my first stint in NO was less than spectacular. in retrospect i blame myself.

in recent years i’ve discovered that when i travel out of the country i live bigger than when i’m home. more than that, i plan to live just as big when i return home… but usually i return home to habit and rut and i lose sight of all the things that travel reminds me of.

i think that was what happened in 2005. i didn’t know a lot of people and grad school was a new thing and instead of taking a deep breath and diving in i instead hunkered down. over time i made friends and did the occasional thing but…big would not be how i described my life here.

fast forward past katrina and into my visit to guatemala and my time in new zealand and i painted life with broad strokes – sometimes broader than others but…i skied and talked to strangers and planned and went on trips. i lived large.

returning stateside was hard for me on so many levels and welcomed at the same time – i am a walking contradiction as usual. but this return home proved an opportunity for me to for once introduce my traveling self to my domestic one.

and so i have…

today i took myself to the french quarter fest. i had hoped to put together a group of friends but for whatever reasons that didn’t work out. so instead i gave thanks for the glorious day that was today, bright sun brisk wind no rain, and parked my car and walked into the festival. i was met with throngs of people the buzz of laughter and music and the aroma of all kinds of food.

i milled about, listened to one stage, bought some crawfish bread, listened at another stage, bought some crab and shrimp stuffed peppers, then alligator sausage and goat cheese crepes (with crawfish sauce), then strawberry and nutella crepes. then there was art and me talking and making friends with strangers and becoming part of a mini group. we talked and walked and listed to music. and of course there was more food.

i bring it up only because this year i’m enjoying myself. this time in new orleans i’m all about festivals and volunteer work and fun classes and making new friends. this time around i’ve figured out how to do my travel thing while staying put.

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