Yeah, London is like that bitchy family member who you don't like being around because they smell funny and are so crabby, but you tolerate because they have really awesome stuff you want them to share with you.
I guess I should finally do one of these for my area.
When visiting the American South:
1) Have a goal in mind. What do you want to do? see? experience? etc. We have some really awesome opportunities, but not all states are created equal. Such as rock climbing is great in Arkansas impossible in Mississippi. But we have various states perfect for water sports. Ask a long time resident (like myself) where would be the best place to accomplish your goals.
2) There are still places depending on your gender, race, culture, or sexuality that are not
safe. I refuse to be in some places after dark. I will travel 40 mins. out of my way to avoid certain towns. It is not by choice, it is by need. Again, clear your route with someone before hand.
We're not all racist, but those of us who are are normally pretty bad. It's a land of extremes. Eureka Springs hosts some of the best pagan, gay pride, and progressive events. It's also surrounded by old school fundamentalists. So you can have a great party here, but again, know where you're going.
3) Arkansas has some beautiful countryside. If you like the outdoors, we have everything from mountains, valleys, delta, but we don't really have snow. You'll get a lot of ice. We have great state parks that allow year around camping of various comfort levels. We have awesome waterways and lakes. (Floating the Buffalo is sacred around here.)
But we do have bugs and we do have humidity. So if you're wanting to do some very extensive camping or hiking, time your visit with what level of nature you don't want to deal with. Fall and Winter are normally dry and most of the icky wildlife is vacant. Summer will kill you if you're not careful. We're slowly but surely loosing our Spring season.
4) We are much more ethnically diverse. If you speak Spanish you'll be able to access various fun things that you can't as an English speaker. There is a sizable German community, Southeast Asians are coming in more and more, but if you see an East Asian person they are most likely either a student or a salon owner. Just how it works around here.
DO NOT make fun of our Muslim population! They are slowly growing and I want them to stay! They are also more likely to straight up call the cops on you for being snarky because they get enough crap. So be extra respectful, especially around the women.
5) It's not a bad place to go to college here, but you have to be careful with your colleges. They're either really good or utter crap. So do your homework. Cost of living is down so tuition can be more bearable.
6) Food and music are everywhere. You can find your tastes wherever you want.
7) Cops are either the biggest assholes or very reasonable. Just remember that we are poor here for the most part (we do have millionaires coming in to take advantage of the cheap land) and most cities need tickets to sustain their offices. If you have a non-state plate and you deserve it, you'll get the biggest ticket they can dish out to you because they know you're probably not going to be able to wait to see the judge before leaving. Don't sass the cops, don't have attitudes, and they most likely won't with you. If you feel you've been wronged, report their butts without hesitation.
8) Tipping is based on the quality of service, not just a percentage.
9) Keep at least a half a tank of gas at all times. Depending where you're travelling, you may not see another station for hours.
10) Our highways suck. Especially in Louisiana and Alabama. But we do have awesome signs. Follow the signs, your GPS may not be accurate. We have plenty of military bases so if you need, ask there. They'll be really helpful to you.
11) They love the soldiers down here. Don't badmouth the soldiers. Politicians, well, depends where you are. But chances are everyone has at least some tie, direct or indirect to the military.