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Switch the Route This Summer!

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Switch the Route This Summer!

I’m hot.

Not the kind of hot where people think I’m really cool. The kind where I stick my head out the door and I’m attacked by 93 degrees with matching humidity. Forty degrees hotter than it was a week ago.

According to our President, there’s no such thing as climate change. It’s all a Chinese hoax, like transforming Lo Mein into healthy Kentucky Fried Chicken.

What happens when you’re hot? The average person sweats about 1-1/2 gallons a day – more if it’s hot and humid. Men sweat more than women. Older people sweat less than younger people. Your feet alone contain 250,000 very active sweat glands.

Sun damage to the skin is like building sand castles. It grows. The longer you’re in the sun, the more damage. Which leads to the NIH estimate that 40-50% of Americans will have skin cancer at least once by the time they’re 65.

Yet snowbirds soak up the summer at home and faithfully go south in the winter. Four to six million people flee the cold to become “temporary residents” in Sunbelt states like Florida, the Carolinas, Gulf States, Arizona, California, Georgia, and Texas. Snowbirds are usually over fifty-five years old, baby boomers, and retired.

Is it fun to sweat, drink a lot of smart water, and munch on ice? Do you love to sit in itchy sand on a crowded beach under a purple umbrella?

A report released by The National Climate Assessment, found that snowbird destinations are getting hotter, more polluted, and for the coastal states, risk rising sea levels. The frequency of temperatures over 95 degrees and the number of heat waves will continue to rise even with the Paris Accord.

What’s an afterfifty to do? Switch the route – be reborn as a sunbird!

Sunbirds – the opposite of snowbirds – are people who migrate north to get away from hot summers like my 93 degrees in The Big Apple. There are a lot of cool summer places – tripsavvy describes them having a “distinct – and refreshing – chill in the air.” They list three basic guidelines for choosing a cooler sunbird destination:

  1. Go further away from the equator.
  2. Stay close to water.
  3. Look for higher elevations.

I’ve been to a lot of really cool places in the summer – like Colorado, New England, Maine, Canada, The Rocky Mountains, Iceland, Greenland . . . look at the map and you’ll find your place. Here are a few of my favorites:

                                                                                                      Quebec, Canada




    Grand Tetons, Wyoming

Head for a luxurious ski resorts minus winter crowds and winter sports. In the summer you can see everything without ice or snow!  You can take in great views as well as bike, hike, swim, fish, boat . . . there’s a lot to do in those friendly summer climes. Try Aspen, Killington, Jackson Hole, or Lake Tahoe. If you’re a word person, head for Snowbird, Utah just for the name. Breathe fresh, clean air before Washington deregulates the polluters. Remember, sunbirds rule!

Of course, you can always stay home and listen to government hearings questioning people who can’t recall anything.

Just make sure your air conditioner works.

Dr. Jeri Fink, author, photographer, traveler, and family therapist, challenges the creaky myths of aging. She believes that now is a creative, exciting time to grow and explore new ideas, people, and places. Visit Dr. Jeri at,,   or to enter her world of discovery, fun, and insights. Her fiction project, Broken, is a series of seven thrillers that defy tradition. She is presently working on Book Web Minis – a series of fun, fast and positive mini books (50-70 pages long) where readers partner with the experts. Check it out at

She tells us: “I challenge the art of writing by merging fact, fictional elements, interactivity, and photography into nonfiction mini books. I draw from my training in social work, experience in individual and family therapy, professional research, and passion for exploring positive psychology. My 32 published books, hundreds of articles and blogs, speaking engagements, and active online presence all reflect who I am today.”

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