Desert Living: What's It Like?

Post by Sharon

People come to the desert to live or to live part of the year (snowbirds) for lots of reasons. Here's just some of what it's like living in the desert (having lived here for 36 years I know) -

Arizona has 299 days of sunshine a year
vitamin D
feelings of well being

180-degrees of sky
you can see forever
open sense of freedom
easy driving conditions with flat roads and no trees blocking view very few hills in the Greater Phoenix and Tucson areas.

the sunset can be viewed to its completion
dust particles make it more brilliant
it's a lovely nighttime transition

Swimming and Hiking
swimming year-round (heated in winter)
hiking year-round
wearing shorts year-round! 


HEALTH: Some people believe the concept that the desert air is good for you. That is not necessarily true. Air quality in the Phoenix is poor much of the year with ozone warnings and no-burn (no fires or gas motorized blowers/mowers) days. The air is very dry, often times 2-10% humidity, but there are also loads of particulates in the air. I moved here from the DC area and suddenly had allergies I had never had before as the plants here were foreign to me. And, there is an air-borne fungus in desert soil that can cause an illness called Coccidoidesmycosis or Valley Fever. This is sort of like bad mononucleosis with a cough. It knocks you on your butt for anywhere from 6 weeks to several months and can disseminate to organs. Seasons are rather indistinct. 

More Pro's 

On a happy note, the warmer winters and less barometric drops means that arthritis loves this climate. For those in need of vitamin D, there is plenty enough sunshine. And, for those who like outdoor activities, with the exception of June-October, outdoor exercise climate is ideal. Fresh produce is readily available in the desert too, so another good benefit. If one has issues with seasonal affective disorder, the desert is a cure. 

Here's some music videos to give you the desert vibe -