Southern USA Road Trip with Ford

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If you’ve been following my last week of travels you would have seen me cruising around the Southern States of the USA in my bright red Ford #UNMinivan.

Road tripping in the USA is nothing new – in fact, I would say it is the most authentic way to really experience this diverse country. But while it is always something I have wanted to do, until now I hadn’t been given the chance.

Ford invited me out to the States to cruise around in this less than usual vehicle and experience the USA in a much less usual way. The brief was to take the #unminivan and capture #unminivanmoments ….basically, have a blast and share my journey with WOW readers! It’s at this point where I’d like to state the obvious and say just how much I love my job.

Because I had already visited all the tourist hot spots – LA, Vegas, San Francisco, Washington DC, NYC and Boston, I decided to throw myself into something completely different and visit the South.

For whatever reason (I truly cannot pinpoint as to why), but I have always been obsessed with the idea of visiting the Southern States of America. And so it began… my Southern USA Road Trip with Ford!

ford unminivan

Let the #unminivan fun begin!

So my 5 day Ford road trip began in New Orleans – home to the beignet (sweet donut pastry), Mardi Gras, and jazz music. I was joined by a video guy to film the 5 day adventure and capture all the WOW moments of the trip…. but here’s the trip from my iPhone perspective!


New Orleans, Louisiana

With just one full day to explore, I set off early in the morning and ate my way through the city whilst battling the tropical weather – rain, heat, and more rain! I purchased a bedazzled mask, some tacky necklaces, ate myself into a sugar-induced coma, and met some very interesting characters in voodoo shops and haunted mansions.

Later in the day I had a lightbulb moment and remembered there were swamps nearby in Louisiana and quickly decided to squeeze in a swamp tour that afternoon – lucky I did because it was one of my favourite things I did in Louisiana!



The next day was an early start as there was lots of driving to do to venture through Mississippi to Alabama. It wasn’t too long before I spotted the ‘world’s largest rocking chair’ in Mississippi on the way through to Alabama. Although it was an incredibly quick stop to get a few photos and carry on with the road trip, I’m glad I can say I saw a small glimpse of Mississippi!



Sweet home Alabama! If there’s one place I was beyond excited to visit, it would be Alabama. The funniest encounter I had was within just moments of arriving…

I pulled into the ‘gas station’ (in Australia it’s a petrol station) and hopped out of the minivan to fill up. When I walked into the petrol station the whole place went dead quiet and it truly was one of those ‘movie moments’.

I stopped to consider for a moment why this may have been – I’m sure my outfit had something to do with it, as the first person who spoke to me pointed out the obvious by proclaiming…

y’all not from around here, so where y’all from then?

Believe me, it was hard not to crack a smile.

I ended up chatting to a few people while I picked out my gas station snacks and it seemed unanimous that I was quite a novelty ‘round these parts’!!!

From there the route went through Mobile, Montgomery, and eventually the day ended in Birmingham, in the North of Alabama. The original plan was to drive through Georgia to South Carolina, but I had other plans…

  tennessee tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee

Somewhere along the ‘freeway’ (again, that’s an American term – in Australia we call it the highway!) I had a sudden realisation – I was in the SOUTH of America and NOT going to the capital of country music. This had to change.

So it was decided – I would reroute the whole trip to go further north to Nashville! It wasn’t a hard decision to make.

Driving into the city, I saw the Bluebird Café, Music Row, and finally ended the day with a night at the Grand Ole Opry. For anyone who isn’t familiar, this was the birthplace of country music and turned out to be one of the best nights of the entire trip! I couldn’t help myself and splurged a little by purchasing a backstage tour before the show and saw a few famous country music singers… perhaps most notable was Jonathan Jackson from the hit tv show Nashville (I’ve seen every episode, hands up if you’re a fan!).

  ford unminivan  carolina

North Carolina

After a short one night visit to Nashville, the new route would take me through North Carolina down to the final destination of the trip – Charleston, South Carolina. I was excited to see the Carolinas after so many readers were giving me tips and places to visit – there seemed to be endless pit stops along the way and this is where the road trip really started to take off!

If there’s one thing I could say whole heartedly from the trip, it’s that I wish I had more time in the Carolinas! I really wanted to see the Biltmore Estate but unfortunately arrived just 15 minutes after tours ended for the day. If you aren’t familiar, that’s the house used in the film Richie Rich —- yeah, I was crazily bummed about that one!

But I made up for it by staying in a cabin in the woods that once served as a temporary home for Scott Fitzgerals – the author of the Great Gatsby! To say I was feeling inspired was an understatement!

South Carolina

South Carolina

The drive through North and South Carolina was undeniably the highlight of the trip. There were so many National Parks, Plantations, and beautiful scenery at every turn. I knew I couldn’t do it justice in just two days so I have vouched to return one day very soon – I’m having a slight love affair with the Carolinas!

When the road trip concluded in Charleston, I was excited to explore the city that is best known for being home to the ‘friendliest people in the States’. It’s true! The town is filled with charming people, architecture, history, and just has the most surreal peaceful vibe – another place I’d love to spend more time!

#unminivanmoments highlights

I want to go back to… Tennessee & the Carolinas

I found the best accent to be in… Alabama! ROLL TIDE!

The friendliest people were… Everywhere in the South. I was blown away by the hospitality, kindness, and friendliness!

