Notable Member: Ira Simmons  By

Notable Member: Ira Simmons

Described as a great resource by Ira Simmons, makes it possible for him and his wife to retire.

“ has been a great resource and essentially makes it possible the nomadic retirement my wife and I launched recently,” explains Ira Simmons, a Notable Member of the community.

Ira recently retired from the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco. The museum was founded in 1969 by Frank Oppenheimer as a museum of “art, science and human perception.” It is the first museum to focus on the creative process of discovery. There are no ‘Do Not Touch’ signs and has over 1000 interactive exhibits, displays and artwork. In his role in development, Ira was able to work with multiple departments  to advance the museum’s mission. “My organizational perch enabled me a have wonderful perspective on the Exploratorium’s creative culture. I haunted the brown bag lunchtime demonstrations that staff scientists and exhibit builders put on as well as talks from visiting scholars and specialists.”

Beautiful San Francisco

Beautiful San Francisco

Now retired, he and his wife split time between their home in San Francisco and Kentucky, where both have family farms. Spending time between the woods and fields of the Upper South and what Ira terms as “one of the most interesting cities in the United States,” the couple are evolving into the lifestyle and find it rich and interesting.

“One very important thing we’ve gained from — and something we didn’t anticipate — is the personal dimension of renting our house through the site,” said Ira.  “We first hosted a professor from New York, a photographer who had never been to California before. Last year we hosted a visiting law professor from New Mexico. We met him and his wife and one of their daughters, who lives in San Francisco.”

“We’ve shared in their pleasure in discovering the city, and we also feel our home has been graced by their presence. They want to take the house again next year, and we couldn’t be more pleased. So, for us anyway, it hasn’t just been just a business arrangement,” said Ira.

With a trip to Europe planned for fall, the couple is thinking of exploring the home exchange feature of

“The overall quality of potential connections is high, to judge from the queries we’ve received through Teachers, artists, scholars — who better to share your home? They’re informed; they’re curious; and they’re appreciative,” Ira explains.

Sara Priztkat frequently corresponds with members via our communications team. Her goal is to help you optimally use our site to find, or offer, the perfect home exchange or rental. She also enjoys writing about our members, their adventures and accomplishments. Do you have a Sabbatical Homes story you’d like to share? We want to hear from you! Connect with us on FacebookTwitter, or Google +.