Recently, I took a trip to New Orleans, Louisiana, with some friends from East Carolina University. I have always heard that NOLA was a great “bucket list” traveling spot, and I was so ecstatic to be blessed with the opportunity to explore this city firsthand. I really enjoyed experiencing the one of a kind culture and unique atmosphere of New Orleans, or as my Uber driver pronounced it, “N’awlins.”
A City of Talent
Upon arriving in the city on the first day of my trip, I was in awe of how much raw talent lies within the streets of NOLA. Almost every street was filled with talented individuals showcasing their own personal niche to the crowds of people walking by. The talents varied from art to entertainment, but regardless, they all made you want to stop and admire what they were doing.
All forms of remarkable art were for sale along the streets. The art ranged from beautiful canvas paintings to locally found sheet metal that was transformed into hand drawn and cut designs. Some even used their creative content writing skills to formulate on the spot poetry for tourists walking by.
As for the entertainment, there were many street performers throughout the city. Some displayed their musical abilities through singing, dancing, and playing instruments while others used different methods of entertainment to attract a crowd. For example, I saw multiple magicians, palm readers, tarot card readers, comedians, face painters, human statues, and much more.
Tourist tip: Depending on their talent, if they catch you taking a picture (like of a human statue), they will expect you to tip!
There’s Always a Reason to Celebrate in NOLA
Outside of the stationed artists and performers that are out daily, you may even catch some wonderful celebrations parading through the streets. There are always festivities occurring in New Orleans, and I was lucky enough to witness two different types of parades. The first was like any other. It was a parade performance centered around the current holiday. In this case, I went down the week of St. Patrick’s Day and saw a couple of really neat parades.
I also got the unique experience of witnessing a famous New Orleans second line parade. These historic parades are used for all types of events. They can range all the way from funerals to weddings. The funeral parades are not meant to symbolize sadness, but instead, a celebration of a loved one’s life. As for weddings, these are used to recognize and congratulate newlyweds on the beginning of a wonderful journey that they will share with each other. When I was in NOLA, I saw a wedding second line parade, and it was by far an awesome experience.
The Big Easy
I quickly learned the reason behind the city’s beloved nickname, “The Big Easy.” New Orleans is filled with carefree souls who love to have a good time and embrace every aspect of the joys of life. The atmosphere held a constant vibe of positivity and passion for art that radiated among the people of New Orleans.
I instantly admired the easygoing attitude of the locals and the lack of judgment that they had for one another. Being in this city opened my eyes to how a lot of cultures are so caught up in their own ways. We easily forget to embrace who we truly are, and we care too much about what our peers think of us.
New Orleans showed me that anything in this world is worth celebrating, whether it’s for the good times or bad. It also reminded me to fully enjoy life, be who I am, and always do what makes me happy despite what others may think. I would love to go back to this artsy, full of life city again one day soon. Until then, I look forward to embracing the next adventure that life throws at me.
Stay tuned to read more about my exciting trip in New Orleans, Louisiana!