Joe McAdams - President, Equity LifeStyle Properties

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."

Now that's a good quote to start off a new year (with thanks to Henry David Thoreau). Live the life you've imagined. Starts you thinking, doesn't it. Just what is that life you've imagined? What is the direction of your dreams?

Many people use the start of the New Year to reassess plans, goals, financial status, and lifelong dreams. When you take stock of where you've been and where you're going, you most likely find things don't always turn out as planned. Mainly because of the unexpected. Things change we've said it before and change affects plans. So we re-evaluate, rethink and adjust accordingly. Maybe our economy has you rethinking that plan for a second home? Maybe it has you rethinking retirement.

So how, with all this change, do you "go confidently in the direction of your dreams?" By keeping your options open, that's how.

Let's say you've always dreamed of a lake house; that idyllic place where family and friends can gather to relax and enjoy a good time. But you've reassessed and re-evaluated and it just doesn't seem like that lake house is in the budget. Keep your options open consider a park model! Park models are fast becoming the popular choice for the second home see just why in our article on page 40.

Another one of our features in this issue may very well be something many of us have dreamed about. Enjoying the open road and RV lifestyle AND getting paid while you do it. Our story on page 36 looks at some lucky folks who work from their RVs and how they turned their rig into a functional home office. Who knows this could work for you!

If you're rethinking retirement don't forget about all the options we have to offer. ELS has affordable retirement homes in top notch communities, offers a multitude of RV sites in the most sought after retirement destinations as well plenty of those popular park models to consider.

If you follow our travel feature on Major League Baseball's Spring Training, you will definitely see young men living their dreams. Seasoned starters as well as young hopefuls spend spring training under the sunny skies of Florida and Arizona, preparing for the upcoming season and hoping to be the standout that lands them in the starting lineup. Have you dreamed about owning season tickets to your favorite team? Catching them during spring training is a very affordable option.

Speaking of preparing for the season, our preserves have been working on plenty of upgrades and updates. Over five million dollars of renovations and additions were underway at our preserves in 2010. To name a few, Verde Valley's pool was completely renovated and upgraded, Lake and Shore has a new Member Lounge complete with a 55 inch plasma TV, a new sound system and WiFi access and Paradise made use of old office space turning it into a Family Center that includes video games. Plus, Orlando made major improvements to its pool area, upgraded its Fitness Center and repaved roads while Seaside has a rebuilt creek loop, new Fitness Center and remodeled Adult Center. Check out the Thousand Trails web site at for a full listing of renovations and upgrades.

Here's wishing you a Happy New Year and the opportunity to live the life you've imagined. Just remember to keep those options open!