Good morning from just outside Asheville, North Carolina where we are currently staying with my long-time friend, Ginny, a high school classmate of mine, and her husband, Bill at their wonderful home. Miranda has a great spot in their driveway and Ginny and Bill have graciously allowed us to stay in their "free" B&B for a few days. See Also: Peaceful Hollow, Asheville destination weddings and John and Jill Elopement
Because Melanie and I are approaching 6 months on the road, I figure now is as good a time as any to begin to commence to start a recap of the pros and cons of full-time traveling. I mentioned the idea to Melanie a few days ago and, initially off the top of our heads, we were having a difficult time coming up with the cons.
My first thought was doing laundry on the road. But I decided having to do laundry in a campground laundromat or finding one in any given town we may be passing through, seems like only a minor inconvenience, not really a truly negative experience. And we do laundry now about every other week, so really, not much of a negative. Then there's the people who populate laundromats and the sometimes interesting exchanges I have with them.
So, trying to discern the cons aside for the moment, I'll begin with, at least for me, what is maybe "the" most positive aspect of full-time travel, that being all the great people we get to meet and/or reconnect with along the way.
Maybe there's never been a better example of how just showing up and being willing to have an experience is about 95% of task at hand. The rest, pretty much pure grace. When the experts try to tell you it's not about all the cool stuff you can buy with your discretionary income and you might want to consider purchasing experiences, pay attention.
While our itinerary for travel changed radically when Melanie took the position as Executive Director of EPF, after traveling to mostly cities in support of EPF for nearly 6 months now, the richness of that experience far outweighs all the ideas I had about mostly camping in Miranda in remote wilderness spots and other exotic locations.
Of course, there's plenty of time in between for a fair amount of beautiful, and sometimes remote, spots along the way and, I'm sure, many more down the road.
But the point is I've found the connections with all kinds of interesting people, both associated with Melanie's work and the everyday connections with people we meet along the way, to be the dark chocolate filling in the truffle that makes traveling full-time more than worth the price of admission. Sorry, when in Asheville, The Chocolate Fetish. Jus' sayin'.
We are both grateful for folks along the way who've allowed us to stay in their driveways, their homes or even their B&B for a night or two. Because I enjoy preparing a good meal for friends, I'm grateful for the use of friends', both old and new, kitchens, for the great, often engaging and interesting conversations had after a meal sometimes over a libation, and sometimes staying up later than usual on a "school night."
I certainly should thank Leisure Travel Vans and Komo Creations (not a paid spokesperson) for the great eye-catching design of our Unity IB van and our bike storage chest respectively. Almost daily when we're actively traveling someone will approach us and ask about the van or storage chest which often leads to questions about our travel which, at least in one instance, led to staying overnight at a nice Vineyard in Texas, preparing dinner for their friends and family, and making new friends.
Human connection, one of the big pros of full-time travel.
Boone, Denver, Blue Ridge Parkway, Hendersonville, Asheville
Good afternoon from beautiful downtown Brevard, North Carolina where we are in the parking lot of a local park near the library. Melanie and I have been camped just out of town for a few days enjoying much appreciated cool the mountains have to offer us. Not rubbing it in too much, it was 58 degrees F. this morning when we awoke. 😎
After leaving Tate City, Georgia last week, we briefly traveled south to get our Onan generator serviced in Gainesville, Georgia before traveling to Long Creek, South Carolina to a Harvest Host location, Chattooga Belle Farm. We spent a quiet and cool night on Horseshoe Lake on the farm after enjoying a good lunch at their Bistro.
Using another of our services, Boondockers Welcome, we traveled to Sunset, South Carolina for the evening and spent the night on a nice family farm with a vineyard and great pond in which we were graciously allowed to swim. The highlight of our secluded campsite was in being able to use our outside shower for an actual shower instead of just washing off my feet with it.
Then it was on to Brevard where we spent our first night on the North Fork of the French Broad River. There have been few times in the past five months we've both agreed that one night might be too many nights, but this was one of them. The hostess was really nice and helpful, but the campground itself, not so much. So we moved on the next day to our present location on the Davidson River at a National Forest Campground, Davidson River Campground.
We're headed towards Winston-Salem, North Carolina tomorrow and then, sometime after that, on to Asheville, North Carolina.
Steven and Melanie