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  • Writer's pictureDillan Taylor

The journey down south (pt. 5)

I was either chewing a granola bar or was terrified to cross the rickety bridge.

(First, check out parts 1 through 4.)

Day 3

After a magical night of mushrooms, chess, and beer, the four of us got up for some Sunday hiking. The original plan was to wake up around 6am to get to this gorgeous waterfall two hours away.

That was hilarious.

So instead, we woke up at 9 and went to one of their go-to parks about 40 minutes from Asheville. We brought our hiking gear and a cooler with a few beers. We also stopped at a cafe for some road sandwiches.

The green mountains around Asheville have some of the best hiking I’ve ever experienced. It was with these same friends that I ate shit while hiking next to a waterfall a few years prior. They saw me slip and fall a good 10 feet down the steep hill. About five feet in, I thought, This is how I die.

This hike was much chiller (flatter). We parked, found a trail, and let Nanny off the leash. They were taking me to the creek. Or to my death…I’d find out soon.

After I snapped this Nanny said, “delete it.”

We found the water and stepped in up to our knees. It was freezing. I resisted the urge to cannonball into the deeper end. The rocks were slimy and slippery and I didn’t want to sprain my ankle in the Appalachian wasteland.

Similar to the night before, I felt like a kid again.

We skipped rocks, played fetch with Nanny, and basked in the sun. I felt envious of my friends that they had such frequent access to stunning nature. That’s my biggest qualm with moving to New York City.

I love green. And while I’m wildly extroverted, I crave quiet and isolated places…So I thought I’d move to one of the most populated cities on the planet.

Anyway, we finished a lovely hike and made it back to the car. The passengers cracked some beer and we headed back to the apartment.

I had been in communication with one of my coaching friends who was getting into Asheville that night. We met in our online coaching community and bonded over the topics of entrepreneurship, money-making, and dating.

She got into town and we met up for dinner. It was our first time meeting in real life.

I’ve done that now a handful of times. So be the times. Here’s the process:

  1. Build a strong relationship with someone over Zoom/over the phone.

  2. Make a plan to meet them in real life.

  3. Travel to execute that plan.

  4. Experience the surreal feeling of seeing what they look like in real life—how tall they are, what the side of their head looks like, how they walk.

  5. Feel two conflicting emotions at the same time: 1) It’s my good friend! 2) I have to get to know this person.

All that happened as we ate at this delicious Hawaiian restaurant. Half of me was chilling with my buddy and the other half was on a job interview.

Regardless, we had a fun evening. She met my friends and got recommendations for how to spend her remaining few days in the city. She was going with the flow and I shared that sentiment.

But I did need to get my car back at some point.

Day 4

On Monday morning, I called the repair shop to make sure I could pick up my 2009 Nissan Tesla (one of the lesser-known models).

They told me they were down a mechanic and would have to get to it tomorrow.

My thought was: All good. I have plenty of time. The retreat isn’t until Thursday.

While the adults were off at work, I used their cabinet desk to get some writing done and to respond to emails.

I texted my friend and updated him. When he got home, we started watching Lil Dicky’s show, Dave. He loved it.

Day 5

On Tuesday morning, I called the shop to confirm. They told me they needed to order a part and that I’d have to wait until tomorrow.

My thought was: What the God damn fuck, I need my car.

I was starting to get nervous. It felt like my car was being held hostage.

When they got home that day, we watched a few more episodes of Dave and then went out to a brewery for dinner.

Day 6

On Wednesday morning, I called the shop to confirm. My heart was racing.

I went for the assumed close: “Hey. So you guys are repairing my car today and I just wanted to make sure I could pick it up after working hours.”

He asked for my name and the make/model of my car. When I gave it to him, he put me on hold to check and see if they’d be able to fix it that day.

My thought: This.

After five minutes, he came back and said we were good to go for today. I could pick it up whenever I wanted and could pay for the repair over the phone. The dark clouds vanished.

“Thank you,” I said. I shared the good news with my friends and we left as soon as they were done working.

You never really appreciate something until you experience life without it.

Florida, here I come.


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