One approach would be to get a non-resident license from a state that NC recognizes. Used to be that Utah would be a good option, but a couple of years ago they changed their law to require you to have a license from your state of residence if that state recognized Utah. I'm not sure what states might be worth looking into now that Utah has changed, maybe Florida? I know you can apply via mail and they do issue to non-residents. Seems like a good place to start anyway.