Month five: Adventures in the deep South

This month was the first in a while where I heard ‘Why would you want to go there?!’ about some of my destinations. But visiting the American South was one of the parts of this trip I was most excited about, and it didn’t disapoint.

Some of these places I wanted to visit to get a taste of a different kind of life. The accent, music and food also contributed. Some I just booked tickets to based on recommendations from other travellers.

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I faced two big fears; navigating US roads, and doing stand up comedy. I met some wonderful people Couchsurfing.

Although I’ve loved a lot of it, this has also been one of the months I have found the hardest; I’ve felt emotionally fragile, and, at times, insubstantial.

Places visited: Texas (Austin, San Antonio), Louisiana (New Orleans), Mississippi (Jackson), Tennessee (Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville), North Carolina (Asheville), Georgia (Savannah), South Carolina (Charleston), Washington DC

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Modes of transport: Megabus, Greyhound, Amtrak, taxi, car, truck, bike (eeek!)

Favourite things: all of Austin, making friends in New Orleans, listening to bands in Nashville

Worst things: Struggling to find accommodation, camera lead finally giving up the ghost, that night where I may or may not have been sitting in a recent crime scene (homicide)

Books read: Dark Tower 2 & 3, The Long Winter, By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Program

Illness and Injury: homesickness/stress, mosquito bites

Things I miss most: British sense of humour, drinking Pimms in beer gardens on sunny days, people getting excited about summer, road signs that actually make sense, COOKING

Items bought: New watch, books, soap, tynelol, headband, toothpaste, moisturiser

Items lost: My watch.  Having to carry my travel clock around in my pocket like something out of Alice in Wonderland.

Interesting/amazing food: The south was the first place I experienced truly good food in America. Until July I had been significantly underwhelmed.

I have tried catfish poboys, grits and delicious cornbread. Barbeque in Memphis, fried chicken the way its meant to be done. Great apple pie and a range of insane deserts. Coca cola cake. Birthday cake flavoured ice cream. Oh yes, that’s a thing. Sweet tea. So many sweet things. Breakfast all day.

I ate particularly well in Charleston, if anyone happens to be heading that way.

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American shops/ restaurants visited: Jack in the Box, Walmart (terrifying!!), Sonic (drive in diner), Trader Joes

Up next in my sixth and final month, Philadelphia, New York and Boston. I fly home on the 6th of September.