With Trek America
Welcome to New Orleans! Before I go into more detail about this must-see destination (especially if you love a bit of colourful door appreciation), I thought I’d explain why this adventure was a little bit different to most. A US road trip has always been at the back of my mind when it comes to once-in-a-lifetime holidays and I came pretty close to doing this after my NYC internship. I’d been meaning to fly home later and explore California, until I realised that I didn’t have enough money (Disneyland was our main priority), had no idea how to get around and ended up changing my flight. Then the mid-twenties happened, with friends ever-changing priorities, this fear of logistics and me feeling a little bit apprehensive about driving on the other side of the road.
I’d put all thoughts of singing ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ whilst driving on the back burner until I was invited on the Trek America Deep South BLT tour. To give you a bit of context, they provide group tours all over the USA (obvs), Canada, Central and South America with a focus on showing you the real deal. Logistics are taken care of (our tour guide Jack drove us around and had so many local tips) plus the fear of travelling alone, which is something that I’d been worried about. Trek America host a blogger trip every year, so from my perspective it was a good chance to mix with different kinds of content creators and pick up some tips (I’ve now convinced myself that I need a GoPro). We also tried out most of the excursions, so over the next few posts I’ll let you know my faves and other things you can do in your free time.
One of the main things that attracted me to the trip was the itinerary. I really wanted to paint a fuller picture of the States, especially since the last time I was there, I was more focused on filling my belly than all the history. That’s obviously changed since I’ve gone on my ‘woke’ journey and the route takes you to destinations that were key in the slave trade, Civil Rights movement and many music genres. It’s basically a way to understand Beyonce’s Formation lyrics a little better and even though there were plenty of lighthearted moments, I was conscious of how current events had been shaped by what has gone before.
Our 8-day-trip started with a direct British Airways flight into New Orleans and it was really a taste of what was to come (we arrived at 7pm and left for Birmingham at 8am the next morning). I must admit that watching Solange’s Instagram Stories attracted me to the city, but after wandering around the French Quarter and Esplanade Ridge, I was instantly reminded of parts of Jamaica, Spain and even Singapore. It’s so comforting to have a sense of the familiar when travelling and I’m naturally drawn to anything multicultural. The architecture reflects the history with a blend of Spanish, French, Creole and American styles, so there’s intricate cast iron balconies, bold colour contrasts and even the odd Grecian column.
In true Kristabel fashion I have more snaps to post, so I’ll go into even more detail once I’ve summed up the rest of the trip. If you fancy a sneak peek, I have two vlogs featuring gems such as me abseiling down a cliff. There may have also been a song written about how I almost got left behind in a bathroom…
I was a guest of Trek America, but opinions are all my own. Feel free to ask me any questions about the experience!