We rolled into the room like a bookingdotcom commercial. Tired, hungry, shoeless, bags draped everywhere.
Inside we piled coats, suitcases, backpacks in corners and on the one chair and opened the french doors onto the world of Bourbon Street. It was barely noon. A tinny heartbeat of drums throbbed against the brick buildings of the street as music spilled everywhere.
We smiled, reveled a minute at our choice.
Only one moment in life does a person turn twenty-one. A moment that should be remembered for eternity.
We are not ordinary people. We don’t crave things, belongings, enormous houses, expensive cars, manicured lawns. We don’t seek to find what others have.
We crave life. Memories. Experience. Jumping in head first, immersing ourselves in the adventure.
It’s the adventure that satisfies our souls like an air conditioned room on an August day in Texas.
And NOLA has adventure by the piles. Long dead crawfish, stale beer, cigarettes, deep fried something or other, vomit, disinfectant sprayed by the street cleaners early in the morning, … and coffee percolating through snippets of jazz and rap and rock and blaring from the bars, flowing from the buskers, interrupted by sirens and horns and someone laughing a bit too loud. A night of revelry for hundreds, maybe thousands, punctuated by the droning microphoned monotonous voice of a street preacher calling for repentance a thousand times over.
Thank God for ear plugs at four in the morning.
And because life is too short to not eat dessert first, supper was powder sugared beignets at the Cafe du Monde where we didn’t stand in a line at eight o’clock at night.
I miss it and I haven’t been home twelve hours yet.
When I was in high school I took a test to see what I was suited to be when I grew up. My result, which ticked me off at the time, was that I should be an adventurer and explorer. My image of Marco Polo or Christopher Columbus was not what I wanted to do, or thought I wanted to do. But somehow, life has a way of defining itself.
The year I turned twenty-one I changed my world. I set out to travel as much as I could. To experience the world and everything it had to offer. I was in 18 air ports, 8 states, and 6 countries that year alone. If I’d only figured out how to make that my life …