Wintering down South has been a goal of Ty and I's for years. There are many things we love about Michigan...mainly, our families and the summer and fall seasons. The winters, however, are grueling. While we invite the white fluffy snow for Christmas, we would like to bid it goodbye shortly after! Once February rolls around, we long for sunshine and outdoors, as many Michiganders do! We were incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to spend 6 weeks of this past winter down in Florida! This was something we had worked so hard for. The idea of getting to enjoy the outdoors in the winter is a driving force behind our business. It's this goal that has motivated us to create a life with more location independence! We recorded a new podcast about our WHY as to embarking on the snowbirding lifestyle. and more on why we selected this particular location!
I began a (primarily) remote job at the beginning of the year. Most days I work from home, with some travel throughout the year to specific markets around the country (specifically, markets with a high concentration of new construction!). I worked in the Florida panhandle during these weeks. Ty, as you know, is a realtor in Michigan. Real estate is very slow in Michigan during the winter. Consequently, Ty accumulates most of his income April-December, which makes winter a good time to do something like this! He actually sold two properties just before we drove South and did all of the corresponding bank & title work remotely. He also has someone who is able to show homes for him should one of his clients like to see a property while we are out of town!
We treated this trip as a little "experiment" to determine if it might be something we would like to repeat in years to come. We stayed in Florida for five weeks following one week at the cabin (cabin visit blog post here). We weren't surprised to find that wintering South brought us immense joy and we would definitely like to make it an annual tradition! We didn't take the sunshine for granted for a single day and got outdoors as much as possible. While the panhandle isn't overtly "warm" during the winter months, the weather was pretty invigorating to these midwesterners. Most days peaked in the 60's, with several 70 degree days in the latter portion of our stay.
Most days consisted of work (either meetings, Zoom, or computer work), long walks around the neighborhood or on the beach, takeout or homemade dinner on the porch, and drives along 30a (to get Brooks to nap...He loves the car!). It wasn't warm enough to swim, but we did fit in a handful of beach days!
This trip, we became "regulars" at the following restaurants/coffee shops:
We also have two other blog posts about the 30a area with more recs...check out this travel guide and this weekend trip post!
My parents, Ty's mom, and a few of our friends came down to visit! It was absolutely wonderful getting to share our favorite place with some of our favorite people! It was so nice to have help with Brooks, too, as I was busy attending meetings! Ty and I even got to enjoy a Valentines Day dinner, just the two of us (our first time away from our little guy!)
We stayed in this rental, which we decorated for friends of ours last Spring. See this post for more about the project and this post to shop the decor. We highly recommend a stay in this beautiful home, just a few blocks from the beach!
Already looking forward to next year!!