Southern Belle in Training

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

December 12, 2017

Southern Belle in Vermont: 8 Months Post-Move Update.

      I feel like I have so much and yet also so little to say since my last post-move update in October! Oh goodness, what a two months it has been. Let's dive right in! In case you haven't read one of my post-move updates before, every two months (since I moved to Vermont in April) I share a detailed life update about how things have been going since the move- I dive into all the things I wouldn't talk about in regular blog posts!

October-December 2017 - Months 6-8 in Burlington, VT

     SUMMARY: I'm a firm believer in the quote "time heals all." Truly I am, and I've seen the evidence of that in other aspects of my life. Many people also told me in the early days here in Vermont to "give Vermont time." Well- I have to be honest. I'm starting to wonder if maybe my experience here is an exception to one of my favorite quotes! In 100% honesty (as I always am with y'all on the blog), it really seems like the longer I'm here, the more difficult things get. 😥 My homesickness for Charlotte (and even Maine to a slight degree?) has intensified over these two months to levels that I didn't even know were possible. I really hope that isn't going to get worse this winter? The weather has also gotten very cold here, to be expected, and we've already had our first snow. I am not a cold weather person, and while I'm doing my best to have a good attitude about it and embrace it.... I think the weather has been bumming me out as well. It has really not been an easy two months for me.
      With all of that said, there is still much to be grateful for in my life. Every day, I choose gratitude for the things I do have instead of being sad over the the aspects of my life right now that I wish I could change. Joy and a grateful heart always win! 

       HOME: Okay- I do have something super fun to report here since my last post-move update. Decorating my apartment for CHRISTMAS has happened!!!! So much fun. In true Annaliese fashion, my tree went up on November 1st! Last week on the blog I shared a Christmas home tour of my apartment, you can check it out here
      Other than decorating for Christmas, not too much to report on in the home category. I really wanted to host a Christmas party at my apartment this year like I did last year in Charlotte, but sadly my holiday travel schedule and my crazy work schedule didn't match up well with the schedules of my few friends here, so that's a no-go. I really do want to start having more people over more regularly to my apartment- hopefully winter 2018 will be the time for that! Cookie baking and movie nights sound like a good time to me. 

      WORK: Also not much to report with work! Star 92.9, the adult contemporary station that I work for on the weekends, has made the switch to 24/7 Christmas music. I don't personally like Christmas music, but it's fun to see all my coworkers and many people in the Burlington community so excited about the radio station doing this! Vermonters sure do love their Christmas music. 
      Last week, I was able to use PTO for the first time since starting my job in April, and that was huge. Working 6-day weeks for eight months with no vacation.... you can say I was VERY overdue for one! Also for the first time, I finally got to use an out of office email response, so that was kind of an exciting adult moment! Haha. 

     FAITH: This fall, I had the chance to start attending some social events with a College and Career ministry of a nearby church (not the church that I attend). This church is larger than mine and has a much larger young adult population, so it's been really cool to meet more young people of faith in Vermont- which really are few and far between! I haven't been able to make it to any of their bible study nights yet, but I'm hoping to start going in 2018. 
      I've also still been doing some volunteer opportunities at my church with the hospitality ministry, which has been fun! That is really the area of church volunteering that I've connected with the most (things like being a greeter Sunday mornings and preparing the refreshments and food for after services). 
      Personal-faith wise, I've recently rediscovered the awesome devotional reading plans on the Bible app on iPhone. This app, in addition to providing tons of translations of the Bible in full, also has tons of free daily devotional reading plans about every subject imaginable! The one that I just finished last was about relationships, and I'm already looking forward to starting a new one. 

      SOCIAL: A pro and a con to report in this category of life in Vermont for these past two months! Pro: I am finally developing a small social life. FINALLY! It really took a solid six months to start to form. (A long, lonely six months...) These past two months have provided opportunity to meet a few new friends, both through the other nearby church that I've been attending events at, and also through some other avenues (including a new friend from Instagram!). I've also been able to strengthen the friendships that I made earlier in my time in Vermont over this late fall season. I finally feel like I'm starting to have a couple real friendships here, and not just acquaintances. It's an amazing feeling, and one that I waited so long for. 
       The con with all of this.... for some reason finally starting to have a social life in Vermont has brought on SO much homesickness for me. I think it's because having more friends and things to do here makes me feel a little more "settled" in Vermont, and it scares me, since I still have so many strong ties out of state. And I will be the first to admit that I play the comparison game a lot, too. A social life in Vermont will never compare to what I had in Charlotte (for many reasons), but that always frustrates me and I let it. It has become an occurrence several times a week to cry at home at night because I miss Charlotte (and sometimes Maine, too), something that honestly I hadn't done since maybe the first few weeks up here! But around late October-early November the homesickness came back FULL FORCE and hasn't left. I think part of it might be due to the fact that I have been dealing with a couple tough situations over these past couple months (which I won't be sharing about in this blog post)- and dealing with this makes me miss the support systems that I had in Charlotte and Maine. I am starting to make good friends here but it's all still very new friendships. The crying isn't just for people that I miss... the other night I literally cried because I live hours away from the nearest Cheesecake Factory location and I missed the Charlotte one. I'm hoping that having a few long weekends out of Vermont this month with time off will be really good for me, and that I'll come back to work and life up here in 2018 with a renewed spirit. Once I figure out how to deal with this homesickness thing- I'm happy to share in a blog post! (Just gotta figure it out first, lol!)

