One of the things I love about blogging is not only getting the chance to share my experiences but also hearing about other travellers’ adventures. The world is such a big and beautiful place and everyone’s journey around it is different. That’s why I have decided to introduce “Where Is…?” – a new weekly feature where I speak to fellow wanderers on where they are in the world (If you’re a travel blogger and want to get involved with the feature, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
This week I have been chatting to one of my favourite travel blogging couples – Amy and Nathan of the Two Drifters. Amy and Nathan met in Scotland in 2011 and have been adventuring together ever since. Two Drifters focuses on travel and love, and discusses couples travel, relationships, and much more. Amy is the main writer on Two Drifters, while Nathan captures the photos. Together, they hope to capture beautiful memories, and encourage and inspire others to travel farther and love better.
So Amy and Nathan, I have been following your blog for some time now and it seems like you’ve been on some great adventures together! Where in the world are you at the moment?
We are currently staying in Asheville, North Carolina for approximately a year and a half. We chose to pause our travels for a time in order to work hard and save some money, as well as to do something important: get married! We’ll be having our wedding in April 2016.
Asheville is a beautiful area and we are really glad we chose it for this year. Located in the mountains of western NC, Asheville is a great place for hiking, camping, and outdoor adventures. The scenery is gorgeous, with the iconic Blue Ridge Parkway passing right through the region, and the downtown area is artsy and hip with delicious restaurants, top shopping, and plenty of street performers to keep you entertained.
Sounds like a great place to take a “travel-break” – where are you living at the moment?
We live in a town just outside of Asheville, up a short, steep mountain. We’re renting an adorable house in a very woodsy spot. We have a forest surrounding us, a rushing river down below, and plenty of wildlife that come by to visit. It’s perfect.
What activities do you get up to when you’re not planning the big day?
We’ve done lots of hiking in Asheville. There are some fantastic spots and the fall foliage was absolutely breathtaking this year. A few months ago, we visited the Biltmore Estate, one of Asheville’s major tourist attractions. This is the largest privately owned home in the US, and was the home of the wealthy Vanderbilt family. The mansion is amazing and so are the surrounding gardens, fields, and vineyard. It’s well worth a stop.
And what is the weather like at this time of year?
North Carolina has such an ideal climate. It really gets 4 genuine seasons. Right now it is starting to grow colder, but it is still sunny and pleasant most days. November temps during the day have hovered around 50-70, which could not be better. November is the time for coats and hot chocolate, but there’s no real threat of snow.
Can you recommend any other fun activities for anyone who might like to visit Asheville?
Just outside of Asheville is the Blue Moon Wolf Dog Sanctuary. Visits are made by appointment only, but this organization is a great opportunity to spend time meeting some very special animals. There’s also a small zoo center in Asheville that is not too well known but provides a nice introduction into regional wildlife. You can even see black bears. All of the surrounding towns along the Blue Ridge Parkway are also definitely worth seeing. So many quaint small towns with plenty of character.
Any tips on where’s good to eat?
On a budget as we always are, we’ve discovered the best affordable restaurants in Asheville. We’d definitely suggest checking these out, as we hit them all up regularly.
What three must-have items would you recommend to anyone planning a trip to Asheville?
In Asheville in particular, I’d recommend a solid camera to grab photos of the amazing mountain views, a fuzzy blanket to keep you cozy on chilly winter nights, and a good book. North Carolina’s mountains really inspire some reading. There’s nothing we like better than cuddling up with coffees, books, blankets, and each other.
Great advice! Do you have any future travel plans in the pipeline?
After our wedding next spring, we’ll spend a couple more months in Asheville (and hopefully do a wee honeymoon). Then in July, our lease ends, and off we will go. Our tentative plan is to return first to Scotland, our favorite place, and visit friends we have there and explore more of the highlands. After that, we have a family wedding to attend in August in Italy, and then we plan to spend some months in Eastern Europe. Romania has been at the top of my list for a while, so that is one destination that is definitely on the cards for late 2016.
And finally, what has been your favourite destination so far?
Aside from Asheville and Scotland (which is an important place in our hearts), we loved visiting Australia last year. It was an incredible place with so much variety. It’s a vast country and we had an unforgettable time traversing it in our campervan. What a blast!