How did this trip come about?

Well, it’s a long and incredibly tedious story that I’ll sum up in one sentence: 2016 was rubbish and then I was 30.  So as a 30th birthday present to myself I decided that I was going to go travelling – something which I’d wanted to do for many years but never followed through on.

After gaining some perspective in life, I decided to just go for it.

Why the Deep South?  Was that always the plan?

I first visited New Orleans in 2014.  I immediately fell in love with the city (the people I work with can probably attest to the fact that I still don’t shut the f-ck up about it to this day).  With that said, it wasn’t my original plan.  I was looking at travelling through Central America and then on to New Orleans before heading home to the UK.  I was looking at going through Central America with a tour operator but that fell through after reading some terms and conditions in the fine print that actually excluded me for being 30.  Of course I was disappointed but soon realised that I wasn’t that excited about Central America; my excitement lay in going back to New Orleans.

I decided to organise my own trip with New Orleans as my final stop; starting in the East and travelling West until I reached the land of gumbo and po’ boys.  I picked up a Lonely Planet travel guide and went from there.  But why the South?  The food, the people, the music, the weather, the history, and the fact I don’t really know a lot about any of it but it’s warm down there and I learn best when my sweat has glued my shirt to my back and I’m on my third mimosa.

Where exactly are you going?

Charleston, Savannah, Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville, Memphis, and New Orleans.