informal Vermont bucket list during their visits. Fall has had a late start this season because of the unusually warm weather in September- but now that it is cooling down I'm hoping to make time for more traditional fall activities in October! 
     One thing that I did in September was try and join a local volleyball league (I played in high school and did an intramural league in college), but unfortunately I injured my leg pretty badly on the second night of practice, so I had to drop out. I think it's about healed up though, so as the weather keeps getting colder I'm ready to get back on a fitness schedule at the gym!

  • Did a sunset lake cruise on the Spirit of Ethan Allen III.
  • Visited scenic Stowe for the first time, and rode the gondola up Mount Mansfield.
  • Went kayaking on Lake Champlain.
  • Celebrated Vermont's four day, 90+ degrees, record-breaking late September heat wave with lots of lake time, sundresses, and even getting some tan lines! 
  • I didn't really talk about this too much on my blog but I did share it on Instagram... I rappelled off one of the tallest buildings in Vermont in September! This was for a local charity event that I participated in on behalf of my radio station. 

     Here's to the next six months! Thanks so much for reading- honestly I write these post-move updates more as personal posts so that I can come back to them in years down the road, but it makes me so happy that I've gotten feedback from y'all that many of you enjoy them so much!

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese 


  1. I don't know if you've heard of BumbleBFF but it's a great app for branching out and meeting new friends! I've been in Charlotte for years but only had a few friends thanks to a crazy work schedule. I used it last year and met one of my absolute best friends pretty quickly. We just bonded immediately and its been so needed. Making adult friendships is HARD.

  2. Loved reading your update! I'm sorry your birthday wasn't what you had wanted it to be but so glad you're adjusting and finding a church and a little community!

  3. It's always tough moving somewhere new. I'm sorry it's been tough for you. I understand the lonely feeling when you're a extrovert but introvert equally. I'm the same way. I need to go out with friends and mingle. I'm a social butterfly. But I also like time alone. It's hard to keep the two balanced.

  4. So relate to your struggles with adult friendship; I feel like I'm in such a weird season with that portion of my life. I'm pretty introverted so it's not something that always bothers me but when it does....sheesh. So glad to hear that you've found a church family that's so fulfilling!

  5. Sounds like you're having a great time! Especially happy for you finding a church you like because that can be so hard.

  6. Well you are killing it lady! SO cool that you got to experience a radio brand change!!

  7. Vermont in the fall is absolutely extraordinary. Can't wait to se all the gorgeous pics!
    Tori || Victori Media

  8. Glad things are looking up, Vermont in the fall is incredible!

  9. It's been 6 months already?! Crazy how time flies.

  10. I can't believe it's already been that long since you left! Seems like yesterday we had your going away dinner! I always love reading your updates and actually planned on doing a 6 month post grad update next month!

  11. Love to hear your update! Glad things are working out, and def recommend BumbleBFF to help find friends!

  12. Girl you are killing it!!! So happy for you

  13. You have done so much in 6 months! God has such big plans for you!

  14. You are killing it! So many good things for you in the last six months. I moved from Charlotte in July to Durham, which is so much smaller and completely different from Charlotte – but I have absolutely loved adventuring and exploring around here!


  15. Love this update! It can be tough moving to a new city, but I'm so excited to hear that you've found a church family (something I've been putting off, but think I finally accomplished too)

  16. Love reading updates about your life and so glad you are enjoying the Vermont fall-- it has to be gorgeous up there this time of year!

  17. You did good. It is never easy to cope with a new place. You can try to be an amateur photographer as it will convert your thinking within a positive site. It will give you confident to start the day with new excitement.


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