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Ashby Ponds Couple Share Travel Advice

August 30, 2019

Ashburn, Virginia—Gary and Ana McCollim are two of the nearly 100 million Americans who will take a vacation this year, according to a recent AAA Travel Survey.

They are joining fellow residents from Ashby Ponds, an Erickson Living retirement community, in visiting family and friends, enjoying cruises and going abroad to fulfill "bucket lists."

For Gary and Ana, though, traveling has been a long-time passion.  The retired Central Intelligence Agency professionals visit Europe annually, with France as their go-to destination. 

"Travel is our passion," noted Ana.  "We have a strong affinity for France, but we also like seeing domestic historical sites.  In fact, we've been to every official U.S. Presidential Library except one."

The couple moved to Ashby Ponds in June of this year from their house in Reston.  Since that time, a European cruise took them to Norway, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Wales, Scotland & England, and they visited Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The Bourbon Trail in Kentucky is a future destination, and trips to Greece, Seattle and New Orleans are being considered. 

"Living at Ashby Ponds has meant no worries while traveling," stated Gary.  "There's a feeling of comfort while we are away, knowing everything is secure."

The couple recently provided some of their most useful travel tips:

•    Expect the unexpected.  Let your bank and credit card companies know that you'll be away a few days longer than planned in case you experience delays in getting home.

•    Pack extra clothing for changing weather conditions, especially overseas.

•    When planning international travel, ask your pharmacist if common medications in the United States are over-the-counter or require a prescription in your destination country.  The regulations can be different. About Ashby Ponds: Ashby Ponds, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 132-acre campus in Ashburn, Virginia.  The not-for-profit community of more than 1,475 residents and 550 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of Ashby Ponds.  Additional information can be found at