Here is the article I was asked to write for Gulf Coast Snowbirds.

“In the fall of 2004 my wife Sharon and I lost our residence on Pensacola Beach to Hurricane Ivan. Instead of treating this as a disaster we took it as an opportunity to pursue our dream of living full-time in a motor home and exploring the U.S. We started out just touring around the Southeast at first just to get accustomed to life on the road. We learned a lot very quickly through flat tires, lost electric cords, sewer mishaps, brakes overheating and more. Stuff they never tell you about at RV dealerships.

The largest obstacle we had to overcome was getting connected to the Internet. I am a freelance graphic designer so connectivity was our lifeline. We spoke to many people and decided the best route for us was to use Verizon’s aircard. It has served us well. We hit a few dead spots here and there but with a booster antenna it gave us dependable internet access and phone service.

The RV experience has been a positive one and we would not trade our experiences for anything. One of the greatest advantages of the lifestyle is that you can live anywhere. You can escape winters by snowbirding where it is warm and we have chosen Florida for the last 4 winters.

Since my wife and I are under 40 it was quite interesting being snowbirders, as we’re considered quite young. It was tough because we felt like outsiders at first. We now blame that on ourselves. We just needed to start going to the functions and activities where we were greeted warmly and readily accepted. Sometimes even becoming the center of attention because of our fulltime status at such a young age.

It was great to feel surrounded by a bunch of surrogate parents, who helped us out many times by giving us life advice or home-cooked meals. Snowbirds really are a community where everyone helps each other out like neighbors.

We are now leaving our RV lifestyle in exchange for a house in Pensacola because we have been blessed with a baby on the way. The motor home will sit for a bit but will see more action when we go on a tour to see family up north, but not in winter of course. We invite you to view the RV lifestyle through our eyes via our online blog at Safe Travels!”