We had the good fortune of connecting with Ryan Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ryan, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
I took me some time to realize what actually makes me (and only me) happy. Traveling the world is the once thing that I can say makes me genuinely happy. I love going to different countries, learning about different cultures, trying local cuisine, etc. I even enjoy sitting at a restaurant or bar near the gate with a glass of wine waiting for the flight. My love for travel has lead me to become a Independent Travel Agent, helping my customers enjoy traveling the way I do.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think the thing that sets me apart from others, is the fact that I do not think I’m an influencer. People know when they ask, “Where should I go for…?”, “What is there to do in ___ city?”, or “What did you do when you went to ___?” they know they are getting a honest answer. I started @thefooddudeclt just to post the places I was going to eat and drink in the city. I tried to be an “influencer” and post what I thought people would like, but I quickly learned that people love when you are just being yourself. That is my #1 lesson learned, just be yourself and people will love it.

Another thing that sets me apart from others, is that I have multiple hustles. I have a day job with multiple side businesses, so knowing how to code switch is extremely important. I can go from my 8-5 engineering job to turning up with the homies with ease. With engineering, food blogging, Lifestyle Digital, bartending, travel agency, and BB Travel; I think I am relatable to a lot of people. As having side hustles are necessary these days.

Food blogging has led me to meet some wonderful people in Charlotte. One of the biggest and proud moments was working to create @EatBLKCLT to bring awareness to black-owned businesses in the Charlotte area.

I get so excited when I book a trip for someone or group and I see them having the time of their life. I always ask what type of traveler are you in the initial meeting. Everyone is not a party person and wanting to turn up the whole trip. I meet a lot of people who just want to relax, hit a museum or botanical garden, and just chill on the beach. (Personally I like both. During the day let’s hit the not so touristy places in the city, but at night I’m with all of the sh*ts).

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Charlotte actually has a lot of spots for “us” to go and have a good time, network, eat, and drink good. Dope spots I hit on the regular are Barreled on the Lift, Infused, Art Room, 1501 S Mint Sunday Day Party. All good places for the vibes, hookah, and drinks.

My favorite restaurants and food trucks to hit are Jimmy Pearls, Renaldo’s Culinary Experience, What The Fries, Freshwaters, and Cajun Queen.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
One book that put me on the road to success is Generational Wealth: Beginner’s Business & Investing Guide by LaFoy Orlando Thomas III Esq. I recommend everyone read this book.

I’m grateful to have amazing family, friends, mentors, resources that helped me to jump start my business to get to where it is today. I think it is important to have a group of likeminded friends who support another. Those will be the ones who support you the most. Shoutout to my tribe, you know who you are.

Website: https://taplink.cc/thefooddudeclt

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thefooddudeclt/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryan-jones-60bb4014/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ryan.g.jones.5

Other: https://www.facebook.com/bossbrostravel/

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