Once people move to Bristol Village, it becomes their home. But for some of us, it becomes "home base," a great place to live but also a great place to leave for longer periods of time than just the usual one- or two-week vacation trip.Of course retirement offers us time to pursue favorite hobbies and avocations: golf or tennis, woodworking or weaving, painting, volunteering for our neighbors, playing cards, or just long, leisurely periods of reading. However, many Bristol Village residents find themselves leaving for lengthy periods of time to see different parts of the world.

Leaving for weeks or months was never easy before we retired, unless of course we had adult kids wanting to help mow the lawn, pick up the mail, and manage our property. Bristol Village can take on the job of seeing your home and lawn are well cared for and secure, and you can make whatever arrangements you need for your home, winter or summer. Fixing your house to stand idle for the winter months is quite different from closing it up for the summer, and you can get help to make a plan. What do people do when they depart for more than a week or two? The answers are as varied as the residents.

Perhaps you head for that family cabin in Michigan or Maine, a great chance to enjoy cooler summer weather and all the grandkids. Or you dream of Florida's warmth in a cold winter — you can rent or own a retreat that's a lot warmer in January than Waverly happens to be. If you have an RV, it can be stored on BV property and used whenever you wish. BV uses some RVers as volunteer gardeners in the summer, and residents with RVs may volunteer anywhere in the US, from national parks and wildlife refuges to Habitat for Humanity or church-related building projects. It's also possible to camp with your family, either at a campground or just in their yard. You have the pleasure of visiting but aren't intruding on your family's limited space.

One Bristol Village couple volunteers in Alaska, at a youth arts camp for Alaskan teenagers. Of course they have travel expenses to get there, but their housing and meals are provided and they work with other interesting volunteers in a place many of us would love to visit. Church camps often need volunteers, as do many other activities. No matter where you go or how long you are gone, your home base in Bristol Village is well cared for and awaits your return.

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