Sometimes people tell us how lucky we are to be able to travel and see the world and spend winter in the warm. We do feel fortunate to have good health and to have been able to retire when we wished before the latest economic down turns dashed so many folks' plans. But otherwise luck really didn't have much to do with it. We've been working to get to this point for the last thirty years. Ever since our first trip to Europe in 1978, we knew that we loved to travel. At that point in our young lives, camping was the only way we could afford to do so. As time went by and we began to earn more, the blue tent turned into a green camper turned into a travel trailer turned into a fifth wheel turned into a motor home. Each vehicle was an improvement over the previous one and the adjustment to the larger and more complex was fairly easy, because experience had already given us a good foundation. Occasionally we encounter folks who have just plunged in and while some make a go of it, they struggle with their vehicles and all that needs to be done to keep them humming. And some find emotional adjustments need to be made as well. Being away from home as much as we are, doesn't suit everyone. But we are so much happier away from the cold and ice, breathing the fresh air and getting the exercise that hopefully will keep us healthy.
But just because our retirement plans have come to pass, it doesn't mean that we have stopped looking ahead and deciding what the next move should be. We had dinner with friends who retired even earlier than we did and have been RV'ing full time since the late '90's. They went through the same progression of vehicles and have driven almost everywhere one can drive in North America. But in the last few years, they've decided that it would be nice to have a spot to settle down in for at least a portion of the year. This lead them to buy a campsite in the Rio Grande Valley and last year they spent six months here. Most campsites that are for sale are in the warmer parts of the country and can get quite pricey considering how small the plots of land are. They looked in the Palm Springs, CA area; the Casa Grande, AZ area; and in Florida before deciding to settle here. Certainly the reasonable prices here were a factor, but they also cited the fact that only here do the locals make us feel welcome and appreciated. Their site is typical of most in that it also came with a coach house where they can store things they don't want to travel with or use to have guests stay and visit. The grounds are maintained for them and they have the typical amenities one would expect in a resort.
We are not quite in that settling down stage yet and have a nice home waiting for us in the frozen north, but the brain cells are buzzing as we try to prepare for the road ahead.