You might be wondering how we came to start this adventure and end up in the mountains of South Carolina. It all started about 2001 when we subscribed to a magazine called “Best Places to Retire”. The information they provided helped us narrow our search to the mountains of North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. See our list at the end of this page to see what we were looking for.
In 2004 we used a week of our time share at the end of October and stayed on a beautiful golf course in Pikens SC. We spent the week driving around to dozens and dozens of towns and that is when we first saw Hendersonville. While we loved our time share, Pikens was not our dream destination but it was a good central area for us to work from.
It is quite an interesting process to drive into towns and see what first impression they make on you. Is it a growing town or just barely surviving? What kinds of stores does it have and not have? What is the financial health of the town? What does the town value or not value? How does the town “feel”?
We read about Crossville TN and in October 2005 we scheduled time share and so we were off for a week on this beautiful plateau in the mountains. The first 5 days Crosseville seemed to have everything we wanted but then we started to discover the things that would not meet our needs. That’s another long story but here is one short little tidbit. Crosseville is in Cumberland County which is one of the largest counties in TN. It is a dry county and the nearest liquor store was 40 miles away. I had noticed even in 2003 there were not many liquor stores, unlike MN where there seems to be one in every little strip mall, but I don’t think MN has dry counties. We had allowed and extra day on our way home to look at Knoxville TN, where the airport was and liked what we saw in Knoxville so decided to revisit.
March 2006 we scheduled two weeks of time share to look much more closely at Knoxville TN and Hendersonville/Asheville NC. Unfortunately the time shares were each about an hours drive from our actual destination so we had a lot of travel time that wasn’t very productive. By the way the time share at Lake Lure is gorgeous.
We really wanted to love Knoxville TN because of the low cost of living but it was just not what we wanted. It is only 80 miles from Knoxville to Hendrsonville and still the same mountain ranges but different. We liked Hendersonville area as much as we thought we would but were having a hard time finding communities that were what we wanted until our last day there and we found at least half a dozen different areas that looked like it had the homes and lots we were looking for. Of course, by then we were out of time but knew we would have to return for a really close look and that brings us to October 2006.
The next year we rented a house in Flat Rock, NC which is just across the SC boarder from where we eventually settled. It was a lovely house out in the woods. We decided Flat Rock and Hendersonville was going to have too much winter for us although still much less than MN. We revisited Greenville and found Travelers Rest. I spent the next months really researching the area.
In Feb. and March we rented a place in Orlando FL for 6 weeks and played tourist. We still had another week of time share to use so on our trip back from FL we stayed again for a week in that first Pickens time share. This was the last week of March 2008. We met with a realtor I had found just by chance when we were in Flat Rock and she lives in Travelers Rest and although we didn’t plan this we found our development and lot and bought it. We stayed an additional week in a hotel and planned the whole house we were going to build. We returned to MN and put our house on the market. That’s another whole story.
We spent about 8 weeks over the four years traveling to Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina. On September 26, 2008 we moved into our new home in Travelers Rest SC.
Why Travelers Rest?
Click on the little photos to see larger photos
One look at the beautiful mountains, tree lined roads and waterfalls near Travelers Rest, SC should be all it takes to make you love the this part of the South Carolina about 15 miles from North Carolina border. We have the look and feel of a rural area but only minutes to everything we could possible want to purchase or do. We are about 10 miles north of Greenville SC. Each one provides some interesting narrowing of our “best place to live” list. Click here to see where Travelers Rest is.
Our criteria for a new place to move to is:
- Much less Minnesota winter but four seasons with a warm summer and mild winter. That means winter in Jan. and Feb. with a low of around 40 degrees and summers much like Minnesota but a little warmer. We will get a couple inches of snow that melt in a day.
- Smaller towns and cities. Travelers Rest is about 4500 people and Greenville is about 60,000.
- Much less traffic
- Lower cost of living then Minnesota
- Minimal risk for hurricanes, floods, tornados or earthquakes
- Lots of fun stuff to do (art, theater, festivals, history, outdoor activities)
- High speed internet access, dish tv
- Near major universities and colleges with affordable adult education classes
- Close to several airports.
- Beautiful scenery and wild life
- Excellent medical care, including alternative health care
- Health club or Y with a pool so Bob can swim and Fay can do water aerobics.
- Nice people
- A vibrant downtown in Greenville
- Close to other places to visit like Florida, Atlanta, all up and down the east coast
- Living in or near the mountains but 4 hours from the ocean – Wow
- 150 waterfalls near where we want to live
Fay left her full time job for 25 years at the U of MN in June 2003 and works from home doing affordable web sites for small companies and individuals usucceed.com. In 2004 she wrote a book with her mother in law Helen Bowers – My Light at the End of the Tunnel. The journey from abandoned child to abused wife to a loved woman. Read about it at http://usucceed.com/helen
Bob worked as a network engineer for IBM on the ING (also previously known as North Western National Life and Reliastar) account. In Feb. 2008 there were several out sourcings of the network department by both IBM and ING so Bob left the full time work world and is now worked part time for ING, where he has been working in a variety of arrangements for 15 years. The world of mergers and acquisitions! His consulting ended in June 2009 and now he is really enjoying “Life Part Two”.
This little sub climate between the Blue Ridge and Smokey Mountains seems to have everything we want.
South Carolina motto is Smiling Faces, Beautiful Places
Travelers Rest – the heart of the foothills