We’ve been on the road for just over 2 months and 3,870 miles. If it takes 21 days to form a habit… then we’re deep into the road trip habit.
For the month of October we’ve been stationed in Asheville, NC. Asheville is a small mountain town in Western North Carolina.
We first visited Asheville a few years ago (when we had just 2 kids) after I saw it listed as one of the “top mountain towns to live in”. At the time I was hot to get out of New England (sorry y’all) and we had visited Colorado and North Carolina to look at our options.
The last time we visited we were here for a total of 4 or 5 days I think.
Knowing what I know now the idea that we’d be able to fully evaluate a place in just 4 or 5 days is just plain silly. We’ve been here nearly a month and we still have a million questions.
Asheville has a lot of what we’re looking for.
I love the mountains. I’m a big mountain biker. Its been my main thing going on 25 years. The Asheville area is renowned for superior trails.
The weather, despite what the southerners we’ve met think, is mild. Each morning starts off a bit cool and by the afternoon the weather is gorgeous. Everyone we’ve spoken with who lives here seems to say the same thing – “its not too cold in the winter, not too hot in the summer”.
The food is fantastic. We’re amazed at the volume and quality of the restaurants… we could be accused of being foodies. There’s also definitely a “food consciousness” if you know what I mean… local, organic, etc. These things are important to us.
Downtown is basically franchise free. Its fairly unique in this way. The result is that there’s a real thriving independent business community. There’s a big “local” focus and we love that.
Its easy to get around. We can get about anywhere in 5 or 10 minutes any time of the day. We’ve parked downtown within just a few minutes for just a few dollars even during the busiest times. Its a treat and a big change from what we’re used to.
There are a million things to do… all the time.
Its a bit touristy. I get that. Oh well, they come here and spend money.
If you ask our kids what their favorite place is so far they’ll tell you Charlottesville. I can’t blame them. I left there thinking “what else would we be looking for”?
What Asheville doesn’t have is a core of close friends an family. MA/NH has this. Austin has this.
It doesn’t have a thriving tech startup scene. I feel like if I was around one “the sky’s the limit” business wise.
Priorities I guess… Well, we’ve got a lot of miles ahead of us to process it all.
Reflections On Full Time Glamping After 2 Months on the Road
When its warm out the outside is your living area.
The fact that we’re in 230ish square feet isn’t that a big deal in warmer weather. We put the kids down for bed and head outside for a fire, a bottle of wine, some local cheese, pistachios for sure and whatever else we found on our adventures and we discuss the day the kids and what we’ll do the next day.
When its warm I’ll wake up and head outside with the dog and let him take care of business while I setup the coffee, bacon, etc on the outside burners, get everything going and then out come Becky and the kids.
It doesn’t work this way when its cold out and its definitely a bit chilly in the mountains first thing in the morning and at night.
Being shut in adds stress. In the morning it means we’re on top of each other trying to get ready. When you’re with all 3 kids all day every day you need some time to decompress at night. Its harder to do that when you’re shut in.
Disciplining children is more difficult. Where do you send them when they’re behavior is horrendous? What do you take away?
This is a whole other topic and we’ve come up with some solutions that we’ll write about in the future. Some have worked but we’re far from perfecting this.
The close quarters kiddie management is more than a post. Its a book. I don’t think we’re qualified to write it yet.
You can’t really know what you need until you’re actually doing it.
There are a number of things that we brought that we simply don’t need. We’ve let go of some of these things, in fact we made a pretty large salvation army donation all the way back in Pennsylvania.
The other challenge is with the things that we didn’t bring.
Its difficult because we only have so much space so we need to be careful about what we buy. Some of the things we’d like to have we know we stored or sold or gave away. So that’s a drag.
The challenge is that we don’t know what we’re going to need next as we head south (and west)… and so what we end up doing is simply going without.
I think we’re permanently changed.
Regardless of where we decide to set up a more permanent camp I can’t see not traveling regularly and I’m certain that we’ll be spending more time in Asheville.
Now that we’re light and mobile we want to stay that way. And, yes, I can speak for the both of us on this. The fact is that now that we have the equipment and we don’t have all that stuff… as long as I continue with the business like it is there’s no reason not to.
Time will tell.. my hope is that after we establish the next beachhead we feel the same way.