• Christine

Chasing Summer - Part 6! My Adventures As A Snowbird!

It's time to get back to reality! No more walks on the beach. No more listening to the waves of the ocean crashing at night. No more working on my balcony in the warm sun.


Our snowbirding adventure ended a little over two weeks ago. But before you start to feel too sorry for me, the reason it's taken me so long to write this post is that I've been busy clearing out our house. And I've been clearing out our house so that we can put it up for sale in anticipation of becoming permanent residents of South Carolina!


We loved our time down there so much, that we've decided to make South Carolina our new home. We are building a new house down in Bluffton, just outside of Hilton Head, and we hope to be down there by this fall.


But before I get completely caught up in the moving process, I wanted to do a quick wrap up of our snowbird adventure. In my final installment of Chasing Summer, I share some lessons learned that I hope will help you if you ever decide to try being a snowbird. So keep reading!


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TIP #1 - JUST DO IT!

First, let me say that I was the one that originally came up with the idea of being a snowbird last summer. However, I often come up with crazy ideas on a whim, thinking they will never actually happen.


With this idea, I figured my husband would shut it down. I work from home full-time, so it doesn't matter where I'm located, but he owns a frame shop that is located in our basement. For him to work, he has to physically be where his frame shop is located.


So, I was a little surprised when he said "let's do it"! At that point, my anxiety kicked in and I kept questioning what I'd gotten myself into. But once we arrived, that anxiety melted away and I realized that taking a leap of faith and going outside my comfort zone was exactly what I needed.


TIP #2 - YOU ARE GOING TO PACK TOO MUCH

Despite really trying to keep down the number of things we took with us, we still probably packed a little too much. I could have done with a lot less clothes - there were things I brought with me that I never wore.


We also brought a lot of things with us like toilet paper and cleaning products, that we didn't need to bring. I was concerned whether things were going to get crazy again with the pandemic, so I brought things with me that it turns out we could have bought when we got there.


But all in all, I was glad we brought some extra things that gave us the comforts of home. We really did feel at home in the condo. It never felt like we were just guests staying at a hotel.


TIP #3 - TRY TO MANAGE THE AMOUNT OF FOOD YOU BUY

When it was getting close to the end of our time at the condo, we realized that we had quite a bit of food in the fridge and freezer. Dinners became a version of Chopped - what can we make with what we have in the pantry???


We ended up managing it pretty well and went through most of the food. But there were also things that were open - like salad dressings or ketchup - that we just couldn't go through and we couldn't donate anywhere because they were open.


TIP #4 - WRITE A LIST OF THE THINGS YOU BROUGHT WITH YOU

For the most part, it was easy to remember which things were ours versus which things belonged to the condo. The trickiest part was in the kitchen. Because we knew we were going to cook a lot, we brought some cooking gadgets with us that we didn't think the condo would have.


And by the end of four months, our things had sort of morphed into their things. We figured it out, but it took some sorting to make sure we got everything that was ours and brought it home with us.


I remember when we first arrived, my husband made the comment that we should probably take a picture of our stuff before we unpacked it. We never did, but I think pictures or a list would have made packing to go home easier.


TIP #5 - BE READY FOR ANYTHING!

When we embarked on our snowbirding adventure, we thought we were in for a quiet four months in North Myrtle Beach. Well, it didn't quite work out that way - some for the good and some for the bad.


Shortly after we arrived, my father-in-law got COVID-19 and got very ill. He ended up passing away right before Christmas. Despite having plans to spend a quiet Christmas alone at the beach, we ended up spending 10 days in Toledo with family.


On the positive side, we always intended to try and explore as much of South Carolina as we could while we were there. We didn't expect to like the Hilton Head area so much, that we would spend two weekends down there and decide to build a house!


The thing about life, is that it doesn't always go as planned. You have to be ready - and willing - to roll with it and make it work. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. Our snowbirding adventure happened because we needed something to jump start us to take the leap to move into our dream house in our dream location.


The next several months are going to be busy, but I'm going to keep up the blog as much as possible. My goal is to write at least 1 or 2 posts a month. In another month or so, we'll be fully vaccinated, and I'm hoping that will lead to us being able to do a few more things that we haven't been able to do in over a year. We even have a concert on the calendar! So stay tuned!


Have you been a snowbird? Any tips or tricks to share that I missed? Let us know! Comment below or e-mail me at tips2livebywriter@gmail.com.


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