One of the most precious and valuable benefits of travel is that it takes you out of your comfort zone, and if you’re open to the experience, it provides perspective. Travel teaches us about other cultures, but it also gives us the opportunity to learn about ourselves.
It is hard to forget the devastation of Hurricane Katrina when thinking of New Orleans. The city and the people are still recovering from that natural and man-made disaster. But they are recovering, and New Orleans showed my friends and me a grand time while we were there last month.
But as we strolled outside the welcoming, touristy areas of the French Quarter, I was reminded that there is a hard-earned need to be a bit self-protective here.
It also made me think about how guarded I can be in my own life, sometimes sharing information in one area to draw attention away from another.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
The streets were lonely, but for my friend and I. No signs of life. No movement aside from the occasional breeze. The picture below was different just because there was another person on the street. The quiet was eerie. There was no question we had wandered outside of the tourist area.
This sidewalk seating area looked like a page from a catalog to me. Different in that there were signs of life with the chairs and tree, and yet, I wonder how often anyone actually sits there.
The shutters faced outward, to the world, to the environment, but we learned that most of these homes surrounded courtyards that were the gathering places of friends and family.
Just a glimpse here and there, and we could see that once past that tough shell, the interior was a friendly and welcoming place to those invited.
ww linkup is on page 2