There’s something about being surrounded by mountains that feels…safe. As if i’m being cradled by their awe-inspiring size. Everytime i’m in one of the elevated parts of town, i just start to smile.
I mean, c’mon. Here’s the view from a grocery store parking lot.
I’ve been utilizing couchsurfing,com again (fantastic website of travelers and hosts) for the first couple days in each town. That way i’m comfortably broken-in before starting the car-life. This time i stayed with my friend John, a great photographer who was actually my first ever couchsurfing host over 3 years ago. John works with local Asheville artists, is the official photographer for the band “The Outlaws” and most recently, The Rolling Stones approached him about using his photos from their 1981 Hampton, Virginia show. Check out John’s work and those Rolling Stones pics by clicking here: https://www.jgphoto.com/
Maybe it’s because i’m accustomed to the car-dwelling lifestyle but Asheville has felt better than any other town. A lot of the crowd here tends toward the bohemian side of things and because of that, my lifestyle fits right in. I only wish i had enough money to eat-out every meal here. Asheville’s local agriculture is top notch and the food quality absolutley reflects that. ¡And the COLORS! ¡Er mer gerd! ¡Thats right, world! ¡You’re allowed to paint your buildings bright beautiful colors!
I will never understand why the housing regulations in so many urban and sub-urban areas prohibit the use of colors that aren’t grey, brown, white, dark brown, or really dark brown. Whoever decided this should be shot. Ok, maybe i’m being brash but a good talking-to is in order. As with anything in the U.S, it probably happened like this: a certain color hurt someone’s feelings and/or costed a business entity money when some bright soul decided to paint their house. Since that day. Neutral colors only. For some places anyway. These are usually the places fighting a losing battle in the silent war of culture vs. convenience. Here however, the colors are free for everyone. ¡COLORS ALL AROUND! *i have no idea if all of asheville is like this, i just really enjoyed my little color rant. *
¡Blam! have some color.
Thank you John for the great shot. Check out his photography with the link i mentioned earlier.
I’ve hit the 2 month milestone for this trip *crowd erupts in cheers* And the 3 week kilometer stone for Athens, Georgia! *crowd looks befuzzled*
My time here is wrapping up and Asheville, North Carolina looks closer everyday. In honor of my 2 month anniversary with the road, i’ve made ya’ll a delicious little video that sums up how i’ve been doing this without going bonkers…..it’s actually quite easy…In fact, i’ve gone less bonkers on the road than I ever did paying rent.
Living out of a car has given me a new perspective on people and the box (or sphere) of society that so many lock themselves into. I read a lot of people’s body language througout the day, and a staggering amount are saying, “I hate my life”, “my job sucks” or my personal favorite, “i’m so rushed i don’t have time think”. Then, their face tries to express a different opinion. It’s usually one of fakeness, people pleasing and putting on a show as if their lives are exactly where they should be. But behind that $2.30 cup of coffee, cell phone and pair of eyes I see a different story. And it belongs in the tragedies section of our collected life’s works. If you’ve kept up with me, you’ll know I’m very outspoken about this and refuse to be that guy who wakes up at 40, next to a wife he actually dislikes and a job that’s sucking his soul. I’ll take living out of my car and following my dreams anyday. According to my research and the scientific work of art i posted above, I’m aiming for the “original thinkers” section of outer space and not the deep-space section of “complete mental cases”. I believe it’s important to return to society every once in a while though. Just so i don’t float tooooo faaarrrrrrr…………..
… its kinda cold out here…
….but so quiet.
……the hell was that?….
….was that a thought?….
………i feel like i learned something…….
ok, let’s go back.
So here I am. Week numero dos in Athens, Georgia and this town has been throwing opportunities right at my face. Like…right at mu’face. I’ve received significantly more donations here than the previous towns and I’ve only been here 2 weeks. Hell, some couple just gave me 2 bucks because they liked what I was playing in the park. The music scene here is pretty magical and the overall auspicious nature of it keeps compounding with each person i meet…i might stick around a bit longer if that’s the case. I’ve also sunk into my groove quite nicely here. The “groove” of each place i’ve traveled through is found when these locations, which i’m about to mention, have been solidified: - - places to park(sleep) - grocery stores - libraries - parks to practice in - AND how this all relates to my Planet Fitness exercise/shower schedule. Throw in a couple Waffle Houses to cover my late-night breakfast-vice and you got yo’self one hell of a groove.
Uh! can you feel it!? The groove, i mean. … unless that’s just the breakfast burrito in my smaller intestine talking, i’m sure feeling it. and it feels good.
Groove on you crazy monkeys.
After spending 2 weeks here, its about time to move on. This place just ain’t my scene. On the music front, this place was a dud. Plain and simple. Went to 4 open mics during my time and was the youngest player at all of them. 2 of them, the people at the venue were talking louder than the musicians playing, Anothet was outside and the sound of traffic/planes flying in drowned everything out. And the other was just…meh. Nothing to write home about. Nothing against the players in the area but there are definitely better scenes out there.
This has been a fantastic training ground for the car-dwelling life though! While I spent most of the previous post praising this lifestyle, this one will be counting it’s challenges. The key to a good day is having a good night. I’ll repeat that again. The key to a good day is having a good night. My quality of sleep is easily impacted by the temperature and noise of each location. As soon as it starts getting above 72 degrees, things get stuffy… and sweaty. Correct window cracking and crossbreeze is key. ….I should probably invest in a fan. The noise scenario can be easily mitigated with ear plugs. Out of all the places I’ve parked, Walmart has been the most solid. knocks on wood. If I can bounce around a few of those, mixed with some congested neighborhood parking in each place, I should be good.
The only real problem I’ve enountered was my interaction with a cop at 3am. I went against my intuition and parked in a neighborhood that was slightly too nice. I was also one of the only cars on the street… Apparently someone didn’t like this. I woke up to possibly the brightest flashlight I’ve ever seen along with the cop’s car aiming it’s brights at mine. It pretty much lit up the entire god-damn block. As I wriggled my way into the front seat and handed him my I.D, I realized something. I’m a guy living in Florida, with a Texas driver’s license, and Ohio plates. Now, this geographic trifecta of a though had occured a couple times already and usually made me quite happy, but now I couldn’t help but feel a bit vulnerable…... He was totally cool though, and actually recommended me a grocery lot to sleep at instead. This was definitely the worst night of sleep I’ve had so far.
All in all, this trip has been going well. I’m kinda staying on my budget of $70 a week, though last week was $100 because I had to get more car camping necessities (new bulk water container, a 2nd towel, black sheet for better window coverage at night…etc) I’ve already started looking at the types of vans I want to upgrade to, haha… though, that’s definitely jumping the gun. If this car-life has taught me anything yet, it’s to take 1 day at a time.
Peace out, monkeys.