      DATING: #NOPE. Call me closed-minded, but I have come to the conclusion after much observation of guys my age in this area (and a couple failed attempts at trying to date up here right after I moved) that I'm never going to meet a guy that I'd be interested in seriously dating in Vermont. It's just not going to happen up here! Too small of an area, the culture is too different, Christian guys are in the super minority here, and most importantly, I don't want to be in Vermont long-term, and just about all guys my age I've met do, which would be a big problem. Really hoping that wherever and whenever I move for my next job, it's a city that provides better dating prospects, but for now I'm actually quite content as a single lady here in Vermont! I know the dating options up here.... and trust me I want nothing to do with them, lol!

       ACTIVITIES: Thinking back- I feel like I actually haven't done too much fun or out of the ordinary over the past couple of months, but I suppose that is kind of nice in a way. I've always thrived best when I live life on a regular routine, and I guess these were the months that I finally adjusted to my new later work hours! I've mostly just been working (both at my day job, and on the blog!). I've gotten back into the happen of going to the gym a few times a week to workout recently (I've been shooting for three workouts a week, and I'm trying to start running on the treadmill again). At home, I've still been trying new recipes and keeping up with my favorite TV shows. And watching lots of Hallmark Christmas movies too! I did deal with some unexpected car issues in November which wasn't fun, and an expense that I wasn't counting on, but hey, that's adulting right? My friend Shara from Maine also visited Vermont last month! Unfortunately it was during the same weekend that I had car issues, but it was still great to see her. I really do love having company in the area and getting to show people around! I am hoping to try my hand at some winter activities once snow arrives in Vermont, and keep visiting new places around the state. 

  • Celebrated my most low-key (in-store) Black Friday ever in the history of the 10 years that I've been doing Black Friday shopping... at the University Mall and Maple Tree Place shops. 
  • Went to see a movie in the theater alone for the first time in a few years - something I want to start doing more often.
  • Dressed up for work on Halloween.
  • Went on a late fall hike unintentionally during hunting season... and survived!  
  • Tried a new restaurant in Burlington that I knew nothing about... and it ended up becoming one of my new favorite places for a nice dinner! 

       Thanks so much as always for reading! If you have any tips for battling adult homesickness- please send my way! Tomorrow I am so excited to begin recapping last weekend's holiday girls' trip to Georgetown, KY with Kylie from Dress in Sparkles, so stay tuned for that.

      God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese 


  1. I Love your updates Annaliese!
    Always happy to read more about it.


  2. Sorry to hear that your homesickness is really kicking in! It sounds like you’re making the most of it and keeping busy this holiday season! I know how nice it is to finally get that vacation! My new job had a six month probation period and since I didn’t take my vacation at my last job, I went over a year and a half without! It will definitely wear you down. Keep at it! I know you’ll grow to love your new town.

  3. I'm so sorry you're still dealing with homesickness! Hopefully in 2018, things will turn around for you :)

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

  4. I think it is great you have started connecting with friends in Vermont. I can imagine how homesick for Charlotte you would be. It's great you were finally able to take a little vacation and get out of Vermont!

  5. Aww! I'm sorry to hear you're dealing with homesickness. Living in a new place away from my family and friends, I can totally relate. And like you dating in my area is terrible lol. Hopefully things pick up in both areas in the new year!

  6. I can't believe I believed you when you said you didn't really have much to report. Girl, you've been living some life! I'm glad your social life picked up. I can completely understand the battle between being happy you're going out and also missing friends from back home or somewhere else. Homesickness is the worst, and I hope it gets better for you.

  7. Loved reading this! So much of it hit home and it's so great how you know who you are and what you want. With vision like that it'll surely come in its right time:) On another note...Vermont is so beautifully familiar to me! My grandparents lived there all throughout my childhood (so many pretty memories!) and I still have family in the southern area. Santa's Land was always a favorite this time of year as a kid and would probably be super fun with kids (or kids at heart, haha!). As for restaurant recos Panda North is a delicious Asian spot at the southern tip...Enjoy and keep us updated!! xo Kelly

  8. I enjoyed reading your update. Time definitely heals all! That's for sure. ;) xoxo

  9. I'm sorry to hear that you're getting more homesick of Charlotte! I understand the feeling of being homesick about the weirdest things (like the Cheesecake Factory thing), and have totally been there too! Hopefully once you start getting more involved with the church group it'll get better!

  10. Homesick sometimes hits when you less expected. But it gets better! Also everything it’s harder for you because you are having different experiences. I also love Cheesecake Factory! And I can just get it every time I’m in the US. Anyway... I really hope you feel better. Changes are super difficult!

  11. Wow you're a trooper for not taking any days off. Also, it's great to see you being super realistic about dating and your goals.

  12. Ugh, I am SO sorry that things are getting even more difficult. I think I would feel the same way if I ever moved from my home, BUT you are experiencing so many amazing things that others miss out on by being so strong! You've got this!!!

  13. I love this series! It's so nice to hear someone's honest opinion about the transition to post-grad life.

  14. lol at the #nope. I'm with ya girl. Also sorry about vermont—at least you're lovin your job! it would royally suck if you were stuck somewhere doing something you didn't love. silver lining ;) x

  15. I can really relate to your experience adjusting to Vermont. I moved to the Netherlands in January and it took me about 9 months to really adjust to life here. I know it's different for everyone but just know that I'm rooting for you to find your place there. With the holidays and finding other young people of faith, it sounds like you're on your way!


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