Why travel? Five days in New Orleans

The husband and I really only share two interests - travel, and each other. I suppose our lack of commonality is a bit worrying if you stop to think about it, but we usually don't: we're too busy either travelling, or planning our next trip :) 

I feel like our generation prides itself on being unflappable. Thanks to the internet, we've seen everything. There's nothing we don't have a clever response to. I am a cynical person, but I'm growing less blase as I see more of the world. I'm not saying I always walk around open-mouthed with wonder when we travel. But for me, it's all worth it for those moments (and there are many) when you realize you don't really know everything. This is why I love travel: you can't take things for granted when the world's constantly surprising you. 

We just got back from New Orleans, which reinforced this. There's nothing about the city that resembles anything we've seen or done in the past. Who knew a city in North America could be so charming? An All Saints game + a Mardi Gras parade on Saturday night showcased Bourbon Street at its eccentric best - you could totally imagine it was still the 1920's and the Jazz Age had never ended. 

I don't want to glorify alcohol, but it fueled some incredibly beautiful scenes that night - most memorably, outrageously overdressed people on every balcony throwing beads and dollar notes into the crowd below. There wasn't a cab in sight, so we walked two miles back to our B&B, eavesdropping on surprisingly coherent proclamations. It was like something out of a Fitzgerald novel. I was very tempted to just walk the streets all night recording what we heard. 

Sober, N'awlins is still surreal. I didn't see a single piece of art we didn't want to buy. The most average live music was better than most, and the really good jazz blew my mind away. It really all belongs in another time. Life slows down in Lousiana - each meal took an hour, no one seemed to be in a hurry. Jambalaya, gumbo, beignets, po-boys, grits, biscuits and gravy, fried okra - not a bad haul for two vegetarians meeting Southern food for the first time.

I wouldn't want to live in New Orleans - romanticism aside, it's not the safest city, it's always noisy and I can't cushion how dirty the streets are - but as a vacation, wow.

1 comment:

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