Education Center in Asheville NC

Blue Ridge Mountains

Love Your Work and it Becomes Play

While the carbon footprint project continues to develop and expand in scope, this week’s blog post is aimed at highlighting some of the hospitality and extra-curricular activities Evan has been able to experience as an intern at OM Sanctuary.


Hey everyone,

This past week has been very productive in terms of project development and networking including a follow-up visit with some of the amazing staff at the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. As a land trust, their work continues to provides benefits both seen and unseen to the Appalachian region.

This week I wanted to touch on some of the additional aspects of my internship experience including the hospitality staples of guest-services, policy, planning, and management. In addition to this, I have been able to participate in many of the daily holistic classes offered right here at OM Sanctuary. Together, these experiences have a produced quite a unique internship experience.img_20161025_113531751-copy

While I am able to absorb a lot of guest services experience throughout the workweek, I tend to have my head buried in research and writing from Monday until Thursday. For this reason, Friday is my designated “hospitality day” where I focus on honing the skills necessary to be successful in the tourism industry. Working from the reception desk has afforded me the opportunity to interact with guests and facilitate communication between them and other staff members including housekeeping, kitchen staff, and management. There is a strong sense of satisfaction that comes with this type of work, for example: after referring an out-of-town guest to the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, they returned the following day to thank me for making their stay even more memorable. Helping people connect to nature is part of what sustainable tourism is all about..

As an intern, I couldn’t ask for a better workplace climate. The ambiance here at OM Sanctuary is highly conducive towards relaxation and rejuvenation, and this same feeling can be observed in the yoga classes offered here throughout the week. Beginning in October, I have had the pleasure of attending these classes instructed by Sue Ann, the programs coordinator here at sanctuarypavillion-1OM Sanctuary (formerly of the renowned Salt Spring Centre of Yoga), as well as Elle Jai, a local instructor who has been teaching yoga for over 25 years. Being able to take part in these classes really allows me to get a full sense of what OM Sanctuary’s mission is and how the holistic component can benefit tourism as a whole. Cultivating sustainable habits on an individual level is a path towards securing a sustainable future and classes such as these make taking that first step a seamless, memorable and rewarding experience.

In addition to yoga, I have been able to attend a “Clearing the Path” class, lead by Yeye Osun Omileye M.Ed., NCC, that facilitates new beginnings. I have also had the pleasure of helping Sue Ann prepare the event space for several of the educational programs held here each week.

This weekend, in-between sightseeing, food sampling, and runs through historic Montford, I plan to attend the Qi Gong class offered on Sundays. There’s a first time for everything!

As always, please feel free to contact me with questions, comments and suggestions at [email protected]

Until next week,

Evan