Asheville, NC

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by Yenimar Ventura MD
Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellow

Q) Dr Ventura, you’re currently a Pediatric ER Fellow in Jacksonville, Florida. Do you have any time to really get away and travel?

Yes. I do have some time. The Peds ER fellowship schedule allows for some consecutive days off. So, short trips for a few days are doable. But, If i’m being honest. The fellowship salary limits my options a bit.

Q) So with those very real limitations, what recommendations might you have for traveling with a tight budget?

Traveling with a small group of friends can help defer costs. Also, lodging with family helps too. I also try to think outside the box a bit. For example, on a recent trip to Asheville, North Carolina I stayed at a community living facility that provided meals and accommodations.

Q) Tell us more about that. I’ve heard good things about Asheville.

The place is called Earth Heaven Ecovillage – it’s an environmentally conscious community that invites outside visitors to come and see how the permanent residents implement sustainable living and energy conservation.

Q) Wow, very interesting. Did they have air conditioning and hot showers?

The house that I stayed in was built with a “passive solar” architectural plan—meaning it was designed to stay cool in summer and warm in the winter. The whole time I was there, I didn’t need to turn on the A/C or a fan.

Q) What about hot showers?

The showers were outdoors and the water was very cold to be honest. It was shocking, but refreshing at the same time.

Q) Would you mind sharing how much you paid for your lodging and accommodations?

The cost for a 3 night stay and of all my meals was under 400 dollars.

Q) Was that your first time in Asheville?

It was actually my second visit. The first time I went to a work conference so I didn’t have a ton of time to explore, but I knew I wanted to come back.

Q) What made you want to come back?

All the lush vegetation and the amazing houses. I was drawn back to the eclectic people that live there and the artistic energy.

Q) So what did you discover about Asheville, on the second trip?

They have a lot of local farms. Cheese farms. Mushroom farm. I would recommend touring some of the quaint little local farms surrounding the city if you have time. I also went on a bike tour, through the mountains and downtown.

Q) would you go back again?

If I had more time I would love to go on some hikes which is one of the things Asheville is actually known for.

Well thank you for giving us some travel tips on a fellowship budget. Hopefully you can continue to get away before you graduate and become an attending.

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