Would you fly on an airplane to one of America’s point of interest, like Miami, New York or Las Vegas? What if you only had 24 hours would you still do it? Now would you do it alone?
I did. I flew from New Jersey all the way to beautiful New Orleans, Louisiana for just 24 hours (not including flight time) and it was absolutely amazing.
I picked only one day because I was traveling there by myself. I went alone was because I had such a short period of time to decide where I wanted to go before my flight credit expired (thanks to Southwest), and I thought it would be too much of a short notice for anyone to come. My friends and family called me crazy but I’m just spontaneous.
I’m a little on the indecisive side so it took me forever to finally chose a hotel. The day before I went with the La Quinta Inn & Suites. The room was really nice and the hotel was literally a few feet away from the French Quarter and the infamous Bourbon St. Plus, you couldn’t beat the price.
First thing I did was get ready. Shower, hair, make-up, you know the usual. Then, I went strolling down the Aves., talking to people, residents and out-of-towners alike, asking where the hotspots were. Now, some people weren’t familiar with that term. So I had to fill them in. Hotspots are the point of interest, the attractions. I was told about a bar called, The Daisy Dukes from some cool out-of-towners. An owner of this shop pointed me in the direction of Bourbon St. and mentioned taking the trollies around town. How tourist of me. I found it comical that the trollies had the phrase “hop-on, hop-off” for anyone who wanted to stop at a certain destination. I passed on the trollies, this time. And took to Bourbon St.
Oh what sights were there to see? People walking with their drinks along the streets, chatting, laughing, bar-hopping, playing music. Just being alive. And to see people having fun and being able to talk to complete strangers as if they’ve known them for years was the second best part of this trip. Heck, I even saw women with G-strings and pastries. All before sundown. So many bars to choose from, I examined them all before deciding with one where a girl stood outside with a sign that read “3 for one cocktails, beers”. Sold.
After ordering two cocktails with three shots for the price of one I knew I had to eat. This was the best part of the trip. The first restaurant I went to was called Mother’s. There I had my first gumbo, and it was seafood gumbo. Every restaurant I went to throughout the day (which was a total of four I believe) food tasted like home cook meals from your grandmother. If it don’t go back for anything in New Orleans, I have to go back for that Southern style food. Each restaurant was a new experience, and each meal gave a new meaning to finger-licking-good.
But one can’t have the complete New Orleans experience without hearing the music. I’m not a big fan of Jazz, but I had to hear some while I was there. So I stood along with the many of others, listening and recording a band play live jazz. Later on, the bars have live music. As I walked inside one bar, to my surprise a lady with such an amazing voice was doing a cover to Sam Cooks a change is going to come. I literally could have died because that is one of my favorite songs of all time. The soul in the lyrics and the soul in her voice was stunning to my heart.
Then, there was the art. I feel so in love with this photographers photos that I stood there admiring them for almost an hour going back and forth between the same ones. I held my chest because I had to walk away.
I was surprised I enjoyed myself so much traveling alone. I wish I could have shared this amazing experience with my friends and loved ones but the fact I made new friends, who were my tour guides that night made it nice to share this experience with someone. And after freaking out about being alone, this trip made me realize that I’m never really alone. Next time I’ll make sure I stay longer, because I did not want to leave.
So if the thought of traveling alone scares you into not going somewhere, remember when you get to your destination you won’t be if you don’t allow yourself to be. And it’s nice to treat yourself not cheat yourself.