Yes, you read that correctly. Six months into a global pandemic, Josh and I considered imploding our lives in Iowa to move to Kentucky to buy and run a wigwam-shaped motel.
It started off as a joke.
But Josh will tell you he never really thought I was joking. One pandemic Friday night at home I texted him the link to a real estate listing I found on Facebook—for the Wigwam Village Inn #2. “Should we move to Kentucky?” I asked. “Why not?” he responded.
So we emailed the real estate agent. She was kind and helpful and not at all put off by the fact that we were 10 hours away in Iowa. Pretty quickly we went from discussing what it would hypothetically be like to own a motel to planning a time when we could drive down and see things for ourselves.
Over Labor Day weekend we packed up the car to head to Cave City, Kentucky. The plan was to spend Friday night in a wigwam so we could see things up close and personal. Then we’d spend the next two nights camping at Mammoth Cave National Park. After almost six months of not going anywhere it felt weird to be planning a trip again.
A full day of driving later, we pulled into the parking lot with our dinner from Sonic in hand. As the sun set we sat outside our wigwam in camp chairs. We drank beers from a local brewery and listened to the voice of George Strait drifting over from our neighbor’s bluetooth speaker. We both realized it felt right. “Well shit,” I remember saying. “I guess we’re doing this.”
The next day we toured the property with the listing agent. While it needed a little elbow grease (and a lot of love), the challenge didn’t feel insurmountable. We spent the rest of the weekend driving around area, checking out nearby towns and deciding if this was a place we’d like to live. We began figuring out the less fun parts of buying property. So we worked out loan financing, listing our housing and incorporating a business in another state.
The same day we got all of our ducks in a row, someone else did too.
And just like that we went back to not imploding our lives to move halfway across the country. I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t disappointing. It sucked to hear from the realtor that the owners had gone with another offer. As logical as we had been about how much of a long shot this would be, we were both a little bit devastated. So, we cracked open the growler of bourbon-barrel-aged stout we’d picked up from a brewery just down the road from the wigwams and did a bit of wallowing.
I’m not writing this just to share my disappointment about a thing we didn’t get to do. I wanted to share what could have been because in the midst of a global pandemic—when everything about the last eight months has felt pretty uncertain—we found something that felt like a spark of joy.
Sure, it didn’t work out this time. And, honestly, there are about 1,000 reasons I’ll be glad it didn’t later on. We really do like our life in Iowa.
But the next time something comes along, I know we’ll be ready.
Wonder what it’s like to stay at the Wigwam Village Inn #2?
While we won’t be running this wigwam-shaped motel, I still wanted to share what it was like to stay there. You won’t want to miss it if you’re looking for an offbeat getaway!