Guys, we’ve been so busy doing so much we haven’t had time to write about it. I’ll get around to doing my Coachella blog at some point (maybe) and at least one of us will write about this roadtrip that we’re currently on. But I’m writing this post as a bit of a public service announcement – Jackson, Mississippi, is a shit-hole.
Yesterday we drove from New Orleans, Louisiana, and drove north to Memphis, Nashville. This involves driving all the way through Mississippi and we were pretty excited to have a stop in Jackson. We were singing ‘We’re going to Jackson’ by Johnny Cash and June Carter for most of the morning, sometimes interspersed with a little “Hollywood, Harlem, Jackson Mississippi” from Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk. We got into town and shut up immediately. Why, Mark Ronson?! Why?!
We did not even get out of the car. I think the only person we saw was one guy on a park bench who started walking towards us when we paused too long at an intersection. I just asked Fish how he would describe the place and he just said ‘Caltowie’. Perfect.
Mary googled some facts about the town as we quickly retreated – Jackson has a population of 175,000 people (the largest city in Mississippi) and the state ranks as the worst in the entire USA in education attainment; mean household income; and health. It’s also the most racist and most religious.
We just have no idea why the city gets sung about.
Title is from The Animals ‘We Gotta Get Out Of This Place’. Kosta thinks the song is about the Vietnam War but I’m sure it’s another Jackson song.
So, I thought I’d write an introductory post that was a little more informative and a little less irritating than Fish’s.
Fish and I met through mutual friends when we were all living in London (despite growing up in towns 20 minutes from each other and never knowing each other existed) and got together last year when we’d both returned to Adelaide. The thing about travelling is that the more you do the more you want to do and we were both feeling the need to do another long-term stint abroad. And South America was top of the list for both of us. So we decided that we’d kick around Adelaide until the end of March for a few reasons – there were some very important weddings we needed to be around for; the best time to be in Adelaide is Fringe time so we didn’t want to miss out on that; and the need to get some savings behind us to sustain this idea.
We are now both officially unemployed and damn it feels GOOD! We both finished work on Friday; we had an epic houseparty that was a combined housewarming/our farewell last night; and we fly out to Los Angeles tomorrow. If you can read this, here’s our itinerary in calendar form, but I’ll give you a brief run-down anyway:
We fly into LA and hang out with my uncle Mark and his partner Stacy who live in Venice Beach. Thursday we head down to Newport beach to our friends Mary and Kosta (it was their wedding I went to in Greece last year and met a bunch of their awesome friends. We’re all catching up for dinner on the Thursday night and I’m super excited to see them all!). We’re spending the weekend with Mary and Kosta in Vegas. We fly straight to San Francisco from Vegas and spend the week there. When Kaysie and Lol (my life partners and travel buddies when I was in the UK – you’ll hear them referenced frequently) and I walked the Camino De Santiago in May 2012 we met a fabulous American couple, Danny and Alisha, who have since moved to Berkeley (right next to San Fran) and had a baby. I’m really looking forward to catching up with them and giving Baby Ollie some Peter Combe CDs and Mem Fox books (we spent a lot of time on the Camino teaching Danny and Alisha Mr Clickety Cane so the Peter Combe seed has already been planted…). Then we fly back down to Orange County and reconnect with Mary and Kosta and spend Easter weekend with Mary’s family at Lake Havasu on the Colorado River. There’s whispers of possible water sports so Fish is pretty excited.
The next weekend is Coachella music festival – one of the main draw cards to go to the States before hitting South America (other than the fabulous friends and family, obvs). Anyone who’s been misguided enough to ask me about Coachella will have endured my rant about how bullshit the line up this year; but I’m still certain that we’re going to have an absolutely CRACKING time. I’m sure (and I hope) in a few weeks time I’ll be writing a post about how silly I was thinking that the line up was crap and that it was the best weekend of my life.
After Coachella Fish and I fly to Austin, Texas, to kick around for a few days. Mary and Kosta meet us there at the end of the week and the four of us start our roadtrip through Austin – New Orleans – Memphis – Nashville. I’m really looking forward to this. Man, do I love a roadtrip!
We leave Mary and Kosta (already dreading that bit) in Nashville and fly up to New York to spend a few days there before we fly down to Cartagena, Colombia on the first of May to kick off the South America leg of the trip (and try to stem the rate at which we’re haemorrhaging money).The only plan we have after that is that we have to get to Lima, Peru, by the 27th of May because we’ve got a 3 week tour booked. So many possibilities!
So there you have it! That’s the plan for our responsibility-avoiding; real-life-dodging; grown-up-world-rejecting long term travel of the Americas. I’m going to miss everyone at home and I’ll not be around for some significant weddings and, most disappointingly, the birth of the first children of some of my dearest friends. I hope we can keep this blog up-to-date to keep you all informed of our adventures, but I do realise that in doing that I’m less likely to write individual emails to people. I am thinking of you all though! You’re still very special to me 😀 Equally, one of the hardest things about leaving to go travelling is everyone thinking that you’re too busy or disinterested in what’s going on at home and therefore not writing. That’s not true! I’d love to hear any update at all from you – even if it’s just to tell me that you just had a really great Farmers Union Iced Coffee and some Fruchocs.
Ok, I’m done! Let this ‘brief introduction’ warn you about future posts from me – I rant and I digress; feel free to skim read!
PS, I’m going to try to title each blog with song lyrics – this one was Walk Right In by The Rooftop Sisters (or Dr Hook, depending on whether you’re a Forrest Gump soundtrack person or were legit around in the 70s)
Well team, it’s come to this. Turns out we’re those wankers. Oh, you still work for a living and aren’t on a never-ending wanderlust holiday?? What a fuckwit.
So here it is. Our blog. Our little piece of fuck-you-we’re-better-at-life. Just think of it this way – our combined bank accounts could probably buy a smart watch. Or a waterbed. Don’t worry, we aren’t having scotch fillet for brekky and spitting Dom Perignon at passers-by. We’re bums on the street. So don’t be jealous. If anything, have pity on us. Send us money and nice things, we’re roughing it for goodness sake.
So all going well we’ll post updates on the semi-reg. Apparently some parts of the Amazon don’t even have frickin’ wifi though, so if we don’t update for say a couple of days or 4 months then PRESUME THE WORST.
Okey dokes that’s it. Sit back and relax, this won’t hurt a bit.