The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a “snowbird” as someone who spends the winter months in a warm place. In fact, snowbirds can spend up to 6 months a year in their “temporary” residence in a warm location, generally in the southern US where the climate is warm year-round.
If you are a snowbird, take advantage of the time spent in your home away from home and apply some Elderyarding® principles to increase your enjoyment.
Many snowbirds stay in motor homes in their chosen warn location, even spreading into “white cities” of RVs as they settle in groups, although some have rental properties or condominiums. Wherever you live while snowbirding, these tips can work for you.
Tip 1: Stretch your sense of safety.
Even if you are able-bodied with strong eyesight and flexible joints, your neighbors may not be. Snowbirds socialize a lot, so make it easy for your visitors to access your home with adequate lighting and clearly designated pathways. Those inexpensive solar lights on stakes that can be placed in the ground, plus an outdoor chair or two in case someone needs to rest can ensure your home is a popular visiting spot. Many of the items now available for porch use in the summer can work
And if you do reside in an RV park, share the idea of Elderyarding® safety with others. Help make it comfortable for everyone who’se staying there.
Tip 2: Stretch your taste boundaries.
Find out what grows in this warm climate, both food crops and native plants. Check out farmers’ markets to discover the agricultural bounty of the area. When you apply Elderyarding®, you’re using your five senses for deeper connections with nature. Explore new taste sensations by cooking unfamiliar vegetables and fruits that you find there.
And if you find out that you don’t care for certain warm climate produce, you have not only enriched your experience, you have a great story to share when you return to your cooler climate in the spring!
Tip 3: Stretch your brain.
In addition to playing pickleball or cards with your neighbors, add to your knowledge of the natural environment around you. Visit nearby botanic gardens, arboretums and natural areas to learn about native and naturalized plants that thrive in the sourrounding temperatures, soil types, and rainfall patterns. Whether it’s woods or seashore, nature can provide a contrast that’s fascinating.
These plant-based adventures are fun to do with friends, too. Social learning means you can compare your cool climate experience with those of your snowbird compadres, enhancing the discussions and building brain power without effort!
Tip 4: Stretch your sense of "home" decor.
Remember your home landscape with plants in pots. Smaller containers can suit a condo location, while big containers work well in an RV park. Using Elderyarding®, you probably already know your preferences for flower colors and plant fragrances. When you explore the local garden centers, you may be surprised to find your preferred summer plants love the winter weather in your snowbird spot. You can pot them up for a bit of home that brings comfort in case you occasionally get homesick for your permanent residence. Or, if the plants are different, talk with the garden staff to find plants that bloom in your special colors or have similar fragrances.
It can also be fun to try plants that are entirely new to you. And what if you join with others in the RV park or adjoining condos, each using the same plants or just matchin containers, so there’s a sense of design even in this temporary lifestyle? Great fun!!