Archived Opinion

Finding daily adventure in a place I love

Finding daily adventure in a place I love

I call myself an adventurer.

While I do love to travel, adventuring isn’t just about experiencing new places and seeing new things. In my mind, a true adventurer works to find novelty and excitement in the seemingly mundane, in her everyday surroundings.

But, there’s also a downside. Those of us who enjoy new adventures often take on more than we can handle and juggle too many balls at once. I’ve written before about working from home. I’m a freelance writer, blogger and social media manager. Other than the writing part, the other jobs didn’t even exist when I was a high school freshman trying to decide what my lifelong profession would be. Those of us in my field are still figuring out the best ways to be productive and innovative.

Working from home can be tricky and requires a lot of self-discipline, organizing, vision planning, time chunking, list making, and so on. When folks come to me with a new intriguing opportunity, I’m like a child in a candy store. Instead of saying no because of my already-robust workload, I often say yes and add one more task or activity to my list which seems to grow by the minute.

But then again, if I say no just because I have too much going on, I worry I’ll miss out on the next best assignment.

The latest project is called “Talk of Haywood.” A friend of mine and local business owner came to me with an idea based on something she saw in another town. This other town started videoing local businesses and events with the goal of promoting the greatness of the place they live.

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My friend thought, “Why not do the same in Haywood County?”

From food to beer to music to local businesses to art to outdoor excursions to natural beauty, there are few places on earth as wonderful as this gem we call home.

My friend also approached two other people about her idea, so we’re a team of four. Shortly after she developed the team we found out Joey’s Pancake House was closing. With no equipment other than my iPhone, we went to Joey’s and filmed.

Brenda O’Keefe was extraordinarily gracious and spent time talking with us. We also talked to our server and a few patrons who were dining. During the hour we were there, a number of former employees, including Brenda’s very first dishwasher, stopped by our table so we interviewed them as well.

I edited the video with the iMovie app, posted it on YouTube and shared it on Facebook. To date, the Joey’s video has been viewed 596 times. People adore that place and the video offers a living, breathing relic where one can hear the clinking of the plates, feel the hustle-bustle of the restaurant, and listen to Brenda who has become something of a legend in these parts. A video offers something different than print media.

The video received so much traction community members began to ask questions about “Talk of Haywood,” so our next video was a segment where our team explained our hopes and goals for the show. Last week, we filmed at the new BearWaters Brewing location in downtown Canton. If you haven’t ventured over there yet, you’ve got to give it a try. The building is beautiful, the beer and food are delicious, and the scenic outdoor seating is right on the river.

Unlike my other clients, “Talk of Haywood” is more like a hobby, something we’re doing because we adore where we live and want the world to know about Haywood County. Further, we not only want it to be a helpful source of information for locals, we hope the videos are viewed by people all over the country or globe and they help bring new visitors to our town.

If you’re curious about “Talk of Haywood” and want to learn more, we’re on Facebook at and on YouTube as “Talk of Haywood.”

When people ask me what I do for a living, I often say I’m a storyteller because no matter what platform I’m using, whether it’s this newspaper, a blog, or a social media channel, it’s all about the story behind the person or the business. While facts and stats persuade people, stories inspire people.

So, no matter how crazy or busy I feel, I’m forever grateful to love my work and live in a place where adventurous potential exists in every day.

(Susanna Barbee is a writer who lives in Haywood County. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..)

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