That Time In New Orleans

New Orleans Travel

In 2011, I traveled to New Orleans with some other university students for a Leadership Exchange. It was, in short, life-altering. It was the first trip I ever went on “by myself” (aka, no parents) and the first trip I faithfully documented in my journal.

It was the first time in my adult life I experienced a culture radically different from my own. There’s something about submerging yourself in an unknown city…really exploring and savoring it…that ends up teaching you a lot about yourself.

I meticulously researched coffee shops and jazz clubs and used book stores. I wanted to get drunk on (ON, not in – I wasn’t 21 yet) New Orleans and press myself into every nook and cranny of the city.

Sounds of New Orleans
Street musicians
Laughter
Jazz, the heartbeat of the city
People begging for money
Front porch rocking chairs creaking

Sights of New Orleans
Brick streets
Gritty everything
Murals, painted with hope
Shotgun shacks
Marti Gras beads

Smells of New Orleans
Beignets, puffy and sweet
Lush, sweetly overgrown plants
Fiery Cajun spices
Jasmine perfume
Chicory coffee

On our last morning, I woke up at the crack of dawn and walked all the way through the French Quarter to a little neighborhood called Faubourg Marigny. Y’all, I fell in love. Madly. It was quiet, historic, humble. I wandered around for an hour, said hello to people reading the newspaper on their front porches, stopped for coffee and took pictures of sidewalks.

NewOrleansSidewalk

NewOrleansShopSign

NewOrleansBrickStreets

As I was leaving, I stumbled across this. When I researched it atΒ home, I found out it had just been installed by a woman named Candy Chang. Read more about the “Before I Die” project here.

BeforeIDie1

BeforeIDie2

BeforeIDie3

What is the most memorable place you’ve ever traveled to?

Under Grace,
Rachel

Other Lovely Reads…
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Blog Inc. Book Review
An Un-Fancy Outfit
Grace Upon Grace from Amy
5 Ways To Stay Positive Facing the Impossible

18 thoughts on “That Time In New Orleans

    • You’re ALWAYS welcome, Madison! Glad to share your content over here!!
      You should DEFINITELY visit New Orleans! Oh, you and Steven would love it! Definitely build in some time just to wander around and explore…I think that’s the best way to experience a city πŸ™‚

    • Really, Cassie?! Oh my goodness, you’re going to LOVE it! How long will you be staying in the city? Will you have time to explore??
      The “Before I Die” project is just my favorite. Candy Chang has expanded it to cities all over the world, which is just pretty epic in my opinion!

  1. What an amazing way to capture a trip! It sounds like you completely soaked in the essence of New Orleans. I’ll have to try this type of journaling for my next trip! Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

  2. I have never had the desire to travel to New Orleans but I totally would after reading this! Love it!!! Faubourg Marigny sounds like the perfect little town. How fun! I would say that my most memorable trip I have taken is to the Bahamas when my now-husband proposed on the beach at Atlantis at sunset!

    • Katie! You should definitely travel to New Orleans…it’s incredible. I would stay away from Bourbon street because it’s terrifying and very touristy, but the Marigny district is, as you say, PERFECT. It’s a super interesting slice of the city.
      You got proposed to on the beach at sunset?! That sounds divine!

  3. This was so fun to read about your experience!
    I agree that going to a new city, or country, or state…and submerging yourself in the culture teaches you so much about who you really are and what you want out of life.

    Thanks for sharing this with us Rachel!

  4. I love these pictures and the lists of sights, sounds and smells. My husband studied at Tulane for a month last year, and we lived in a hotel on Magazine street. It was an amazing experience, and I will always have a great love for that strange city. There is no place like it!

    • Hey there, Megan! Thank you for your encouraging words! I’m so glad you stopped by, and it’s awesome that you’ve spent some time in New Orleans! You’re absolutely right – there IS no place like it. What was your favorite part of living in the city for a month? I would have adored spending that much time there!

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