I have never been on vacation to a place that feels like home. But, recently that is what Gatlinburg felt like for me. For a few consecutive years, I have been going to the beautiful town on vacation and easily finding one more thing that I love about that place every time.

This past summer was so very different than all of the other times. I somehow stumbled upon this wonderful event that changed my life. The event is named, Smokey Mountain Song Writers Festival. It was like living in a fairy tale. Coincidentally, incredibly talented songwriters and musicians were staying in the same hotel as I was. I one day came across three amazing sounding musicians playing right there on the porch of the hotel. Instinctively I had sat down and just enjoyed what was right there in front of me (forgetting I left my mom sitting in the blazing sun).

The Gatlinburg Inn is an incredible place to stay at and be a part of, it is like living in a house with family you never met. Throughout the few days I was there I made so many talented and wonderful friends. I have absolutely no musical talent, yet these professionals invited me to everything as if I became part of a family. I have never met that many down to earth people in one place. No matter who you are, if you respect the musicians they will bring you in the circle without question. All day I could be entertained by incredibly talented artists. I have gained great relationships with many of the participants of the festival and I am truly grateful for that experience.

I have NEVER seen that many people come together and accept each other no matter what the circumstance was. Barely anybody was consistently sitting on their phone ignoring what is around them. It was as if I entered a utopia for a few days. The couple days I had spent with those beautiful people has taught me so much. I have been inspired to achieve my dreams regardless of how non-achievable they seem at the time.

I have learned to embrace my inner adventure and I have gained confidence to try no matter what the outcome may lead to. I would like to close by giving my personal thank you to everyone who invited me into the Gatlinburg family, I truly have a special place in my heart for all of you.

You all will forever be a part of me.