Goodbye New York, Hello Tennessee!
It only took us from October 2021 until April 2022 to move onto our land. 6 months and it all started with one trip, our first trip ever to Tennessee, in October. So let's start at the beginning and I'll explain what happened during the first four days we were in Tennessee, what we experienced and the big events that occurred.
October of 2021, we took our first trip to Tennessee. Neither Richard nor I have ever been there. We went on a mission to grasp the vibe of the state, meet the people, see the nature and also check out available plots. It was a huge undertaking to put all in one trip and let me tell you, this trip was also only four days long!
A big question that a lot of people ask us is, why Tennessee. Living in NY all of our lives and having no family in the state of Tennessee or directly surrounding areas, it does come off as a random place for us to chose to move. The Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains have always called to me and I have wanted to visit them since I was very young. I have been Upstate, NY all of my life and also Florida visiting family, but never have I stayed in any other state.
In 2014, three years after being with Richard, we planned a trip to North Carolina to finally see the Blue Ridge mountains. We stayed in a tree home, in hot springs, 40 minutes from Asheville. Out of a week long trip, we spent a good portion of the days driving down to Asheville to see the city, to drive through the mountains and to go to the Biltmore Mansion.
One morning before heading to Asheville for lunch, we went zip lining near Hot Springs. It was beautiful and really fun. The morning started off cloudy so we were able to zip line through fog, which really added to the suspense of dangling over hundreds of feet. Then when the sun was over head the clouds disappeared and we were able to see the most gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains.
After we finished, we headed to town and got lunch at this adorable place, called Tupelo Honey Cafe. It was divine! Everything tasted delicious, the waitresses were delightful and the atmosphere was perfect. It was here that we decided to go get married. We spent the rest of the evening figuring out paperwork, going place to place and finally, around dinner time, we were married! Our plan was to tell our family and friends when we got back home and then get tattoos on our fingers, instead of rings.
Ever since that trip, we have wanted to move down south, to the place we got married. Where we had big blue skies, trees everywhere and purple mountains in the background. 8 years later, we are finally here but you may wonder, why the change from North Carolina to Tennessee? Well we tried to go to North Carolina. The thing with moving south and owning our land and having freedom, you want the freedom. For some reason many of the open plots of land available in North Carolina, came with restrictions. No chickens, no motor homes, requirements on how many square feet the home should be, etc.
Still in NY at this point, we were looking online for plots in North Carolina and everyone of them was either out of our budget or seriously restricted. Our friend Lyn, who ended up partnering with us in this adventure of moving south, told us about her trip to Tennessee in the past and how she loved it there. It was right on the other side of the mountains we loved, the people she said were extremely welcoming and the entire state was beautiful. This is when we decided to plan our trip, which we took in October, to get a look at this state ourselves. Lyn ended up being able to come with us too!
Parrottsville ended up being the town where we got our air bnb in for our trip. We randomly choose it for the goregous views from the pictures off of the back porch, how close it was to the mountains and it was decently close to the other towns where we had already choosen to visit for potential lands. We arrived around midnight Saturday morning, Lyn was already here waiting for us to arrive. Later that day, after getting a few hours of sleep, we ventured out to see the first group of land plots, which we selected out of the bunch we had originally planned to see. Planning it out based on which direction we wanted to drive and how far each plot was from each other.
After seeing two sets of plots, we realized that all of the land we had chosen to view was in the mountains. That is what we originally thought we wanted, but when you are so in the mountains, you can not really appreciate the whole view of them. You end up deep in the woods of a slated slope that is pure rock. Meaning limited views, not a good foundation to build on and also not good for gardening. The three things that we most want/need. So we regrouped, went back to our air bnb and starting thinking about what we should do for the next three days we had in our trip.
Going out on the porch to get some air, we took in the view. Surrounding us was rolling acres that expanded as far as we could see. In the far background spreading out all around us was the beautiful purple Smoky Mountains. The air bnb had free range chickens that ran around and also had a garden. It was everything we were looking for. That was the moment all three of us knew, this is where we were suppose to be looking. We had no idea what plots of land would be available in Parrottsville but we just started following for sale signs.
There was one realty group that we saw their signs everywhere and we ended up calling them to see if they could give us any guidance. They sent us up to a plot of land that was 5 acres. It was a long, skinny plot where 1 acre was the side of a rolling hill and the 4 additional acres were wooded. This lot confused us. We loved the area, there was mountains across the street but the thin layout of the property restricted our ability for building. What also restricted our building abilities was the fact that most of the land was wooded and that the portion of the rolling hill that would be ours was the side, downward, sloping part of the hill and not the main section.
Back at the air bnb we started going online and researching everything available in the parrottsville area. I kept seeing a plot of land available near the 5 areas that we all thought was the 5 acres but it said 7 acres. It was weird because it was only shown on the search sometimes and didn't always come up. I somehow realized it was a property that was directly next to the 5 acres and was being sold by owner. We contacted the owner by cell phone and went back to see the next parcel over. This piece had 2 acres of rolling hills and 5 of wooded. It was not long and skinny, it was more of a triangle with the widest part in the rolling hills section. We immediately fell in love, called the owners and told them we wanted it.
That trip was in the last weekend of October. It took us from then until January 7th to officially be the owners of that piece of land. The end of January we took a trip back to drive down my mother's tiny home bus and to stand on the land again now that we owned it. Again that trip was also only 4 days long and we got back February 1st. Check out our YouTube of driving down my mom's tiny home bus here:
From February it took us to April 6th to officially move down and start living on our land! It was such a wild ride, tons of ups and downs along the way. There was many moments when we didn't think we were going to be able to get the land. But here we are now living full time and we also bought the small 5 acre plot next to us. All together, we are proud owners of 12 acres, started the build of our cabin, started growing our garden and full time live in Tennessee. The journey has just really begun but already is quite magical and we have never been happier with our lives.