A van travels between a house with smoke coming from the chimney to a house without smoke coming from the chimney, through the woods.

Escaping the Cold Winters

Mike and I are thinking about embarking on another road trip soon. These Pennsylvania winters are so hard on Mike in his condition with spinal muscular atrophy. When it’s cold, it’s tempting to lay in bed more often. But if we do too much of that, Mike risks losing what little muscle tone he has. So ideally, we would like to spend the winters in Florida near an accessible pool.

For Mike, traveling has been always been more difficult. Before I started taking care of Mike full-time, his parents were his only caretakers. They never got any formal help outside of the home. And although they were wonderful caretakers, they were not big travelers, and so neither was Mike.

Inspired to travel, and get away from the cold

Neither of us have ever driven out to California. But recently a cousin of mine got a job as a trucker, and is doing Philadelphia to California once a week. He only takes one day off and then turns around and does it again. So now we’re inspired to travel around the United States. Being on the road and experiencing new things is always a healthy diversion from winters in the Northeast.

Most people would probably prefer flying. That’s not always easier for us. For starters, it’s not easy for Mike to get on and off the plane. Plus once we get to our destination we would need to rent a wheelchair accessible van. Unfortunately they are much more expensive than renting a regular car.

The fun of the open road

In all honesty, we actually enjoy being on the road, it gets us off of our phones and we get to see different parts of the country that you would not normally see. Mike is really good at finding places off the beaten path. Part of the fun of getting to your destination is the process. We enjoy meeting new people and experiencing more of a local vibe when we travel.

Luckily we have family spread out around the country. This helps with travel expenses. It’s always nice to see relatives who we don’t get to see too often and it’s usually better than staying at a hotel.  Also, who doesn’t like a home cooked meal over a meal in a restaurant.

Florida is very appealing to us because it’s a state that is very familiar to us. Mike is lucky to still have his grandmother with us and she is a wonderful host. My grandparents also lived in Florida, unfortunately they are no longer with us but I have wonderful memories of spending time with them in Florida growing up.

Winter in warm weather states

We are thinking about spreading our wings and trying other warm states in the future. Neither of us have ever been to Texas so that’s a state we would like to spend a winter in the future. Being able to travel and provide Mike with opportunities like this has been very fulfilling for me.

The warmer weather is very beneficial to people who have a neuromuscular disease like spinal muscular atrophy. When their body is warm they are able to move with greater ease. Where are your warm weather destinations?

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