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--Currently serving as a Peace Corps Health Education Volunteer in Cambodia!! However, as my previous place of residence was in New Orleans, I am keeping this bit of information below as a quick guide to cool spots in this amazing city-- :)
RECOMMENDED SIGHTS AND ACTIVITIES IN NEW ORLEANS (sorted by neighborhood)
-French Quarter: Royal St (lots of art galleries), Coop's Place (best gumbo!), Bar Tonique (best Bloody Marys, but only on Saturdays), Spitfire Coffee, Fleurty Girl, Jackson Square, One Eyed Jacks (great music venue), Preservation Hall
-DO NOT GO ON BOURBON ST it is overrated with disgusting drinks, food, it smells, and way too expensive
-Marigny: Frenchman St, ST CLAUDE AVE: Hi Ho Lounge, Kajun's (great drunken kareoke), Dragon's Den (Sunday night raves), New Movement Improv comedy, Siberia (various local live music), Healing Center with food co-op and Cafe Istanbul
-Flora Cafe (more for the ambiance than the food)
-Bywater: Frady's for good Po Boys, Satsuma Cafe, the thrift stores, Euclid Records, Elizabeth's (great "New Orleans" food for breakfast and lunch), Crescent City Park, Baccenal's
-Central Business District (CBD): World War II Museum, Urban South Brewery
UPTOWN (where I live)
-Oak St: Zots Cafe, Jaques Imo's, Maple Leaf Bar
-Freret St: Gasa Gasa (great live music venue), Midway Pizza, Cure (James Beard Award nominated bar), Mojo Coffee
-Audobon Park, Audobon Zoo, "The Fly" (a park where you can hang out)
-Miss Mae's: local 24 hour bar with super cheap drinks
-Riverbend (where St Charles and S Carrolton meet): Cooter Brown's, Carrolton Market
-St Charles: Avenue Pub (24 hr bar with huge selection of beer), Blind Pelican (incredible happy hour deals on oysters!!)
GARDEN DISTRICT/LOWER GARDEN DISTRICT
-Stein's Deli, District Donuts, more of Magazine St, Rum House, Dat Dog, Shaya (where I work!), Joey K's, all the art galleries, Tracy's (Irish bar with good Po Boys, THE place to go on St Patrick's Day), Tchoup Yard (really cool open air bar area with pop up kitchen and free yoga on Wednesday evenings), New Orleans Boulder gym on Tchoupitolas St (ladies night on Wednesdays, only $10)
-City Park, largest urban park in the country
-Museum of Art and sculpture garden, located in City Park
-Bayou Beer Garden
-Chickie Wah Wah, amazing music acts with killer BBQ food
-Monkey Monkey coffee shop
BAYOU ST JOHN
-Adjacent to city park... just a nice neighborhood to walk around the bayou, especially good for jogging :)
-Pal's Lounge is a really great local bar
-next to Bayou St John - Ponce De Leon St, and where Jazz Fest is... other than that I don't know much about it
LOWER NINTH WARD
-Lower Ninth Ward living museum!! A nonprofit museum converted from a shotgun house describing New Orleans culture and how the city pulled through Hurricane Katrina
-House of Dance and Feathers, for you Mardi Gras Indian enthusiasts (like myself)
To figure out my mission
After getting my B.A. five and a half years ago, I have been meandering around different states, accumulating different experiences, feeding my love of travel and exploration with hope that one day, I'll know what I want to "do" with my life. Growing up, I never really traveled outside of North America. It's been an incredible journey so far - I've taken multi-state road trips, survived a major earthquake in Nepal, picked berries for money in California, took a 26 hour train ride across India (would not recommend the non-AC compartment even if it is cheaper), moved to a ski town and learned how to ski in Colorado, and lots of other stuff.
So far I've lived (outside of the US) in Scotland, Israel, and Nepal (well, I was there for 3 months) and done small bits of traveling in Europe/ Middle East/Asia in between. And thanks to CouchSurfing and other random adventures, I've made lots of friends along the way :)
Additionally, I have lived in now five different states in the US - MA, MD, CO, CA, and LA - taking little breaks when I can to other parts of the world! I have also driven through several other states - some only once (Ohio), some 3 or 4 times (Utah).
