Retirement Living Opens Door to Senior Travel
Whether it’s continuing a lifetime of adventure or beginning the adventure of a lifetime, making the move to a maintenance-free senior living community opens up a world of new opportunities for travel.
“We lock the doors and windows and walk out,” says Allen Schweinsberg, a retired college professor and resident of RiverWoods retirement community in Lewisburg, Pa. Allen, and wife Joanne, also a retired academic, have traveled much of the United States and to more than 35 countries.
Avid birders, the Schweinsberg’s have so far documented more than 3,000 species of birds — an endeavor not for the faint of heart … A recent trip to Panama included a dugout canoe trek on the Rio Chucunaque before mounting horses to trudge through the mud and into the jungle. This heroic effort checked off another box in their birding adventures: sighting a rare harpy eagle.
While much of their travel involves birding, the couple has also experienced opera in the Czech Republic and a first-hand look at the Great Wall of China. They also enjoy educational travel curated by Road Scholar. “Travel is a very broadening experience,” says Joanne. “You get history, culture, geography and a chance to see how other people live.”
When not on the road, Allen and Joanne enjoy exercising at the Wellness Center, visiting with their many friends on and off campus, keeping up with their kids and planning their next excursion.
“It’s great to have the freedom to travel, but it’s also great to be grounded in a community we love,” says Joanne.
Planes, trains, and automobiles
Bethany Village residents Kathy Salmon and Tony Wright fell in love over their love of travel, and now spend several months each year exploring the globe by plane, train, and automobile.
Freshly back from a trip to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Tony and Kathy will next hop aboard the auto train and head for Orlando, where they have a timeshare. Two months later, they’ll fly off to the southern Caribbean with some of their Bethany Village neighbors and in April, they’ll drive to Cleveland for the Total Eclipse Fest.
“Living here gives you a sense of ease to take off and go,” says Tony. The couple, who met at Bethany Village in Mechanicsburg, Pa., moved from their separate apartments into a cottage. And the close-knit cul-de-sac in which they live means in addition to the Bethany staff, they have supportive neighbors who will look out for their home.
When they’re not on the road, Kathy and Tony serve on resident committees, spend time working out in the Wellness Center, play bingo and trivia at the John & Annie’s Bistro, and have dinner with friends.
“Bethany is the best place for us” says Kathy. “Along with a maintenance-free lifestyle, you can’t ask for a better place to have friends and socialize.”
Chasin’ dreams down the interstate
For Normandie Ridge residents Terry and Randy Guiler, their dream retirement began before some of us even start thinking about shutting the office doors. In 2004, at the tender ages of 46 and 55, the couple hung up their hats, traded their house for an RV and headed out on a nearly decade-long road trip.
Randy, who spent 33 years as an aeronautical cartographer for the federal government, had long dreamed of having the opportunity to “wander” the country.
“One day I came home from work and said, ‘let’s do this,’” says Randy. “Terry looked at me like I was nuts.” But it wasn’t long before she was on board for what turned into a nine-year journey that allowed the couple to leisurely visit 28 states.
“It’s a great life being able to travel with your best friend who also just happens to be your spouse,” said the couple on the “About Us” page of the Guiler Travels blog they started in December of 2005.
In 2013, when Terry’s parents—then in their 80’s—started to experience health problems, the couple began to rethink their lifestyle and scale back the full-time road life.
“I wanted to be able to jump in the car and be with them in a moment’s notice,” says Terry. In 2015, Terry’s parents moved into an apartment at Normandie Ridge. Three years later, Terry, Randy and their RV joined the community, too.
“I’m a big fan of the CCRC model” says Terry. Both of her parents, who have now passed away, were able to experience the continuum of the care. “To be in an environment like this gives you comfort,” she adds.
“Living here gives us the freedom to come and go at a moment’s notice and travel without concern, knowing that our home is being well cared for,” says Terry.