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Monday, April 23, 2012

Snowbirds


John and I are daring to attempt to shape our future yet again. We know that we're not the ones in control but we continue to dream.

Since beginning the lifestyle of living in The Jazz and traveling about from park volunteer job to job, we have learned that we enjoy the freedom from caring for a house, from working 8-5 five days a week, from being in one place most of the time. Although this is earlier in our lives that we pictured ourselves retired, we are going to attempt to put a full-fledged semi-retirement in place.

We are going to attempt living as "snowbirds." Wikipedia states: "The term snowbird is used to describe people from the U.S. Northeast, U.S. Midwest, or Canada who spend a large portion of winter in warmer locales such as California, Arizona, Florida, Texas, the Carolinas, or elsewhere along the Sun Belt region of the southern and southwest United States, Mexico, and areas of the Caribbean."

What that means for us is that we plan to live in Canada from May through October, then head to warmer southern climates November through April. The key to the success of this plan has to do with having enough income to support this nomadic way of life for as long as it satisfies us.

I would love to have two wonderful communities in which to split my time. I would love to have warmer, drier weather all year long. At different times of the year, I would love to take turns being closer to good friends and family that live far apart from one another.

By this time next week, John, Gingee and I will be heading northward towing The Jazz. We'll spend several days in Sebastopol (California) finishing up my ninety-year-old friend's personal history recording before traveling on through Oregon and Washington and then into British Columbia. A month from now, we'll be settling ourselves in yet another new "home" for a northern summer's stay.

Any tips for living a successful snowbird lifestyle? We definitely want to hear them.

10 comments:

  1. I love the northwest. I believe I could live there 12 months per year. We only made it as far as Vancouver Island during our travels, but we had plans to explore more of BC--Banff, Calgary, etc. Such beautiful country.

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  2. We are currently sitting in a park in NC, watching the snowbirds heading North -- most to CN. There's definitely a LOT of folks who do it. I think it's a wonderful idea -- it's the best of both worlds. We are fulltimers and never plan to be tied to a house and all that goes along with being homeowners. We are also AMAZED at the temporary work possibilities out there. Good luck -- maybe we will meet you one day -- down the road!

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  3. The last two years we have spent six months in the southwest and six months on Vancouver Island. At the present time we still have our house, but we are seriously thinking of selling and fulltiming for a while. There is so much we want to see and do in western Canada as well as the southern US.

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  4. Many, many folks snowbird and love their lifestyle!! We won't exactly be the definition of "snowbird" but Mike and I will be part-timing instead of full-timing because that fits our needs at this time. Each person has to do what meets their needs at that moment in their lives. Good luck to you both...you'll do great and enjoy whatever you undertake!!

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  5. I know you'll make this work for you and enjoy the adventure. It's the best of both worlds. :c)

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  6. We haven't gotten together as often as I would have liked, but I hope we do not lose touch with each other. Have a safe and easy drive North. Boondocking seems to be the way many peole make ends meet in Arizona in the winter.

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  7. Levonne, you have a bunch of readers and followers with a wealth of experiences and insights into the Snowbird lifestyle. Just have to sort thru the many lifestyles that work for them and come up with a model that works for you guys. There is no one mold that fits all. So far in your Great Adventure, it all works out just fine. Trust your judgement and never look back!

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  8. Life isn't so bad when you have your RV, health,each other& Gingee! I'm sure there will be plenty of times when you question,"just exactly what am I doing?". But when it comes down to it, things always work out. Just think of all the photo ops along the way. The new lifestyles around you. The adventures & exploration of new venues. It's all good :-)

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  9. splitting your time between Canada and the US is a great idea!..you will figure it out..soon you will have your favorite campgrounds in Canada!..just embrace the experience and enjoy!

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  10. Good luck in your new life. I'm glad you didn't have to wait before doing this. I would love to be in your shoes, able to do it right now. Workkamping helps make ends meet. Does anyone want to share how they handle hospitalization when full-timing? Once we retire we won't have any.

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I always love to hear your thoughts.