On her days off, you can find Ashley Arnot nested on a couch, sipping on a steamy cup of joe and working away at her craft.

Ashley lives in Mesa Arizona, a city known for its desert heat, mountains and proximity to Phoenix. She is a student at the university of Arizona finishing up her undergraduate career as an English major. When she’s not at school, Ashley is working the morning shift and managing a group of scrappy teenagers at her place of work, Black Rock Coffee Bar.

Ashley says she hopes to become an editor in the future, so she took this internship to get more comfortable with her writing and get some structure.

“I really like downtown Mesa, we have a lot of small businesses out here,” said Ashley, “I’ve talked to a lot of people who lived in cities and they said all they had were bigger chain stores. I feel like it makes it more personal, you get a different view on the culture and the people who live here. “

But Ashley finds herself at a crossroad, although all her family is here, she finds the idea of staying in the town where she grew up discouraging.

Ashley intends to fly the coop to pursue her passion of writing and photography.

 “I’ve lived here my whole life, all 25 years”, she said, “It’s only a matter of time and having everything put together for me to leave”.

Ashley is also no stranger to adventures, she has often traveled to California, the east coast and has even flown to Europe. 

“I really fell in love with Ireland. I remember going to the Guinness storehouse building which was made entirely of glass, we went to the top floor and it was amazing because you could see all of Ireland”, said Ashley.

“I ended up crying by then end of the trip”, she laughed, “because I was so sad to leave”.

She thinks she can make a home out of southern California; she’s really looking forward to living near a beach.

Although she feels ready, she doesn’t like the idea of flying blind and wants to be fully prepared before she leaves.

Ashley’s Dog Phoebe
Ashley’s dog Wylie

Ashley is also the parent of two dogs, Wylie and Phoebe.

“Once is leave ill probably adopt another like three dogs” she chuckled.

Although she will miss her home, Ashley admitted that if she leaves, she won’t come back to live in Mesa again.

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