The million dollar question! Here are the answers to all of your questions:
Yes! We sold our condo in Connecticut and bought a condo in Venice, Fl. We did this for one main reason: WE HATE WINTERS! We hate being cold, we hate driving in the snow, etc. Each year we would spend more and more time in the winter in Florida, and last year we spent 5 months down South. We bought a camper and spent a month in the Blue Ridge Mountains, 2 months in Venice, Fl then another 2 months exploring in our camper (Jacksonville, Fl/Jekyll Island/St Simons Island/Savannah, Ga/Beaufort, SC/Charleston, SC/Southern Pines, NC)
We work in the golf course industry and we would have our winters off, allowing us very little places to travel (again, we want to be WARM) So, many years ago we had the idea of moving to Florida, saving money on taxes, cost of living, etc and having our Summers off instead. Golf courses tend to die down Summers in Florida. This would allow us so much more options to explore with the Camper and for Adventures.
When we decided this, we wanted to make sure we weren’t settling with Venice, Fl because that’s where we were comfortable. That is the reason we explored last year in the camper. We absolutely LOVED many of the places we explored, but even Jacksonville, Fl was freezing! So, Venice it was. Erik’s parents own a place there, and we bought in the same condo complex as them.
If you read this blog regularly, you know this winter was a tough transition for us. We lived with my in-laws for 4 months while we waited for a current renters lease to be up then renovate the condo. That was a nightmare, but in the end we were settled and happy.
People would constantly ask me if we were coming back to CT this summer and I told them I had no idea. That wasn’t a lie. We sold our condo and at that time the only thing we had planned was to spend the Summer traveling in the camper up North. However, I always knew there was a chance we would find a place to stay in CT. Here’s why:
Last year when we decided we would sell our place in CT, we had the thought of renting in CT for 6 months. I put the word out that we were looking, and we found out Erik’s friend from High School had a small cottage on Bashan Lake in East Haddam. We checked it out and the place was gorgeous. He had completely renovated the whole thing, all top of the line. The yard was HUGE and it had amazing lake views.
Well, it was out of our price range, but while we were looking at it Erik’s friend (the owner) mentioned he needed help taking care of his properties (he owns 4 and constantly has projects going on) So, when Erik told him we weren’t going to be able to take the place, he mentioned he would love to help if he still wanted someone to help around the properties. He ended up doing about 25 hours a week and LOVED it. Outside all day, physical labor, not dealing with people, on the lake, etc. Well, his buddy kept bringing up, “next year” and Erik would say, “well, we have nowhere to stay so I may not be able to do next year” He made a comment hinting that maybe we can use one of his places…..So, there was hope of CT, but we weren’t sure.
In March, Erik contacted his buddy, and it turns out the original (gorgeous) house we looked at was still available and he offered it to us and Erik would continue to work for him 30+ hours a week. This was so amazing because now I was able to make some money at the Golf Course and go back to mission FITNESS, which made me so happy. Not that a summer traveling in the camper wouldn’t make me happy, but I didn’t work all winter and I really was ready to WORK!!
So, here we are. Living in East Haddam and happy as hell. We still plan to take the camper on weekend trips, but to be honest to have a house (not a condo) for the first time it almost feels like we are camping!
This is what’s going on for this Summer. Who knows what next Summer will bring. That’s the beauty and excitement of it all. If it looks like we aren’t going to come back to this place next Summer we may take the camper out West and explore the National Parks.
Life is good. However, I can’t say it enough that this life we CREATED was not luck. It was a lot of calculated, small decisions mixed with a lot of hard work and living very simply and below our means.
Follow your heart…take that leap. You will find your wings on the way down!