It’s now February and we are still about 2 months away from spring. When I lived in New York it was about this time that cabin fever set in. The Spring and summer months were always filled with camping and riding. The fall was always a great time to jump on the motorcycle and view all the foliage just about anywhere in the northeast. Then winter rolled in. The beginning of winter was also easy because it was the holiday season. Crazy holiday shopping, family get-togethers, and parties made this season a breeze to get through.
What? No More Football?
New Year’s Day rolls around and things start winding down. There are some gift exchanges and returns to be done, parties come to a grinding halt, and the decorations get packed up and put away. For those who like football, there are always games to watch through January. This weekend will be the super bowl and then football is officially over until the next season. Now what?
The weather is still cold and in some areas, they are still seeing blizzards. Even Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and called for 6 more weeks of winter. More cold, more shoveling, and more empty weekends. There is nothing worse than working all week and then being snowed in all weekend. Movie marathons only go so far.
There are definitely those who say make sure you are eating right and exercising. I am sure these things help to get through the winter blues. Technically you should be doing that year-round anyway. I am going to give you a different perspective on how to beat the winter blues.
You pretty much have 3 options at this point. You can start planning your warm-weather adventures, succumb to cabin fever and give in to the winter blues and be miserable until the warm weather arrives, or retire and move south. That is the one I chose…lol. No cabin fever here!!! I know that not too many people will have that option so what else is there?
Cabin fever is a mind game. Beat your mind at its own game. Instead of being bummed out as you watch 2 feet of snow come down on a Saturday, start planning your summer!!! That’s right, think palm trees!!!
If you are a full-timer in a warm location your options are unlimited. You can go anywhere (south that is) you want on any given day. I love the fact that other than a few rough patches down here in Florida when it got cold, I can jump on the motorcycle and just take off. We like to pack a lunch (healthy of course…lol) and just go.
We can also jump in the truck and go to state parks to hike or Geocache. We are not restricted at all. Chris and I still work (sometimes…lol). Chris is working part-time now. So while she is at work I am searching through the job listings looking for our next gig, planning our destinations and adventures, or working on the website. When she is off, out exploring we go. Before you know it, the season is over and we are on the move.
At this point we know we are heading to Mystic CT for our next work assignment. Just because we know that we don’t just sit back. We use this time (when we are not out on an adventure) to plan.
We already have a route planned for the trip up. This includes a stop along the way to visit an ex-coworker who also retired and moved to South Carolina. We also know that we will not be taking the dreaded I-95. We will find campgrounds along the way as we usually do. Google!!!
Which Way Do We Go?
We have a Commercial GPS that we love and trust to lead the way. You enter the length of your vehicle(s), how much propane you’re carrying, and your height. It will then keep you out of restricted areas like roads and tunnels and will also warn you of low bridges. It has been put to the test numerous times since we started full-timing almost 2 years ago and has been nearly flawless. I am working on a review for it that should be out next week if anyone’s interested.
Now that the job and route are covered we’re done, right? Wrong. We are also already working on things we want to do and see in the surrounding area of Mystic. We have already roughed out a few motorcycle rides including one to Rhode Island. We are planning to visit with family and friends on Long Island. We have so much more to plan and time is flying. The more details that go into your planning, the longer it takes. That means more time goes by. Do you see where I am going with this?
The Time Is Now
The reason I bring this up is not to rub in how nice it is down south in the winter. My point is even because you may not be retired and might be looking out your window at a foot or more of snow or temps in the teens it’s time to get busy!!! Time to start planning your warm-weather fun.
Most campgrounds that are closed for the winter, return sometime in January and start taking reservations for the next season. So where are you heading? There are reviews that need to be checked, sitemaps to look at, routes that need to be planned, and of course good ole google earth for the final check of areas you are interested in. Make those plans and reservations.
Filters and Lounge Chairs and Carpets Oh My
Is your RV ready to go? When you finished last season and winterized it, did you make a list of things you need for the next season? Guess what? The next season is almost here. Filters, lounge chairs, a new outside mat, a new outside garbage can? Why haven’t you ordered them yet? Half the fun is shopping for them. I love jumping on the computer and checking out new things. That reminds me, I need a new outside garbage can. I melted my last one…long story.
There is an Amazon and Walmart link on the side of this page. Click on them and start shopping!!!. Yes, I said Walmart. They now have online shopping. You can have most items shipped to your home for free. If they won’t ship to your home, they will ship to the closest store to you. When it comes in, you just go and pick it up. I don’t know about you but I am not a fan of walking around in Walmarts. We did an entire season of food shopping online with Walmart in Texas. We ordered online and picked it up at the store…Sweeet!!!
Time To Relax… Not!!!
So now you have your reservations made, shopping is done, it’s time to relax, right? Wrong!!! You’re not done yet. What are you going to do when you get to the campground? What sites are you going to see? Most people book for a week or two at a time. That week or two will fly. The time to plan is now not while you’re on vacation and the clock is ticking.
Even though we full-time, we still work 40 hours a week in the summer. Do you think we want to spend our time off searching for cool places to go and things to do? I think not!!! That would leave no time to actually do what we found and planned. The time to spend all that time planning is now when there is a foot of snow outside your window.
Motorcycle or Car… It Doesn’t Matter
Whether you ride a motorcycle like me or just love to go for a scenic drive in your car then you know if your not just winging it (like we like to do sometimes) that planning a fun route can take quite some time. Get online and look for scenic highways and byways where you are going to be close to. I like to search an entire area online before I get there so I am ready to roll upon arrival. I love the water so many times I just search for bodies of water in a location and plan a route around them.
If you ride a motorcycle or ATV, did you have to winterize it? Time to start thinking about getting it to a shop or your garage and start getting it ready for warm weather. Don’t wait until the first warm day and everyone else is running to the shop to get work done. You might wind up with appointment weeks away.
Did You Submit Your Vacation Time?
If you are still at a 9-5 job, how do your vacations work? Are they scheduled on a first come first serve basis? If so, you better get your requests in. I used to schedule extra time off in case I had more than 1 week I was trying to get reservations for. When the reservations became finalized, I dropped the time I didn’t need. The point is I had it just in case.
Some people like to just say, “I don’t plan anything, we just wing it when we get there”. I have certainly done that a time or two but if you find yourself stuck in freezing cold weather, why not give planning things a shot? It’s better than just sitting around complaining about the cold and snow. Who knows? If your winter planning turns into awesome summer trips, it might become something you will do each winter moving forward.
I Can’t Believe It’s Spring Already
All of a sudden you should start to realize that you don’t have as much time as you think you do. Warm weather will be here before you know it. So the choice is yours. Will you fight the winter blues by planning your warm-weather adventures now or will you succumb to the winter blues and stare out your window for the next 6 weeks?