We love to travel here, be it at the drop of a hat or a more planned out getaway. From the weekends away to 24 hours in a city, to the longer adventures exploring the great parks of Yellowstone, the bug never seems to fade from our hearts. But sometimes it’s best to let the reigns go, to open up the agenda to others, and follow the path in front rather then go from agenda to agenda.
Welcome to New Orleans, a city so far behind that it is ahead. A city of diversity and culture that is seen nowhere else in the country. A city worth getting lost in.
New Orleans, or Nola, was anew adventure for me. I have never been to the true south, and I can’t really say I have been there yet. The city, described by some as the North Caribbean, feels so incredibly different than any other place I have explored. Every street was packed with something new, from the leaning homes to amazing boutique shops, all with the common flow of outward Nola charm, hospitality, and culture. From the French side to the English side, all intermixed with the Colonial styling, this melting pot of influence has stood the test of time year after year, hurricane after hurricane, and no doubt will continue to do so long after I am gone.
Hitting the streets of the city, walking down towards Jackson’s Square in the French Quarter, the sites and smells just drew me in, and the constant music in the air enhanced every bit of the walk. Wandering in and out of the little shops, including the amazingly delicious Leah’s Pralines to the back alleys between restaurants, my sense of direction was gone. I only knew where I was going, but probably could never navigate back to where I had been. And that was heaven.
But this was more than food, it was the beauty in the art, the history, and the architecture. Intermixed with the modern shops were classic elements, historical connections the locals never let go of as they fought to maintain their individualistic identity. From the gas lamps on the sides of the buildings to the bright colored paintings framed by colonial windows, every new block walked had something amazing to look at, check out, and take in, all while being able to walk into the small shops and see craftsmen hand building so many of these elements around the city. I was culturally intoxicated by everything around.
And no matter the neighborhood I wandered into, the corner I turned, it was all amazing.
There is something to say about this adventure. The start of new memories, but maybe more of a premonition of what was to come. To sit back and be overwhelmed by a cities true identity, but a people so proud of their heritage and independence, was only the first step. I was lost in this city. My mind wandering, exploring, and in love with everything around. And I had just arrived. This part alone was worth the adventure, the flight, and now cannot wait to return. I feel it’s safe to say no matter what happens around it, New Orleans will always be the same.
So here is to the start of getting lost, the start of finding my Nola and losing my heart among the charm. Here is to your adventure, where I hope you can join me.