If you’re like me, you’ve probably spent a vacation in a sunny part of the world, and while sipping a cocktail said, “Duke (insert your loved one’s name) how would you like to live (insert location)?”
Now granted, these locations change as you mature, and while Cancun may be the place for you when you’re twenty-three, Naples, Florida, may be the place for you when you’re a boomer trying to escape from Freeways to Flip-Flops.
So if you’re serious about the move, you’ll probably visit a few times, just to make sure you weren’t under the influence of too many tropical cocktails.
At home, you’ll spend hours on the internet looking at realtor.com, and zillow.com, and then, if you’re like Duke and me:
You’ll hop on a plane to see the short sale that just came on the market.
- It’s such a good deal.
- You will never be able to afford a house on the
- California is just too expensive to own a house on the water.
- There’s a Home Depot in Naples, (unlike Belize) so you have plywood if a hurricane hits us.
- You can always rent it out until you move.
If you’re responsible, which boomers
are tend to be, you’ve researched other aspects like:
- How your lifestyle will change
- Traffic during rush hour
- Jobs (do they even hire boomers?)
- Gas prices (cheaper than California)
- Food prices (supermarkets are the same but restaurants are much cheaper and their fish is so fresh compared to ours in California.)
There’s one important thing missing; something that will give you peace of mind before your final decision to move.
“How can I
interview meet locals with similar interests to mine for coffee/lunch/dinner so I can dig down and get the scoop on what it’s really like to live here?”
So here’s what we did to connect with people prior to our 3rd vacation in Naples.
- Find MeetUp groups related to your interests prior to visiting, or create your own MeetUp and ask people to join.
- Find specific people online with similar interests and e-mail them before you visit. Arrange to meet them for coffee or lunch.
- Connect with someone you already know who lives there, or ask your friends if they know someone in that location you can e-mail ahead of time to ask questions.
We looked for Meetups online. You can search for Meetups in different cities in the U.S. You can even create your own. Since Duke is interested in indie films and people with similar interests, he organized a MeetUp at The Pub, in Mercato, Naples, where we had a wonderful evening chatting with other writers, TV and video production people.
I looked online for local authors and writing groups, such as The Gulf Coast Writers’ Association, and other MeetUp writers’ groups, and I found Christine Otis, a local author, and e-mailed her. She had moved from PA, less than a year ago and said she loves Naples. This was so encouraging for me to meet her and learn about all the writing groups in the area. We met for lunch, and she was so helpful and encouraging.
I also had the pleasure of meeting Ed Robinson and his wife Kim, on their boat “Leap of Faith.” We met online and he submitted a “My Gutsy Story.” Ed and Kim, also made us feel comfortable about living in Florida.
And finally, we had the privilege of meeting science-fiction, romance writer, Linnea Sinclair, and her husband for dinner one evening in Naples. Duke connected with Linnea a couple of years ago, when he made “The Down Home Alien Blues”(watch trailer) movie, based on one of her novels.
As I strolled on the beach in Naples early one morning, I noticed a woman wearing a San Diego sweatshirt. I asked her, “Are you from San Diego?” She said, “No, but we used to live in Huntington Beach, CA.” After chatting for ten-minutes, she said exactly what I was hoping to hear, “The quality of life is so much better here.”
So when are we moving?
Here are 4 short videos I took in Florida:
It’s time to vote for your favorite one of four November “My Gutsy Story®” submissions on the sidebar.
Do you have a “My Gutsy Story®” you’d like to share?
NOW is the time to submit your “My Gutsy Story®” which may be included in our 2nd ANTHOLOGY.