If there’s one thing I’ve taken home from the south, it’s the overwhelming kindness and love that everyone has for one another. It unsettled me a little, actually – to know that I come from a society that is far more reserved…private – when really, it doesn’t need to be that way.

 

Their love for food, creating a happy atmosphere and just generally enjoying life was all encompassing. I wanted a slice of the pie, to be apart of something, to feel that love.

I think their beautiful mentality was a huge part of me embracing every moment whilst I was there. I’m a very insular person and I find myself almost always floundering in social situations – but that just wasn’t the case here. I wanted to know everything about the guys I was travelling with, soak up every bit of information each tour guide gave us. I wanted to share stories and beliefs and experiences.

We’d spend up to six hours on the mini bus some days and I loved every second – snoozing in between taking in the landscape and stopping off on the beaten track at gas stations to pick up a $89 XXXL Dr Pepper fountain drink. Listening to my trip mates music playlists and eating my hearts content of cheetos. There wasn’t anywhere I’d rather be.

I rode a bike for the first time in about 15 years. We cycled around Birmingham, Alabama with a guided tour – learning about their incredible history and the civil rights institute.

Ate tomato pie at Wildflower Cafe and clam spaghetti at Bottega restaurant.I abseiled 85ft down a mountain in Fort Payne and climbed back up it.

Cinnamon swirls bigger than my head were consumed, and I went GoKarting for the first time in my life. I tasted every flavour of moonshine in The Smoky Mountains and danced in Gatlinburg’s streets to country music.

We wrote a song in Nashville, at Studio B – all about Kristabel. She loved to wander off at any given opportunity and would text half an hour later saying ‘where are ya’ll?’

Visiting the studio in Nashville where Elvis recorded over 200 of his songs will always be a highlight – for that hour I was totally consumed by that buildings history, so many incredible moments were had right here – and we recorded our own song, too!

Standing in Elvis’ kitchen and sipping milkshakes in his mums diner.

Eating the best southern fried chicken to grace this land.Taking a moment to appreciate what our world has achieved – standing in the spot where Martin Luther King was assassinated and then standing in the middle of the crowd at Beale Street Music Festival, listening to Kings of Leon.

Watching the sun set over the Mississippi River with live music, opera singing, giant jenga and cocktails in Natchez.

Wandering the buzzing streets of New Orleans, soaking up the last hours of our trip with Pimms and jazz, music on the street and peanut butter burgers.

These photos tell one of the greatest adventures of my life.And the list for how much I loved TrekAmerica could go on forever.

It pushed all of my boundaries. I’ve lived a sheltered life – through my own choice mind, but there is so much I haven’t tried or experienced. Every aspect of this trip unearthed more about me I didn’t know. I felt the fear and did it anyway. I made friends I’ll keep for life. I met people that opened my eyes. I felt excitement and energy every single day. I realised, that by simply letting myself, I could gain access to a more fulfilled life.

I couldn’t recommend this trip more. To travel the world and feel safe, to travel the world and learn more than you could hope for, to travel the world and grow – TrekAmerica you’ve got it all.

Find out all the info and sign up for our Deep South BLT trip here.

Alabama Travel: http://alabama.travel/ (Birmingham & Fort Payne)

Visit Tennessee: https://www.tnvacation.com/ (Gatlinburg & Nashville & Memphis)

Visit Mississippi: http://www.visitmississippi.org/ (Natchez)

Louisiana Travel: http://www.louisianatravel.com/ (New Orleans)

British Airways: https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/destinations/new-orleans/flights-to-new-orleans