It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it

Posted on October 27, 2014 at 4:46 am.

I hope you know that when I say that I have a big grin on my face.  I absolutely love what I do,  I almost feel guilty when I talk to friends who are frustrated with their jobs, or are just plain unhappy.  I’ve found that when you aren’t happy with your job, not only does it show, but it affects everyone around you.  TRUST ME, I know.  I had a job like that and my family and I suffered through that for almost five years.  I can’t tell you how many award ceremonies, field trips and meet the teacher functions I missed over those five years – and those are things that I will never be able to get back.  Not to mention the gray hair that I’m certain came from my tenure at that company, and I’ve been paying the price for that ever since (every four to six weeks).
As the daughter of self employed parents, I was raised by parents who taught me to work hard, do it right, and always pay it forward so the entrepreneurial spirit was already instilled in me.  I was laid off from that J-O-B in October of 2007 and at that moment I made a promise to myself that I would find a way to do something on my own and never work for anyone but myself again.
I wanted something to do that would allow me to surround myself with people who enjoy life to the fullest.  I wanted to do something that would make a difference in the lives of others.  And most importantly, I wanted the flexibility to spend time with my family, especially my daughter.
As a McAllen native, I grew up with Winter Texans all around me and never knew there was a time when they didn’t exist (officially, here in the Rio Grande Valley that is).  As a matter of fact, all of my adult working life I’ve worked with Winter Texans in a variety of different ways (aside from the 5 year stint at that company that will remain nameless!).  My very first job was when I worked for the American Red Cross and I would go from park to park to make presentations on Red Cross activities and recruiting volunteers.  So the Winter Texan world was a familiar one to me, and that’s where I found myself in October of 2007 and Welcome Home, RGV was born.
So!  With that being said, I hope that you get to know Welcome Home RGV – who we are, what we do and in the words of Ron Berquist, Converted Texan/Retama Village “watch us grow”.  We are here to be of service, whether you are looking for a place to call home, a specific product or service, or simply the best hamburger in town – we want to help you make the most of your experience in the Rio Grande Valley.
Visit our website, and sign up for our e-newsletter and we’ll keep you posted on all sorts of events and activities that we just know you’ll love.
We’re just connecting the dots,

What’s so great about retirement in South Texas, anyway?

Let me start out by offering a quick disclaimer:  I’m not retired.  Unfortunately, I’m far from it.  And, I’ve never been to retirement destinations in Arizona or Florida, so I personally have nothing to base this column on except the conversations I’ve had over the last 10 years with the hundred-thousand-plus (yes, 100,000+) Winter Texans who come to the Valley each year.

Now that that’s out there – back to the question.  What is it that makes the Rio Grande Valley such a wonderful place to ‘winter’?  First of all, we want you here.  WE are lucky to have YOU, not the other way around.  Not only do you energize our local economy, but you also bring your time and talents to so many of our schools and nonprofit organizations.  In Texas, we don’t see you as ‘snowbirds.’  We see you as one of us, so we gave you a name to prove it.  To us, you are Winter Texans.  We are also incredibly friendly people by nature, so the friendliness of our people is just as important to the Winter Texans we visited with as what you’ll read below.

 Next…well…you just can’t beat the cost of living.  Some people say it’s cheap down here, but we prefer the term ‘affordable.’  Your hard-earned money goes farther down here.  Period.  Trust me, you’ll save the money you spent on gas and then some.  We know it’s a long drive.

 Another great thing about South Texas is the sense of community.  All of our RV resorts and retirement communities are incredibly welcoming.  Almost all dances, craft shows, entertainment, jam sessions, and meals are open to the public, so you can zip from one resort to another without a worry in the world.  We have a wide variety of festivals and events outside of the RV resorts, as well, so you can find yourself at a world-championship barbecue contest one weekend and a butterfly festival the next!  You might even hit both the same weekend!

And we haven’t even talked about the weather!  We have great weather.  Our ‘winter’ lasted about four days in 2017, and while the locals called in sick, wore parkas, and complained an awful lot,  there were sightings of Winter Texans on bicycles sporting long pants and a light jacket.

The Rio Grande Valley is a wonderful place to live.  Now that’s something I can speak on as a ‘resident expert.’  I’ve lived in McAllen most of my life (40 out of 47 years!).  We know you have choices when it comes to retirement destinations, but we also know you’ll love it here, so we kindly ask that you give us a try.  Sure, it’s a long drive.  Once you hit the Texas border, you still have 10 hours before you see our smiling faces.  But, trust me and the 100,000+ Winter Texans who call the Rio Grande Valley their home away from home–it’s definitely worth it!!!

Safe travels, and see you in South Texas soon!

We’re just connecting the dots,


Kristi Collier is a McAllen native who loves to share her passion for the area with others.  Her company, Welcome Home RGV caters to the Winter & Converted Texan market through their events, activities, special interest publications and more.  For more information, call the Welcome Home RGV office at 956-687-5115 or visit their website at or on facebook at and