Here is an interview with someone who moved from Southeast China to Asheville North Carolina:
My educational years in China led me into the hospitality management field. I had planned on working in my city, then moving to other cities in Southeast China and beyond. I grew up in a great home, and my family is extremely close. My parents did everything they could to grant me a life of opportunity. I ended up going to a great University in Xiamen China. Then the option arose for me to attend a University in Switzerland and expand my education and training even more. Soon after getting to Switzerland, I made friends with several other people from China, and many others from all ends of the world. Attending this school allowed me to learn English, and get an International mindset. An amazing experience!
Then I had the rare chance to go to the United States to work and gain more cultural exposure. I took it! Upon arriving in Asheville North Carolina, I worked at Marriott. I enjoyed going out in the area and experiencing Western North Carolina as a tourist, seeing the nature, the mountains, meeting people and enjoying life. Little did I know that I was scouting out the place where I would soon be living. A friend I worked with invited me to a community meeting, and I met a guy there that would become my husband, and the father of my child not long after. We have traveled to China several times and each time was an incredible experience. People always ask us about Asian food in Asheville, and I tell them that some of our favorite places are The Noodle Shop, Doc Chey’s Noodle House, and UMI Japanese in Hendersonville NC. When it comes to Thai, there are so many great places in the Asheville area to choose from, but we frequent Thai Orchid and Noi’s the most.
The photo above is a statue in a park that we toured in China. To me it represents women, and people in general, moving forward for more and better. This is the opportunity I received in my native country, and in many other places around the world after that. I love China, where I was born and raised; and I love my new home of Asheville NC.
Welcome to our “Moving To Asheville” series for the Asheville & WNC Real Estate section on the AskAsheville website. Have you moved here from another State or Country? Contact Us so we can interview you. You can tell your story anonymously, or tell everywhere who you are. Meet Alan Rosenthal, who moved from the Trenton New Jersey area, to Asheville North Carolina:
I’m from New Jersey, about 45 minutes from the shore and the mountains. Yes, that area where the sand meets the ocean is called a shore. Our mountains are the top of the same range as where Asheville is situated. So the terrain of Northwest New Jersey is much like here. Up north, I was a private investigator, process server and litigation support specialist as well as a business consultant.
I limited my relocation search to east of the Mississippi and south of New England, except for Colorado where I traveled and researched thoroughly. I almost pulled the trigger in Tallahassee and St. Pete Beach. I looked at Pittsburgh, couldn’t afford gorgeous Telluride and the Four Corners region. There are many beautiful areas in the country.
Asheville wasn’t the best place for me but it is a very nice area that was geographically midway in a market I was serving. I was traveling a lot so the loss of amenities was compensated for on my trips. Beautiful scenery. Easy to get everywhere. On the worst traffic day, it is nothing compared to New York City where I drove as adeptly as a taxi driver. Temperate climate though I do miss the scent of an impending heavy snowfall.
I looked at Asheville first since some friends mentioned it when they heard I was considering a move. I visited for a few days, checked out some living scenarios but wasn’t sure. Over the next 10 months, I traveled extensively. When I came back to Asheville to visit a client, I was told of a condo that was up for rent. By this time, I was tired of traveling so I rented the condo, finished my trip, packed a truck and became a damn yankee.
I organize the Asheville Welcomes Transplants Group and get calls and emails from folks considering moving from all over the U.S. so I try to be a cheerleader for all that is terrific about the area and there are many terrific attributes. But I do need to give them an honest assessment. Really, we owe them that. People are uprooting their lives and making substantial investments. We owe them realistic information with which they can make their life-changing decisions.
The oft-heard ‘bring your own job’, ‘bring your money because you won’t make any here’ and ‘bring your own girlfriend/boyfriend’ are all true. This is a nice place for financially stable people in relationships and people who simply want to enjoy nature and art. One has to be willing to downsize and minimize their standard of living, which is slightly less than anathema to me and many of my friends and colleagues. A lot of people I know have moved back or onto somewhere else. The bottom line is that you can’t just like the place. The Asheville area is a completely different standard of living, for better or worse. A move here requires great consideration.
