I've been flying for about twelve years now. I began flying gliders in 1999 near Caddo Mills, Texas. Southwest Soaring was a small glider outfit with three rental gliders and two tow planes. They had a health business with a number of private gliders in the hangar, but ultimately shut down in 2007.
Gliders are great, but it is difficult to go from point A to point B, land and return back to home base without a lot of help and expense. Gliders are more of a sport unto themselves. How far can I go without landing out and how fast can I get there and back? This is the sport of gliders and encourage everyone to try it. It really is more art than science.
In 2006, I started working on my private pilot's license. It basically took me nine months to complete that training and I immediately rolled into my instrument training. A private pilot's license is great, but you can only fly under visual flight rules. I wanted to make sure that not matter what the weather was doing, within reason, I could get back home. This also made flying much more enjoyable for me because it took a great deal of worry away from the flying.
Now I enjoy co-ownership of a Diamond DA40 four airplane that I share with three other instrument rated pilots. We are coming up on a year of ownership and are having a great time. The plane is used every week and all get alone greatly. See the picture below.