I can’t stand mediocrity. There, I said it.
Growing up in New Jersey, I remember hearing my parents’ conversations after a night out, in which they described the restaurant where they ate dinner. “It was mediocre at best,” became a familiar phrase. In my mind, there’s no place for mediocrity, not in a restaurant, not in a hotel room, not in the workplace. Maybe it’s just the go-getter in me, but I deeply believe that if you’re going to do something, you should do it all the way and be the best you can be. Otherwise, what’s the point?
So what do mediocrity and the state of Vermont have in common? Not much. I’ve now lived in and travelled throughout Vermont for over 10 years, and I can say that very little in Vermont is mediocre. Okay, okay… not everything is perfect in Vermont… The roads are a piece of shit often mediocre, and mud season leaves something to be desired. Golden rod in the beginning of fall kicks my ass every year… and you can never get used to the cow smell, not matter what anyone tells you.
But really, I’m very fortunate to live the good life in Vermont. The maple syrup is pure. The skiing is badass. The restaurants are so high quality that they could thrive in major metro areas. The air is clean. Nature is preserved. There are more breweries per capita than any other state (6.38 per 100,000 people). Did I mention cheese? I never battle traffic (besides when there’s a farm tractor taking up two lanes… and you can pass on double yellow lanes in Vermont – at your own risk!). I eat locally sourced food, grass-fed beef and produce so fresh it’s usually picked out of our garden. Within six miles of our house, I have access to two breweries, a winery, a cidery and two distilleries. Less than a mile from our house is the trailhead to one of the best hikes in the area. I’m very fortunate and, too often, I take for granted where I live and the way I live my life.
I should keep all of my favorite Vermont restaurants, inns, swimming holes, hikes, products, bakeries, road trips, scenic views (I could go on…) to myself, for fear that too many people will realize just how good the living in Vermont is and ruin it. But I don’t think that’s possible. Not much could ruin the feeling of community and good-quality living that made me decide to call this beautiful place home.
Travel Like a Local: Vermont was born out of my obsession with finding the best everything, everywhere we go. Before a trip, I scour reviews and forums on Tripadvisor. I don’t want to be a tourist… I want to be a traveler. I want to go where the locals go. Eat what the locals eat. I want behind-the-scenes tips to give me a real feeling for places I visit. So “travelling like a local” is what I aspire to do.
Instead of protecting the great state of Vermont from an influx of “flatlanders,” I want as many people as possible to come to our great state, enjoy the simple pleasures it offers and hopefully take a piece of our lifestyle back to where they come from… Afterall, every place out there could use a bit of Vermont.