"Travel far enough that you meet yourself," - David Mitchell.
For those that have followed me lately you have probably picked up on two things. One, is that my logic on planning is totally illogical. Most of my adventures lately have been "planned" the night before, a few hours before a flight take off, or literally the morning of. Two, I don't travel with people 90% of the time. Originally my travel was an escape. It was a way for me to be alone, & try to work through a lot of inner struggles needing attention. It started at a time when I was questioning a lot in my life. From living in Tennessee, to my job, friends/relationships, & not understanding what was next.
The beauty in all this travel though is that it stopped being an escape, and has become something soothing for me. If you haven't spent time in nature, go outside one morning at sunrise and tell me it doesn't hit different. I once feared the outdoors, and yet now the mountains/woods are all I think about. This is where the comedy in this adventure comes. Like true Taryn fashion I booked this trip to Asheville the night before due to Asheville Glamping sending me an email for a single night cancellation. Full disclosure I'd been to their campsite before about a year ago...but I didn't stay. See a year ago I was scared. Being alone, the outdoors, the uncomfortable parts of not having the things familiar to me it was too much...or at least that's what I told myself. So I packed my car back up and drove straight back to Nashville after being there for one hour. Looking back I laugh now as I tell the story, but $500 down the drain really gets you thinking.
Flash forward to this last weekend, and perhaps I felt like I owed it to myself on knowing my strength. Or I also just know how beautiful Asheville really is, and off I went. Let me say if you are not a camper by any means THIS is the place for you. From Nashville it is a quick 4.5 ish hour drive with views you can't imagine. & if you only have a single night like I did here's a good way to take full advantage of it!
Here's exactly what I did prior to check in to get the most out of my visit to Asheville. I left around 7am because I knew I'd need a pit stop or two, plus there is a time change that I wanted to take into consideration. Now if you follow my page (@taryn_annette) you know that my trips are 99% of the time for hiking, and this was no different. With a quick glance at the AllTrails App, I set the destination for the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is about an hour away from the glamping spot, and I knew there would be plenty to see! I did the Black Balsam Knob via Art Loeb Trail & WOW. The drive in down the ridgeway is stunning, with plenty of overlook spots you can easily kill an hour or more just doing that alone. When I got to the trailhead I did park a little back as it was busy in the afternoon, but after throwing on my hiking boots/grabbing my water the adventure began. I hiked a good 4-5 miles, made my way through more bumble bees than I'd ever encountered, and pretty sure there was a bear in the bushes somewhere due to the poop and noises heard. (I didn't opt to find out LOL and just kept going). There are a few spots you can sit and just look at the mountains, fields of some flowers, and easily makes you feel like you're on top of the world. After making my way to the peak, I started my trek back to my car and then headed to get some food! It was Sunday, and therefore Chick-Fil-A wasn't an option but a good sandwich from a spot nearby did the trick. By the time that was all said and done it was already 4pm which made getting to camp perfect timing.
The first time I went Dome 1 was my booking, this time I had the pleasure of staying in Dome 4. As you can see from these pics it did not disappoint on the glamping vs. camping approach. My dome not only had a scenic view but a cozy home feel with the beautiful decor. This dome in particular featured a mini fridge, microwave, seating area, toilet inside, AC/Heat, and outside two little cook out pit areas + a hot tub. Your girl hates the water, but I know many of you love a good hot tub night. With check in being 4 pm, you are wanting to get there before sunset not only to catch the views but also make sure you're able to get set up before dark. Right outside the dome a little walk away is a community shower area too! I arrived at 5:30 pm, unpacked my things, headed to shower, and then I just sat...Taking in the view, the sound, the smell, the site. When I travel I envision that moment for me with my senses. I will also say there is something remarkable about hearing nature all around you, no radio, no TV, no honking of cars, just Mother Nature doing her thing.
After catching a sunset, I continued my quiet time inside the dome with a good book and a relaxing meditation before hitting the sack. I opted to get to sleep early as I had planned to see the sunrise and catch a hike back the next morning. With a lovely 6:30 am wake up I was off. However, there was so much fog in the morning that a hike didn't happen haha. Instead I ended up with starbucks and a smokey overlook before coming back to Nashville. What I will say though is this, do the things that make you uncomfortable. Do the things that "scare" you. You'd be surprised what new passions you find when you peel back layers of old beliefs and thoughts. I can wholeheartedly say that while many people didn't think I'd stay this time, and I even laughed as I re-booked this trip...it was 100% worth it. It showed me completely how much I'd grown in a year, how much I can trust the timing on things, and how beautiful life can be when your intuition vs. logic guides. & if you do go to Asheville definitely check out the glamping there, PS they're opening a new staycation Rome next year!