I’ve met a lot of wonderful people. It is a beautiful area. Asheville is not a cohesive community. It is a collection of numerous little communities of people doing their own things. Inclusivity is not the hallmark. Still, you’re sure to find people to hang out with. If you are financially stable, you can enjoy your hobbies and your home. Most people have to wear more than one hat to get by. Asheville is a beautiful area definitely worth researching and will probably end up on your short list.
Welcome to our “Moving To Asheville” series for the Real Estate section of our website. We interview folks that have moved to the area, find out why, and what they are doing here. Maybe you moved here from somewhere and have a wild story to tell about the journey. Contact Us and we may interview you.
Here is what Marilyn Sholin has to say. She moved from Miami Florida to Asheville and Western North Carolina:
We moved from the Aventura area of Miami, Florida which is on the Dade/Broward line. My parents moved me from NJ to Florida when I was a junior in high school. I had been living in Florida for many many years but still had an “up north” mentality. After so many years, we had done just about everything to do in Florida from surfing and boating to playing tennis and much more. We thought about just going to North Florida but never really looked at it hard enough. Also considered Arizona for about 30 seconds and once we saw the heat there, we wrote that off. North Carolina became the place.
Every summer for many years when my son was little we took a cabin in Pigeon Forge and our friends did the same with their kids. Those were awesome summers. Then my son went to camp for a few years at the Cullowhee Experience at Western Carolina University. My neighbor in Miami has a family house right on Lake Lure. They were one of the original families there. So after camp, we would go to her house for a week on the lake. Then around 12 years ago, one of my Miami portrait clients built a home high up in Maggie Valley. She commissioned me to come up with her and her two teenage daughters and their friends to document their weekend in Asheville. We did two formal portrait sessions and the rest of the time I photographed her beautiful mountain home, details of it, and documented whatever we did and wherever we went for albums later. She took us everywhere in Asheville and Hendersonville. I was in heaven. This was my “dream” location is what I said when I got home. Never dreaming it could happen.
We were looking to move out of Miami after we got hit with multiple hurricanes. I had been through every hurricane in Miami since 1965 and I had finally had it. My parents had just passed, I was ready to close my portrait studio and continue to keep my best clients by flying back and to move on to the new art I was creating and teaching and writing about. We started scouring the real estate up here and made a few trips to teach here that allowed us to also house hunt. I spent time looking at houses on the internet every day. Had no idea what area to move to. But, my publisher, Lark Publishing, was based in Asheville and my editor was here so I called her and got more info and she helped me with a referral to a Realtor. We made another trip up to meet the Realtor and look at her finds plus the ones we found on the internet. To make a long story short, we had one house in particular that when we drove down the street to it, we loved the neighborhood. It is in Fletcher and seemed the perfect spot for us despite it needing some major work. We negotiated for three months and finally came to terms and signed the contract. We sold my property in Florida within six months of putting it on the market even in the terrible real estate market. From the time we decided to move here it was six months and we bought our house and sold our property in Miami in that time frame.
Asheville is divided into North, South, East and West. Each direction has a very specific feel to it and each neighborhood is very different. Be sure to look at all four before deciding where you want to live. We were literally just “lucky” because we did NOT do that homework but if we had, we still would have chosen Fletcher area to live. We moved here in December 2007 and Asheville south has grown so much even we are amazed at the new restaurants, shopping and other explosion of construction going on here. We feel that we are exactly where we want to be close to everything and far enough away from other places.
This town has everything we could want. The art scene is exploding again, the restaurants are very local and not full of chains, the fresh food, the lifestyle is perfect for anyone from young adults to retirees. Every service you could want is here with the best services also. The medical here is much better than Miami. Seriously, it is!