the TAO of CHANGE

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

Posts Tagged ‘hostels’

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

by Tao, Carrboro, NC

There are many reasons I don’t enjoy staying at hotels while traveling, so I’m happy to see Hostels are making a comeback in the U.S. (read my previous post). So, I’m thanking my friend, Jo Jo for introducing me to Hostel in the Forest – to my surprise, it’s been operating in Brunswick, GA for 32 years! Get a load of this:

Hostel in the Forest began with Tom Dennard and consists of geodesic domes and 9 tree houses on 130 acres of forest and wetlands. Everything has been built and maintained entirely by volunteers. Over the years, the center has evolved into a spiritual retreat and educational facility which promotes and teaches environmental sustainability, teaching a “hands-on approach to a sustainable lifestyle through activities such as alternative building and organic gardening while complementing the processes of nature.”

The “rooms” are really up in the trees! How cool is that? Down below, there are composting toilets and outdoor showers. They serve nightly vegetarian dinners and a kitchen is available for guests to prepare other meals. The lists of events and workshops include all yoga, Tai Chi, fermentation, cobb building, and one that especially intrigued me – a presentation on “Optimism and Fortitude”.

Learning, sharing, nature, peace and quiet. You can’t find that at The Holiday Inn. ahhh. Georgia on my mind……

Here’s a link to some great photos.

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 241 user reviews.

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

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.

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 181 user reviews.



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