Out of curiosity, why North Carolina? Family?
If you love to camp consider that the farther west you are the more open dispersed camping there is with California being the exception.
The Eastern seaboard has been inhabited for a very long time so much of the land is tied up in private hands. The Western United States, again California being the exception due to early shipping/gold, is relatively young so much of the land is owned by the state and federal government.
If you leave any major metropolitan area in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico you can disperse camp within about 1 hour from a major city.
I personally moved to a state that is extremely beautiful but has very little state and federal owned land so this means I can only camp in campgrounds. Don't get me wrong, they are nice and all but I personally like to be in nature away from people.