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Time to Follow The Sun...

Sep 10, 2008
Some of us are looking wistfully at the beautiful sunsets and realizing that the nights are closing in earlier thus signaling that Jack Frost will soon be knocking on the window. However, others amongst us are rubbing our hands in glee at the approach of winter and rushing around in a frenzy of excitedly gathering things up.

Yes, for many lucky retirees the cooler evenings and the darker mornings herald that switch-over point in their life; they are off to their other world with their other familiar friends as they leave for their annual winter escape.

Snow-birding, as it is commonly known, is the process of fleeing the cold winters to follow the sun south, exactly the same way as the birds do. It is a way of life, and grateful people arrive in Arizona or Texas or Florida etc each year from all over the world and pick up right where they left off!

Usually the 'real life' is the summer life, with the 'real' house, the kids, grand kids, the family barbeques, fishing trips, house repairs, vegetable gardening, lawn trimming and all that hard work; so in many ways the winter does seem like the vacation part of the year.

It is fun to spend time with the family and grow your own vegetables and show the grand kids how to fish and how to bake - but it 'ain't so fun' to shovel snow, tread mud into the house and pay those huge heating bills! So why not plan your life to have the best of both worlds?

You can use the winter months to brush up on your fitness, or on your intellect, or on your golf or just on your relaxation! Many of the communities catering to the snow bird lifestyle are often gated communities, so security is not something that you even have to consider. There are also some which only cater to the 55 plus age group - so no whiny kids or blasting music at the pool!

If you think you would like to use your winter to get fit, ensure that you choose a community that offers a fitness center, games courts and heated pools. Most of the communities have an Activity Association which organizes dances, bingo and many social events.

Many folk, young and old, think of the winter as an opportunity to learn a new skill, and many southern state community colleges cater for winter snowbirds. For instance, the Mesa Center for Community Education is offering nearly seventy part time courses this year. There are many choices available.

For instance:
- serious subjects such as Computer Basics or Get it Published Now!
- arty subjects such as, basic Metal Sculpture or Beginning Watercolor
- self development subjects such as Your Personality Style or Procrastination
- musical subjects such as Guitar 1 and 2 or Blues-Boogie-Woogie Piano
- gardening courses such Growing Great Roses in the Desert or Organic Gardening Basics
and how about these two for some laughs: Flirting 101 or Who's Walking Around Your Head With Muddy Boots? If you are feeling less adventurous, most resorts have Internet access and libraries.

Golfers know that golf courses in the sunny south are numerous and, in some cases, world renowned; in Arizona, for instance, the cooler heat of the winter weather is ideal for the game. There are over seventy golf courses in the Mesa area that should last most golfers for a few months!

Most resorts offer all the above amenities, although Palm Gardens, Mesa, Arizona, has a little extra as its name suggests: it is home to over 550 palm trees. These trees line their streets which are landscaped with an abundance of greenery, landscaped rock and even a waterfall.

For some travelers, 'getting there' is half the fun while others just want to jump on a plane and BE there! Once safely arrived they stay in their own home purchased from the resort management or their own parked RV. Parking for RV's is available daily, monthly or yearly - i.e. yearly means that you can leave your motor home down south for RVing around the area, but fly to it each year.

Others plan to take their RVs on a slow meandering trail down to the south; they pore over maps every summer and plan a different route each time taking in the sights as they go.

Whichever way you prefer to travel chose and whatever lifestyle you choose on arrival, you could rationalize that you almost owe it to yourself to become a snowbird. Relaxation and laughter are both known to boost your immune system, therefore this is a cheaper way to keep healthy than using the medical system!
About the Author
Learn more about mobile homes and Arizona retirement community living at PalmGardensOnline.com. The site has extensive information for buyers thinking of relocating to an Arizona Retirement Community, and details on a variety of great mobile home and RV living options.
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