I drove from central California to New Orleans a little over a year ago, and it has been a magical, wonderful crazy adjustment. It is a beautiful city rich with diversity, history and culture. I will be here for the next few months and, if everything clears like it's supposed to, I will be off to Cambodia to serve in the Peace Corps this summer.
So, here's to more adventures and worldwide friends!
Do what you love, love what you do and (try to) fuck the rest.
It is important to keep pushing yourself and your comfort zone to really experience life (for me, it would be immersing myself in a foreign country without knowing anyone there). Also I think cultural exchange is vital in life; people need to see the world through other people's points of views.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
Try to give as much as I can, listen to others, be open-minded and try to enjoy my time as much as possible. I am a person that loves helping other people.
Since I am often not able to host - due to my constant moving or having roommates not comfortable with hosting surfers or my extremely irregular schedule - I try to give back by giving people rides! When in the US, I have my car with me, so I am happy to help someone out by giving them a ride to the next city, bus station, etc. if I have the time. I love helping a fellow traveler out and there are always interesting conversations that arise.
It's been great going out on a whim and getting to know and stay with the locals or people who have lived in the area. It's only through Couchsurfing that I have been able to experience everything from fun ukelele and moshpit shows in St. Louis to meditating in an ashram in Vancouver and impromptu dance house-parties in Vancouver to exploring the best local pastry and fish market by the river in Istanbul.
When I am traveling and staying with someone outside of CS, or living in an unfamiliar place, the first thing I will do is reach out to the local CS community. Every single person I have met in those events has been warm, inspiring, friendly, full of experience and positive energy. That's why I keep coming back to CS!
My interests are really everywhere. Sometimes I like to relax and watch cartoons or Monty Python. Sometimes I will binge-watch all the Good Mythical Morning episodes on YouTube I've missed out on. Sometimes I will just sit down and write about random travel experiences/memories that I've had.
I also love outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, camping, climbing a mountain if I'm up to it. I try to stay physically active - I practice Capoeira, read, jog, go for long walks. Since moving to NOLA, I've become more active in practicing my violin and seeking out swing dancing, which I do at least once a week, when I have the time.
In any community that I live in, I try to volunteer regularly to be more active in my community and learn more about it. Here in New Orleans, I volunteer once a week at an urban farm called Grow Dat (city park), and once a week at a day shelter for the homeless called the Rebuild Center (downtown).
I also like being in the city nightlife of hanging out in bars and sometimes clubbing ... I have a lot more I can't think of off the top of my head but most importantly, I just want to explore!
Music, Movies, and Books
A book whose lessons I take deep to heart is Herman Hess' Siddartha.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
I had an internship the summer after I graduated working with a nonprofit called the International Rescue Committee in which I worked with all the departments to resettle refugees and asylees from all over the world into the city of Baltimore. I got to directly help displaced people and families from all parts of life and make them feel at home in a foreign country. It was really hard work and I only got paid in gas money for driving clients around, but it was incredibly rewarding.
Teach, Learn, Share
I was watching a traveling show a while ago where the host said that the best way to get to know the people of a foreign place is to go to the bar. I hope this is true :)
What I Can Share with Hosts
Stories! I have had many odd, epic and strange adventures and events that have happened to me and met many beautiful people along the way. Give me enough time and I will recount a story. I will also offer a listening ear to your experiences and stories because communicating and sharing is how we learn about life.
I also like to cook - I'm not a professional, but I have fun experimenting with foods and throwing them together. And of course, I will respect your space and keep it clean and tidy.
I have surfed many times and each time I am so grateful for the world of couchsurfing and its hosts, so lastly, I will provide hugs and gratitude!!
Countries I’ve Visited
Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, Turkey
Countries I’ve Lived In
Israel, Nepal, United Kingdom