This one’s a bit of a throwback. For my birthday in February, we booked an overnight Airbnb trip to Boone, North Carolina. This was a special trip for us. Two years ago, for our first anniversary (where has the time gone!?) we went to the nearby town of Blowing Rock. Although we had a blast and enjoyed our stay, we always felt like Boone, a bit bigger of a town, would be a place we could call home in a region we adored.
Almost two years later, we finally made a visit to Boone. And as it turns out, it’s pretty awesome.
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We booked a room via Airbnb, instead of getting a hotel room. Although hotel rooms are convenient and have room service, they just aren’t quite as ‘homey’ and local-minded as we like. For us, traveling is more then just seeing new sights- it’s about getting to know the culture and heartbeat behind a city or region. It’s about diving deep and learning about local life. We typically avoid touristy places like the plague, and enjoy the city as if we lived there. Because of the personal aspects of Airbnb, it’s even easier to create connections and jump right into a destination.
Although we explored Boone’s downtown (and ate at a fancy donut place that was seriously yummy), we only pulled out the camera at the Greenway. These moments on the trail were precious. Taking a baby anywhere, no matter how family-friendly, can be challenging. There are restaurants where the food takes a bit to long, downtowns where the child wants to run wild instead of holding your hand – the list goes on. The scares and clamor is enough to make you want to crawl in a hole for just five minutes!
However, here it was serene. I still remember hearing the birds chirping in the middle of the day, and could smell that pre-rain scent as we guided ourselves through the trails. With the easy, gentle rolls from the terrain and without the danger of cars, we felt free to let Joy explore the trail at her own pace.
Our Airbnb was a basement converted into an apartment. Although it was studio-style, we we had everything we needed for our stay. Not only was it super cozy (the hosts had tea and chocolate and books set out for us!), but being in a local’s home allowed us to get the scoop on what was worth seeing and what wasn’t. Being able to sit and chat with our hosts (who were incredibly kind) made Boone, even for a few days, feel a bit more like home and a little less like a vacation.
Traveling with a little one is no joke. Kid’s have their own schedules and agendas, and for the 24 hours we were in Boone, Joy fought her nap times and was especially independent minded. It was possibly one of the most stressful trips we’ve taken with Joy! Although some moments had me questioning why we even try to travel with Joy, there were others that reminded me to just be still – the hard moments don’t last forever. These photos of Jeff wearing a sleepy Joy in our Tula warms my heart and reminds me why we take off and explore, even when it’s hard. Creating new memories in new places with my favorite people is absolutely worth the roadbumps.
I don’t know why you travel. Is it to escape the mundane & daily tasks of the everyday? Is it to relax and unwind? Is it to discover new places and dream new dreams?
Whatever motivates you to leave your hometown and see the world, I hope you do it more often.
If you’ve always wondered but been a little hesitant about Airbnb, or just want to step out into a different way of travel, here’s a treat for you! If you sign up through this link, you get a little bit of money for your first Airbnb stay (and help support some of our travels, too!). Keep in touch and let us know how your first experience with Airbnb was.
I’m especially excited to hear from you! Are you a traveler, or a homebody?
What aspects about a destination make you look forward to arriving?