Back ever so many years ago Bob Lowry posted an interview with me called Being a Snowbird: Is It The Right Choice For You? The questions were all related to our snowbird lifestyle. That was when I discovered that being a snowbird is a total mystery to so many people and that surprised me. Even today almost 5 years later, I have people wondering about how they can do it and asking very good questions. Because we did not research "snowbird lifestyle" before we fell into it, I am amazed that people have so much foresight.
|Yes, we did decide to travel down this road!|
I remember meeting people that lived in Mexico on Lake Chapala back in the mid 1990's. At the time I had know idea that people actually left their home and went someplace totally different for all of the winter. This was back in the day before the internet and the idea that people retired to live yet another life after retirement. The concept was so foreign. I was around 50 years old.
As my husband and I approached retirement we began to think about getting out into the world a little more. We were actually going to go on a vacation! Wow.
My husband wanted a small trailer to go in so we could hunt and fish in eastern Oregon. Our dreams were not big. Our children were just grown and we had no idea what they would do. We were very happy in our own little world.
Then we began to golf and we traveled a little to golf tournaments around our home town. It was there that we began to meet "snowbirds". I remember leaning back in my chair at the diner table and wrapping my mind around leaving my house and family to travel or weeks or months. The person across the table was doing that very thing. It seemed impossible.
That same year we were in a motel at a tournament. There was no coffee pot, no breakfast and no comfortable bed or pillow. I raised my head one morning and said to my husband that I wanted a little trailer with my own stuff. I wanted my coffee in bed. It was a dream of sorts.
His eyes popped open and I could see the wheels turning...it was what he had been wanting and he was just waiting for me to come up with HIS idea. Before long we owned a fifth wheel and a new pickup. Shortly thereafter we retired. I am still a little stunned to think that we flipped from what was normal to us to something so foreign in such a little time. I guess the timing was just right. We could hunt and fish and stay in our state's campgrounds...and I could have my coffee in bed! Life was good.
The idea of leaving for an extended time began to seem more and more appealing. It was the beginning of the cell phone age. We could stay in touch all of the time. My mother was in a nursing home near-by and we had very young grandchildren. The cell phone actually opened doors of possibilities for us.
We decided one day to travel across country. I think that was when we had traded the fifth wheel for a little Class C RV. We drove from Portland to Florida and back again in a little over 6 weeks. I was so anxious to get home after that trip I don't even think we stopped. We must have but I don't remember. It seemed like an eternity but WE DID IT! That was a big step in moving from a very small life to a life of travel.
But we did not arrive at the big moments for many years. Life is a lot more like eating an elephant...one bite at a time. We did not swallow the whole thing. First we went to California for a few weeks. Then Tuscon and into Mexico. The we went to Texas, Palm Springs and finally we settled in Tucson AZ. Our son lives overseas so he invited us to come see him. The game was on and we were eat that elephant in bigger chunks all of the time. In the end, we have become fearless...almost. But we have arrived here after many years of learning and watching. That is our style!
Yes, we did learn a lot. Sometimes we learned the hard way, sometimes we by actually talked to people that knew what they were doing. A few things come to mind right away. These were some of our "Holy Cow" moments:
- What do you do if your slide out on your motor home slides out on the freeway?
- What do you do if your 5th wheel brakes lock in the parking lot?
- How do you deal with RV parks that do not keep their promises?
- What if your cat escapes in the resort that does not allow cats?
- What do you do if you have become ensnared with another couple and cannot get free?
- How do you get your mail on the road?
- How quiet do you need to be in your motorhome when there is no space and no privacy?
Fortunately we never broke down or were in a wreck. We have only lost all of our luggage once and we have never gotten sick while traveling. But, we are prepared and we are flexible! If things go wrong, and they will, we just hunker down and move forward.
That is what is important.
That is what is important.
At the top of the sidebar on this blog you see a quote asking if you are living life by design or by default. If I were to answer that question about my husband and myself, I would have to say that we live right in the middle of those two. We travel the road of life, stop a each intersection and decide what to do. We do not plan for what we do not see. Does that make sense.
While life presents a lot of surprises and we are forced to make choices by default, I suppose the overriding design for us is to make a change when the time feels right. Then we just go out and find a way to continue the adventure.
Please go over to Lowry's blog and read Being a Snowbird: Is It the Right Choice for You? Even though the post is several years old, not much has changed. You will find a wealth of information.
Have a wonderful day...may the adventure live on!
What is your dream?