So this question actually comes up more often than you’d think? There is a bit of a stigma in Maine about Aroostook County (or “The County”). People seem to think that no one really wants to be there as it’s too far away from anything worthwhile. The only truth to it is that it’s pretty far away but there is certainly a lot worthwhile in The County.
Now I admit, I was in the same boat as most of the Southern part of the state for awhile. I NEVER thought I’d even visit Aroostook County let alone live there! When I was growing up the furthest north in Maine we’d ever go was Orono. To my younger self even that seems an unreasonably long distance away from anywhere I’d really want to be. By the way, Orono is not even half way up the state…
But as I graduated from college and started looking for a job I learned really quickly that there weren’t that many music education jobs in the state and there were even fewer that included high school bands or even band class in general. As my graduating peers and I lamented that lack of job availability I noticed something. Everyone was looking in the southern part of the state for the same job.
As I started to expand my search I found not only some jobs in Central Maine but also some in (dun dun duuun) Northern Maine. I wasn’t super interested in these jobs due to location and when I mentioned them to my peers the phrases “not in a million years” and “that’s the last place I’d want to be” came up more than once. Still, I was pretty committed to the idea of not taking a year off and also to the idea of taking a job with band so I applied to the jobs further up the state.
Long story short I took the job in The County and people looked at me like I was crazy! Some were even convinced that I would take the job for a year and then keep looking. 12 years later I’m still here and still loving it.
So what is it about The County that I like? Well for one there are just some amazing views! Check out the view from the road/driveway right next to our house? See how far you can see? We can walk up there any time and not worry about cars or angry neighbors since the first thing this neighbor said to us was “walk on our road any time you like!”
Being a teacher means early mornings. It’s a lot easier to wake up when you get sunrises like THIS. This is the field right across from our house.
Sunrises aren’t your thing? Well when the moon is full we are treated to a moon that’s super full!
Or maybe you’re more into wildlife? These moose just decided to walk across our yard one day. We see moose, deer, and lots of small animals pretty regularly.
Loud neighbors/cars bothering you? We deal with that too… for about 2 weeks a year during harvest. It’s actually not that bad noise wise but it certainly is cool to see them planting crops!
I know it’s not for everyone. And yes, it’s far away from the bigger towns and cities in Maine but it’s certainly not “the last place I’d want to be”. There is certainly a charm to The County that I think a lot people miss out on because they never really experience it. I love all of Maine and each part of the state almost feels like it’s own state but Northern Maine is really the only place I can see myself being for a long time.
Some people say rainbows are lucky. We feel pretty lucky to be where we are.