Snowbirding: If you’ve got the time and you’ve got the money, do it!

Ranger Rick Art_7_0_0In the dead of winter, the images of warm places, usually advertising for a Florida destination, is shown on TV is shown regularly. Airlines urge travelers to use their “direct flights” to sunny Florida. When it is zero degrees and snowy outside, those images look pretty good. But is it so bad in Michigan where you have the urge to go to Florida?

When I was a young man, I loved to ski and snowmobile – the more snow and cold, the better. I couldn’t get enough. Relation used to travel to sunny Florida – I even visited them a few times, but it wasn’t a big draw for a winter lover like me. I never saw the attraction. I thought Florida was for old people!

Then I got older, and my attitude about Florida did a 180-degree turn. I loved the warm breezes and sun, warm water and sand. Golfing and fishing, fishing and golfing – pretty tough to take — now I get it.

If you ever get sick and tired of being sick and tired and you can afford and have vacation time to take, I encourage you to visit a warmer climate. Learn to open up to the local history and offerings such as restaurants, libraries, local interest places, historical sites (if you are a Civil War buff, Georgia and South/North Carolina are great places to explore) and outdoor activities. Get outside and get a tan, walk, get some exercise. When you return refreshed after a few weeks, it will seem like you’ve been gone for longer.

When you return to the daily grind of supporting yourself at your place of work, it will feel as though you had a “breather,” a needed break. Soon it will be spring, and you can start to spend more and more time outside and do what you like. That little break will be just what was needed to break the monotony of winter and the pressing cold. You smile and think, “I’ll have to do that again next year.”

When I was younger, I couldn’t take time off from my job, nor could I afford it. Now that I’m older and am blessed with a great job and enough funds to go on vacation, I use those vacation days – if you don’t, you are shortchanging yourself, they are part of your compensation package if you are awarded vacation days.

Take them – relax, recharge, and start smiling again.

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