the road to asheville

I am typing this in our home in Asheville, North Carolina.

This fact seems almost absurd to me, as it was just a bubble of an idea in our heads 6 months ago. Our dream is now tangible in our hands, and we don’t know yet where it will take us.

On a Thursday in late December we packed everything we could fit into our red Honda, including a spot for our dog, and started the 16 hour drive to North Carolina. The first couple hours we were focused – silent. Listening to our podcasts and navigating through Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey. The traffic going around the city was clogged, drastically slowing our quick pace less than 2 hours into the trip. At this point, Pebbles the dog also chose that he was over his special seat in the back, and squeezed his way onto my lap, where he would stay most of the trip.

For hours we zoned into the beat of the road, clicking ‘next’ to each podcast, as the day grew darker and colder. We crossed into Pennsylvania, and ate Wendy’s in a town called Bethlehem. We pressed on, this time relaxing enough to find our voices and talk, laugh. We weren’t going to be at the hotel at 7:30pm, and that’s okay. We’ll get there when we get there.

We crossed into Maryland, then West Virginia, and as we traveled deeper South, a knot grew in my stomach. These 6 states have appeal and beauty once off the interstate, but I was beginning to realize how far away we were from our chilly New England home. The roadside in these new states looked bare, not plush with pine trees. Bright billboards for lawyers and weight loss campaigns caught my eye, countless broken down cars left on the side of the road.

We had been following our intuition making this decision to move, this whole journey so far. But, during this part of the drive, a seed of doubt began to grow. I pushed the thought away and we continued south.

Finally, we entered the state of Virginia, where we would be staying for the night. My stress eased. It continued to dissipate as we drove across the North Carolina state line the following day, and saw the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance. It felt fresh here, as if with possibilities. A future home. Instantly, I knew we had made the right decision.

Even when we unpacked our precious few belongings into our empty apartment. Even when we ate our dinner on a flimsy coffee machine box the first night. Even sleeping every night on the deflating air mattress since then. I know we’re exactly where we are supposed to be. Together in Asheville.

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