Time to Hit the Road: It Looks Like Asheville, NC

Finally, I found a job that allowed me to travel.  It took longer than we thought.  Since the date we wanted to leave was so close, so many spots were fully booked.  Unexpectedly, the best deal seemed to be Asheville, NC which was the complete opposite direction of our original journey map.  Initially, we thought we would start in the North in Montana, but with the recent news at Yellowstone, we decided to wait for hopefully better circumstances to go.  

On one hand, we were just in NC for May & part of June, so the thought of driving 11 hours back down was daunting.  On the other hand, it felt like a sign because we were only in Asheville for a few short days and felt there was more to explore.  With a deal we could not refuse, we decided to go for it.  We survived the trip once before, we could do it again.

We were pleasantly surprised when our directions took us down a completely different route than we had taken before.  It made the trip feel new and exciting instead of a repeat of the same sights.  In May, we drove straight down 95.  I have nothing against 95, but I have driven it quite a bit.  

For this adventure, we drove through Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and finally entered North Carolina.  It was strange because we were in both Maryland & West Virginia for approximately 15 minutes.  I had to use the opportunity to blast “Take Me Home, Country Roads”.  For those of you who are unfamiliar, the lyrics are below.  Yes, it was my first time in West Virginia.

“Country roads, take me home — to the place I belong

West Virginia, Mountain mama — take me home, country roads”

Night 1 In Our New Home

When we arrived at the Airbnb, we were not sure what to expect.  One part about Airbnb that is confusing is the layout of the rooms.  There were doors and entryways in the photos, but it was hard to know where everything was in relation to each other.  We learned that we had a neighbor.  The initial smell was of cleaning supplies, but my candle fixed that in 10 minutes.  I try to unpack everything upon arrival, or as much as I can, so I can wake up to a cleaner environment.

On Night 1, Sam & I agreed that it felt like we were freshmen in college again: a mixture of nervousness & excitement.  Most people who know me wouldn’t assume that I get homesick because I am constantly traveling and adventuring.  Well, they’d be wrong.  I just push through it because life is about experiences that make you a little uncomfortable.  So far, it has been worth it.  When we woke up, in our new home, we were at ease and the fun part began.

Well, that is a slight exaggeration because I had work, but the atmosphere had a giddy vibe of “omg are we really doing this?”.  It was electric.  We immediately started looking to book our next months because my mom reminded us that Thanksgiving is a popular time to travel.  Thanks Mom! You’ll have to keep following along to see where we will be.

Lessons Learned

In each Airbnb, I will pick 1 thing to share that we should have thought of and choose better for future months.  For our Asheville stay, we did not think through how many chairs had backs.  Now, this seems odd I know, but it is highly uncomfortable to work on a backless stool, bed or couch all day.  Looking on the bright side, we think this will motivate us to work from cool coffee shops and parks which will enhance our travels anyways. 

Growing up near New York City, I have found in my travels that not much has shocked me or caused me to be overwhelmed.  I cannot say that anymore.  You want to know what caused it? Harris Teeter.  A grocery store.  It is massive.  The selection and options are nuts.  I am usually a very decisive person and I took one step into this store and could not remember what I liked, what I came for, and what a good deal was.  You could blame it on the heat, except that it happened the second time I went in as well.  

Sam & I have agreed that going there will be a treat because there is no stopping us from adding everything to our cart.  This past week, we went in for toilet paper, zip lock bags, and to pick out my birthday cake.  We left with Tiramisu, salsa, creamer, milk, and no birthday cake.  I’ll talk about birthday celebrations in detail in the following post. 


Lean into the moments where you feel outside of your comfort zone. Feeling a little uncomfortable is a sign of growth and if you give it a chance, you’ll start to feel comfortable in more spaces.

Elaina Pearl
Elaina Pearl
I started Elaina Pearls as an outlet to share my voice. The topics I write about cover fashion, lifestyle, & travel. On every post, you will find a challenge to spark self-growth. I believe that each day there is a lesson to be learned and something to be grateful for.