Favourite city… Tough call! I think Nashville and Charleston

Best Roadside attraction… The UFO Welcome Centre in Tennessee…. I will never get over that haha!

My best memory… I really loved my night at the Opry!

Favourite food… PRALINES!

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    March 31, 2016 at 1:04 am

    That’s quite a roadtrip! We have total envy. You only spent one day in New Orleans, that’s not enough time! You have to come back down to the Big Easy and explore our neighborhoods: The Garden District and Uptown, for a more laid-back vibe); the Bywater and Marigny for some of the best live music in the country; and Bayou St. John, where you can kayak before dancing over to one of our hundreds of festivals. Have we convinced you, yet? 😉

    Trust us; we’re locals. 🙂

    Trina O'Neil
    June 27, 2015 at 2:09 am

    The next time you will have to come up to Louisville, KY. We have such a diverse culture here and so much to see and do. Everything from out Museums to our Bed and Breakfast locations. There is truly something for everyone. We are best known for The Kentucky Derby that happens the 1st Saturday of May every year. It is truly something to experience. We have celebrities from all over the world that come here for this event. Our entire town turns into a big party hub for the 2 weeks leading up to this day.

    December 1, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Come back down to the South and check out Oxford, Mississippi where I live! The absolute epitome of Southern charm. You would LOVE it. Also come back to the South to hit the cities of: Savannah, Georgia; Memphis, Tennessee; and Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina. Hotty Toddy from Ole Miss!

    Elizabeth L.
    August 7, 2014 at 2:41 am

    Glad you enjoyed your romp through Alabama! Roll Tide!! (someone taught you right 😉 )

    caroline [the diy nurse]
    August 3, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    SO happy you went to charleston- its our favorite!

    August 2, 2014 at 1:18 am

    This trip looks like it was so much fun! I’d love to do a roadie around the South. The people and the food sound great. One day…


    Mandy D.
    August 1, 2014 at 8:43 am

    What a fun trip! The South is so charming. You should plan to check out Texas next, so many different things to see here.

    August 1, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Oh I want to go there so bad! I think I might want to live there somewhere.. Maybe Georgia?
    Not sure where I want to settle yet 😉


    Hannah Wasielewski
    August 1, 2014 at 4:18 am

    I can’t believe you missed my home state of Georgia! You won’t be disappointed, you definitely need to make another trip back!

    July 31, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    This is a trip I am dying to make! I’m keeping my fingers crossed I may be able to make it next summer (so I’ll be returning here if I do!) Nashville sounds like a must – as does all of the food. Glad you had so much fun! x

    July 31, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    My hand is up!!! I love Nashville (the show) !!

    Clipping Path Outsource
    July 31, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Road trip! Is a funny…

    July 31, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    A roadtrip through the Southern parts of USA is on my list of travel goals!! Seems like a fun time you had 🙂

    July 31, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Love hearing about your road trip! I used to live in North Carolina but have never been to the deep south. I’d love to go to New Orleans, Mississippi, and Alabama one day. And Charleston….!

    July 31, 2014 at 8:43 am

    When you get ready to really tour the south, let Dulce know. She is a born & bred southern belle and can show you all the great spots. She’s on a road trip of the West Coast of USA and Canada as I type this. You two would have a blast! Check her out at The two of you really need to meet.

    July 31, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Aw, reading this made me homesick! I grew up in the South and I’m glad you enjoyed it. Y’all come back now, ya hear? 😉

    July 31, 2014 at 7:11 am

    I am soooo jealous!!! A road trip through the states in the south is like my dream. That’s what I’m saving up to do next time I go to the US… And I died a little reading about the Opry and Jonathan Jackson. LOVE Nashville!!

    July 31, 2014 at 6:17 am

    Oh this is awesome. I am doing a cross country drive to move to Nashville in about a month. I am so excited and nervous but this post just made me more excited. I am excited to see Nashville again and then go around to the neighboring states on the weekend. AAAAND I have also watched all of Nashville and look forward to the coming season like whoa.

    Suzi Davenport
    July 31, 2014 at 6:00 am

    So glad you enjoyed the South! Hopefully next time you’ll come to Georgia – I promise you won’t be disappointed! (:

    July 31, 2014 at 5:07 am

    This looks like so much fun!! I’ve always been obsessed with southern states for some reason too, and I would love the chance to do something like this!

    Betty J. Ogburn
    July 31, 2014 at 3:37 am

    …Oh, yeah, and down here, we use “highway” as well–just F.Y.I!!…

    Betty J. Ogburn
    July 31, 2014 at 3:35 am

    …As a native Southern Belle, I’m glad that my region has won you over–special shout-out from North Carolina!!…

    Ya’ll–it’s definitely a Southern thing!!…

    July 31, 2014 at 3:32 am

    Were you able to see Savannah, Georgia? I’ve only driven through and stopped for lunch, but it is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to. I hope to go back and spend some real time there someday.

    July 31, 2014 at 2:55 am

    what a brill experience – great job you have!!

    July 31, 2014 at 2:54 am

    Brooke , this road trip looks amazing! Looks like you had an great time. How did you like the unminivan?

    • worldofwanderlust
      July 31, 2014 at 2:59 am

      I actually loved it! I would have loved to have my family or friends there though – which just makes me want to do another USA road trip soon!! 🙂