Lifestyle Allows Freedom to Travel

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It is a misconception among some seniors, who believe they would be giving up their independence and freedom if they leave the familiar confines of their home or condo to move into a Continuing Care Retirement Community.

Ask residents of John Knox Village, and they will most certainly praise their new found lifestyle and the many freedoms it affords. Without the anchor of home ownership, its costs, maintenance and obligations, many have discovered the opportunity to travel more now than ever before.

Margo and Herschell Lewis have been residents of John Knox Village since 2008. The Lewises are world travelers having been to South Africa, Europe and South America in recent years. They will spend the entire month of September in Provence, France.

Before moving to John Knox Village, Margo said they had to prepare their home extensively prior to traveling.

“In the condo I removed all the furniture from outside and moved it inside in case of a storm,” Margo said. “Then in our house, we had to get our daughter Peggy stay in the home when we were gone. It was safer to have someone house-sit.

“Now when we travel, it is total independence. There is nothing to keep us from doing what we want to do anytime and anyplace. When we are ready to leave John Knox Village, I fill out a form and leave it at the desk, period. Everything is taken care of at home while we are gone.”

It was exactly that peace of mind which provided the right amount of comfort for residents David Jenkins and Franklin Schmidt to take, and thoroughly enjoy, a stress-free 18-day group tour to Scandinavia, including the countries of Norway and Sweden. It was booked through the agency Grand Circle Cruise Line (

Franklin, who travels quite often, enjoyed seeing the Sápmi, or otherwise known as Lapland region that stretches four countries – Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. The people in this area – Sami or Laplanders – heavily rely on reindeer herding. Their livelihoods depend on coastal fishing, fur trapping and sheep herding.

The trip included a small cruise above the Arctic Circle that went through the mountains and fjords of the area. Another of Franklin’s highlights was experiencing the midnight sun, a natural phenomenon that occurs in the local summer months in places north of the Arctic Circle. It is when the sun is visible 24 hours a day. These same locations also experience 24 hours of darkness during the winter months.

The Village Towers resident said some of his favorite past trips included traveling to the Darien Gap in Panama, an Alaskan cultural tour and a cruise on the Yangtze River in China. As for future travel plans, he will be attending a performance by the San Francisco Opera concert in October.

That is one of the great advantages of living at John Knox Village. Residents are free to enjoy life and travel without the worry of taking care of maintenance, security, cleaning and supervision back at home.

Plus, John Knox Village features an extensive Travel Program through Isings Travel that removes the worries of reservations and planning all the details.

Jeanne Veldman is President of the 50-year old travel agency. She said her company specializes in tours and has the knowledge and experience to plan trips that cater to a senior clientele.

Jeanne says an Isings Travel agency trip offers very much of a private tour feel, with a personal guide who joins the travelers.

“If you need concierge service there is someone there for you,” she said. “We do anything and everything we can think of to make it more personalized.”

Upcoming adventures in the Isings Travel program include:

• October 25 – 30: Fall Oktoberfest in Helen, GA and Showtime at Pigeon Forge, TN in the Smoky Mountains.
• November 20: Departure on a Thanksgiving Caribbean Cruise.
• January 18: Departure to San Francisco, CA and 14-night Hawaii Cruise.

For more information about upcoming trips, call Jeanne at Isings Travel (in Boca Raton) at (800) 562-7672, or visit their Website for more information at (

A Two-Hour Local Cruise Adventure

As part of Active Aging Week at John Knox Village (September 27-October 3), our Activities Department has scheduled a special sightseeing Yacht Cruise on Thursday, October 1. Join other residents on a two-hour narrated Intracoastal excursion that provides a unique view of South Florida.

Located in Delray Beach, the “Lady Atlantic” and “Lady Delray” specialize in private charters at affordable rates. According to Cindy Kern, our Activities Coordinator, John Knox Village was able to get a tremendous rate for our residents. The cost is only $20, which includes the boat fare and transportation to the departure location, Veterans Park in Delray Beach.

Participants on the trip will learn about the local history and area wildlife. The yacht offers indoor and outdoor seating with air conditioning and bathrooms on board. For residents to make a reservation, please call (954) 783-4039. More information about Delray Yacht Cruises can be found at (

— Marty Lee, WOMA  Advertising