A few months ago I went through one of my typical “I want to run away and join a commune” episodes.  Something inside me wanted to go to North Carolina- which is especially ironic because the towns I’ve previously visited in North Carolina left much to be desired. I mentioned this to a girlfriend who recommended we check out Hot Springs, NC - a tiny town about an hour outside of Asheville. I looked into it and it was exactly what I was needing. We booked a cabin and stared at the calendar.

A few days before we were supposed to leave I was on the phone with my childhood best friend. Labor day plans came up and on a whim she decided to hop in her car with her family and head to NC the next night.

Two unplanned last minute nights in a tent  with a baby, an almost 4 year old and a Pomeranian made me nervous to say the least. But it was absolutely amazing. The kids played so well. They slept so well. They weren’t scared to get dirty and they were fascinated by all of the critters. It was like my eyes were opened to a whole different side to these little people and it was so beautiful. Our non-stereotypical mountain dog was an excellent watch dog always alerting us when someone was approaching our camp site. Our lives are so full all the time that we forget how to just be. Unlike the kids - it took the first 24 hours for my husband and I to remember how to relax. No set agenda. No set activities. No cell reception within 20 minutes of camp. Swimming under waterfalls by day and cooking dinner over an open fire every night. Take. Me. Back. Now.

The last two days we set out to Asheville. Oh how I love this town. So funky and full of art and diversity. Even though it’s a city it felt like there was room to breathe, the people weren’t rushed and angry but so friendly. . . and who could complain about the backdrop of mountains?? There was a farmers market of sorts with free food (fresh produce and cooked meals) for the homeless and people in need. And even more inspiring is it wasn't run by a religious organization - it was just people taking care of people. And it was beautiful. We need more of it in our lives

There is something about this place that is pulling me back. I love it. It felt like home. After planning our trip I learned that my parents were living in Asheville when I was made. Maybe that is why I felt such a strong connection. I am not sure. All I know is I will be going back ASAP. And my faith in humanity is restored.

Megan Soto Photography is a natural light photographer in St. Augustine, Florida and surrounding areas; specializing in Maternity, Babies, Children and family portraits. For more information or to book a  session please email