I started our first snowbird adventure a bit shaky – feeling like it was not “working”. But by week 4, I found a groove and it was really hard to head back north. I started to have some good connections with people, we were in a good rhythm of busy days and down days, and the weather was getting better week-by-week. Just as things seemed to fall into place, we were heading north to freezing temperatures (literally), snow, and gray skies. But I had moved lots of things into early March – theater tickets, doctor appointments, tax preparation – and so the northbound trip had to happen.
So what changed to make it “work”?
- I took it more one-day at a time. Some days were busy; some days were quieter. And I was just grateful for whatever the day brought – a breezy beach walk, a foggy morning, finding a neat shark tooth while shelling, or just a quiet at-home dinner.
- I consciously tried to ignore those who indicated that our two-month snowbird was somehow wrong (i.e. not long enough). This mindset shift was thanks to many of my blogging buddies who commented on this element in my first post.
- The effort I put into connections in January did pay out in February. We received a couple of invitations from others to do things! And I also realized that I just needed to plan things that I enjoyed and put out invitations. Some of the fun things I did: the shuffleboard club (twice – it’s a big deal in St. Petersburg), multiple museums, a local theater production, multiple festivals, a couple of food tours, seeing Carol Burnett, and a number of new restaurants.
- When it was just the 2 of us, we had fun doing some jigsaw puzzles and shopping at boutique foodie stores, as well as heading out on some mini-adventures with just us. I did beach yoga 3-days a week, found a local massage therapist, and biked quite a bit. And I spent some good reading time at the beach or on the porch with lots & of books read!
I realized that I am living my days as I envisioned: lots of time outdoors, being active almost every day (beach yoga, beach walks, biking, walking my dog), cooking dinners (new recipes, fresh fish!) or eating out (restaurants I love and new ones, too), wine with friends, mini-adventures, and playing with words (blogging, crosswords, reading). I was excited to see that I added over 30 new things to my 101 New and/or Fun Things for 2019 list. And I am hoping I can sustain this as we are back up north. I’ve thought in the past that I like my daily routines in Florida more than in Ohio…and yet I push back against moving there full time. (But that’s another full blog post!)
So, next year, I’m thinking a 3-month snowbird adventure…heading home to 30F from 80F was tough! And, I’ve been told, the planning gets easier every time.
Picture Credit: Me – wine and a sunset