Spicy chicken, a pub on wheels and a sea of Honky Tonk bars filled with slider guitars, scuffed up floors and a mild beer stench that’s still lingering in my nose…
Yup. That’s a small glimpse of Nashville, Tennessee.
AKA “Nash-Vegas” and “Land of Excessive Bachelorette Parties” (and not nearly enough cute cowboys).
Nashville is sneaky. It’s obvious and unsuspecting at the same time. It leaves you wanting more and you’re not even sure why.
When I touched down in Nashville, I had no idea what to expect. Yes, there’s a ton of hype about the city, but I like to wait and form my own opinion of a place after I experience all it has to offer.
After a whirl-wind 72 hours exploring every nook and cranny I could find, it’s officially one of my favorite cities in North America.
A simple hello is never enough and goodbyes are hard to come by.
Southen hospitality is a given. What most people fail to recognize is the bravado. A level of confidence commingled with a dash of frontier spirit from the bygone era have mixed together to create a special kind of magic that infiltrates every interaction.
Here are 3 discoveries from Nashville to apply to your life asap…
1. Ask A Question Because You Genuinely Care
How many times have you been asked “How are you today?” only to find your answer falls on deaf ears?
We live in a culture where people ask questions to be “friendly” but their lack of attention on your answer (or actually giving a damn) just isn’t there. It sucks, right?
Don’t do it. Ask questions because you actually give a s$&#.
And the next time someone asks you a question then turns their attention away from you as you begin to answer, call them on it. We’ll all be better for it.
2. Don’t Take Life Too Seriously
Seriously – don’t be too serious, k?
Nashville is busy. It’s tourist central and I usually try my best to stay away from all things touristy, but in Nashville it’s different.
They have a knack for making a tourist attraction into a genuine experience with some good ‘ol southern heart and soul.
Case in point… I went to Hattie B’s for their infamous chicken. It was almost a 1-hour wait just to step foot in the restaurant. In most places this busy, the staff would be stressed out and rushing to get to the next person in line.
This wasn’t the case at Hattie B’s.
The kitchen staff was singing and dancing. The lady taking my order took time to answer my questions and gave me beer samples (a sure-fire way to my heart) so I could decide on my own.
Everyone actually gave a s$#%. And you know what?
That chicken was the best damn chicken I’ve ever had. My mouth is watering just writing about it right now.
Yes – I’m sure the recipe is damn fine, but I also think the atmosphere and attitude they create in the restaurant adds an extra touch of magic. For all I know, the chicken could have tasted awful but I wouldn’t have noticed because I was having so much fun.
3. Talk To Strangers
Nashville is the perfect place to throw out all of the “rules” you think you need to follow.
Talking to strangers was one of those rules I chucked out the window. To be fair, I started talking to strangers a long time ago (sorry mom and my old kindergarten teacher) and I freakin’ love it.
I love how I can have a meaningful, connected conversation with someone I just met and know nothing about. Oddly enough, some of the best convo’s I’ve had are with people I hardly know.
It’s easy to open up, share and speak your truth with someone you might never see again. It’s a low-risk relationship and you really have nothing to loose so you throw all your cards on the table from the get go.
I wonder what would happen if all of our interactions were like this?
I think the result would be pretty f*^cking phenomenal.
What can I say… Nashville greets you, keeps you and leave you wanting more. A true testament to an era that has sustained decades of change is that one thing maintains…
Nashville knows you like it and is proud of it.
I’ll definitely be back soon, Nashville. It’s been a slice.