a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

Home Sweet Hostel

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

I’m back from the mountain trip where I participated in a Native American Sweat ceremony – literally and spiritually sweating it out for most of a day. I’m still recovering and processing my experience both inside myself and with some really amazing people, so more on that later.

So, for now, I’ll tell you about the hostel where we stayed – Bon Paul and Sharky’s, in downtown West Asheville. We arrived Friday night with the dogs in tow and were welcomed offhandedly, but wholeheartedly by Justin and another staff member.This old house is sweet with character, a little history, and a revolutionary charm. There were some other guests hanging about – the whole vibe was a kind of laid back “be here now” and I immediately felt at home. There was a fireplace in the living room along with shelves of books and stacks of videos to share. Somehow, being in the cave-like basement bedroom felt just right, muffled from the street sounds outside, but still able to hear the friendly guitar-playing upstairs.

There were two very clean bathrooms, an outdoor shower and, surprisingly, a hot tub on the back deck. The signs about recycling, cleaning up and saving energy seemed enough to keep things in order and each time I came upon someone cooking or brewing tea or coffee, I was offered a share. We helped some guests from Germany navigate a map for hiking over breakfast and shared some stories with others into the evening. The dogs – allowed full run of the house – quickly settled in to their own version of doggie-heaven.

I found myself imagining traveling in a world this welcoming and full of trust and gratitude, home and hearth open (and affordable!) to all who wander. Thank you Bon Paul and Sharky’s, for reminding me of how it was meant to be. I’ll be back soon.


One Response to “Home Sweet Hostel”

  1. Greg Says:

    Right on! I use to live right down the road from the West Asheville hostel. When I moved to Glenwood Springs, CO, I stayed in the local hostel while I looked for a place to rent. Hostels Rock!

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