As professional travelers we find it really easy to make last minute travel decisions. There is so much freedom in knowing that we can decide to go somewhere on a whim and not have to worry about where we’re going to stay and what we’re going to do. We just know how to do all that and feel very confident in turning up in a town and having all the pieces fall into place perfectly without the stress of planning weeks or even months in advance.
Journey to New Orleans
So this morning we decided the city of New Orleans would be our travel destination. We scrapped Puerto Rico as it was going to rain there everyday and we just weren’t that inspired by it. We had intended to visit New Orleans on the year that Katrina hit, so that wiped out our plans.
This would be the perfect time for us to visit now. A couple of days in New Orleans and then back to North Carolina to go to the beach to enjoy the spectacularly and unusual warm April weather they are going to be having over the next week. Hurray for the return of the sun.
Luckily we scored a great deal on a hotel room for just $50 in the French Quarter just a street back from the action of Bourbon Street, infamous for it’s drunken debauchery especially during Mardi Gras. Craig works for Delta which means we get free flights to anywhere around the world on standby. We quickly packed our bags and left on our 3 night adventure.
It felt so comfortably exciting to put the backpack on again, like I had finally returned home. We managed to get on both flights with fantastic roomy seats and free cocktails.
Arriving in New Orleans
Craig and I are backpackers by heart and are so used to roughing it that we did not find a problem with jumping on the local bus to get into downtown New Orleans. We obviously stuck out like sore thumb- pretty stupid ones from some of the “You must be crazy” stares we received. The bus driver was sure to give us strict walking instructions on how to get to our hotel after he let us ride for free, probably as a reward for our
We’ve traveled through the wilds of Africa and through some scary, dodgy places so we feel pretty brave to venture into some areas and do things that others won’t. I’m not sure whether it’s because now I’m a mother and a bit more cautious and protective but the bus ride into town and the couple of blocks walk to our hotel had my heart thumping with fear.
Surprised at the poverty of New Orleans
We were stunned and shocked by the level of poverty we saw riding into town. We remembered when we saw on the news during Hurricane Katrina how it looked like something you would see in Africa. This was really the reality that we saw right now. Dilapidated houses and US style shanty towns sat just on the outskirts of the French quarter. Rubbish was strewn about everywhere and we had to walk past gangs of street youth and doped out looking homeless people.
Part of traveling we love so much is the journey you experience arriving to a place, getting local transport, talking with the locals and witnessing the reality of life for everyday people. For us that is part of the adventure and it was a pretty scary and shocking one today. I really recommend that unless you are used to this kind of a ride, get the shuttle bus into town for your trip to New Orleans. We certainly will when it’s time to leave.
More posts about New Orleans
- First Impressions of French Quarter New Orleans
- Relaxing in New Orleans
- New Orleans Seeps Into our Skin
More Resources for Planning a Trip to New Orleans
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