I sensed I was entering Georgia because the landscape quickly changed and things got a whole lot quieter than they had been on the Florida coast.
It is a shame that the majority of visitors to Florida limit their trips to the Orlando theme parks and Miami because the Sunshine State does indeed have many different faces that should be explored.
Whilst each state I visited had its own identity and landscape, I felt that I had to bunch Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi & Louisiana into the same blog post as there are only so many times I can use the words like charming, pretty, friendly and sad to describe these places.
I drove hundreds of miles to get there and made a fairly monumental screw up that caused me to miss the northern end but the truly stunning Blue Ridge Parkway was definitely worth the effort and should be on everyone’s bucket list.
My first day in the Bluegrass State began with peaceful rolling countryside, continued with tornado dodging and finished with a pedicure as I listened to emergency storm alerts sound on my phone well into the night.
For most of my trip through America I’m pretty determined to stay out of the main cities as I’ve already visited many of them on business and because frankly city breaks are something I prefer to do drunkenly with friends. But there was one key exception I had to make on the first day of my Southern Odyssey…Memphis.
When you are raised in an island nation in the middle of the ocean you usually cross borders at an airport after at least a 3-hour flight. It feels like a physical thing because you actually take off from your own country, cross a lot of water then land in a whole other country. So the whole concept of land borders where crossing an invisible line takes you into a totally different place seems a bit crazier to us islanders than it perhaps does to the rest of the world.
I can’t remember what first spiked my interest in visiting Oregon but it has been on my list of places to go for a long time and I’m very glad I finally made it.