Stuck in Vermont: Checking in With a Couple Who Moved From NYC to Rural Vermont During the Pandemic | Stuck in Vermont | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Stuck in Vermont: Checking in With a Couple Who Moved From NYC to Rural Vermont During the Pandemic

Episode 679

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Published December 15, 2022 at 7:30 a.m.
Updated December 21, 2022 at 10:12 a.m.


In July 2020, married couple Joanna Burgess and Noah Sussman moved from New York City to rural Derby, Vt., with their three rescue cats. Their farmhouse rental in Derby was twice as large and cost a third as much as their city dwelling. After more than two decades of life in the city, the pandemic prompted their big move, but they had been considering it for a decade. Noah grew up in the Northeast Kingdom, and they wanted to be closer to his mom and stepfather in East Burke. In August 2020, Eva made a video about the couple’s experience acclimating to a rural environment.

This summer, Joanna and Noah purchased a home in Westmore, next to Lake Willoughby, for $304,000. It is slightly larger than their Derby rental, and their mortgage is still cheaper than their NYC rent. Noah continues to work remotely; Joanna has a part-time job with Everybody Wins! Vermont, a program that pairs mentors with elementary school readers. Joanna is the secretary of the Westmore Democratic Town Committee and volunteers with the Pope Memorial Frontier Animal Shelter. Noah’s stepfather died this summer, and the couple continue to look after his mom in East Burke.

Eva spent a sunny Saturday getting a tour of the pair’s new house and visiting with their cats, Menace, Billy Bones and Captain Jack. Joanna talked to Eva about the past two and a half years in Vermont and her experiences as a transplant to the state. Then they headed to St. Johnsbury for lunch and holiday shopping with Lori and Bret Thayer, a couple who recently relocated to Barton, Vt. from Denver, Colo.

Filming date: 12/10/22

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This episode of Stuck in Vermont was supported by New England Federal Credit Union.