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A Q&A with Cosmos Tour Director, Susannah Jones

Join us as we speak with Susannah Jones, a Tour Director on Comsos’ Rhythms of the Road tour

Published on 10 Jun 2024

Hi Susannah! Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. As a Tour Director at Cosmos, could you tell us what your role involves? 

We ensure that our guests’s holidays run as smoothly as possible. I make sure they don’t stress and worry about the small details. Tour Directors make certain the hotels, restaurants and vendors are aligned with the guests and their needs. We also share local favourites, stories and experiences of the areas so our guests can immersive themselves into their travels. 

You’ve been escorting tours for more than 15 years. How did you become a Tour Director?

I was an educator for 17 years but I had also lived in Germany. While I was in Germany, I was everyone’s tour director! I discovered wondrous places and wanted to share all of this with people. This love of teaching and wanting to lead people to discover our beautiful country has led me to direct tours. 

You are a guide on the ‘Rhythms of the Road’ tour which features locations that have played a role in the evolution of American music. Which featured musician most interests you and why? 

I love B.B. King. He had to overcome so many obstacles to become a blues singer. He was raised in a segregated south and could not play in ‘Whites Only’ areas. He persevered and became a legend. He is a true American musician that future generations will listen to. 

‘Rhythms of the Road’ travels from Chicago to New Orleans. What’s your favourite part of the itinerary? 

Every city we go to has beautiful music and food. The music in Chicago is a direct relative of the Mississippi Delta blues. This can also be said about jazz in New Orleans, country music in Nashville and Graceland in Memphis. There is live music in every single city that we visit. That is my favourite part! 

During the tour, our customers will have plenty of leisure time. What would you recommend they do in each city?

In Chicago, it’s a must to see the beautiful skyscrapers and the world-class museums. In Nashville, they should visit the Honkey Tonks. They need to visit the Goo Goo Cluster Store and Johnny Cash Museum. In Memphis, visit Beale Street to listen to the blues in a Juke Joint. There is live music everywhere in New Orleans! 

Are there any hidden gems that you’d recommend? An off-the-beaten-track spot that tourists wouldn’t know about? 

Most guests don’t know about Preservation Hall in New Orleans. It is all about the music. There is no food or drink to purchase. It’s only musicians making music for a small audience. These musicians are the best in the world. Even Robert Plant will play at Preservation Hall AFTER he’s played in a sold-out stadium. He has said it is the biggest honour to play with the best. 

You encourage your tour groups to try the local cuisine. Which dishes would you recommend? 

I am a foodie so my list is long! Chicago pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs are a must. Nashville has the hot chicken sandwich and goo-goo clusters candy bar. In Memphis, Memphis-style barbeque, fried catfish, hushpuppies, okra and collard greens. In New Orleans, try EVERYTHING! I tell the guests to have a hurricane drink and a sazerac drink. They are able to try gumbo, etouffee, shrimp and grits, crab and, of course, oysters on the half shell. 

In the Deep South, on a holiday, never start your diet! 

If you were to handcraft your own itinerary, which part of the world would you visit and why?

I want to go to the Scottish Isles and spend time among the castles and moors. I’m a history nerd so would enjoy the battlefields and museums as well as the music and storytelling of legends. I want to enjoy my time in the towns or nature and experience the local life. 

Which destination is at the top of your bucket list?

Honestly, I enjoy discovering new places, researching and reading about the places and then immersing myself in the culture. Scotland, Machu Picchu, the Galapagos Islands, Egypt, Ireland, Bucharest, Romania, South Africa and back to the Scottish Isles. 

Lastly, why should our customers pick Cosmos?

We are the best value for your holiday. Cosmos chooses the best experiences for the guests to immerse themselves in. We have professionally trained Tour Directors who make the trip seem seamless. We are always happy to help and have a wealth of knowledge of the areas visited. We create happy guests not only with experiences of a region but with the best value for their money. 

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