As you all know by now, I live in London but call New Orleans, Louisiana "home". Growing up, my father was in the military, so I was quite literally an Army Brat especially being an only child. Moving from country to country and state to state was fun but could get quite lonely until I learned how to be comfortable in my own company. Now, I can sit in a crowded pub alone or go to a movie solo - mind you I'm currently sitting in the bar at Football, surrounded by hooligans, writing this over a pint of Heineken and am completely content. As happy as I am to mull over my life choices while sipping a brew or two, I do get very homesick. Around a year after visiting NOLA, the pining for the Big Easy starts wearing on me. Once I get it in my head, I can't stop thinking about my family, gumbo, the effortless southern living, hurricanes (the drink from Pat O’Brien’s, not Katrina) and the endless loop of blues/jazz/classic rock that seems to play constantly in the back of your mind.
There are number of ways I combat my homesickness: I start by getting out of my usual routine and walking a different way to the shops, take a longer walk to the station (not the quickest, most direct walk at the speed of a hare) and really soaking in where I currently live. If I really revel in my current city, I start remembering why I've made the choice to live there. Another way to deal with being homesick is by checking out local restaurants that emulate Cajun or Creole foods. Surprisingly, there are few gems in each major city that has some sort of New Orleans fusion based menu. Albeit, they don't really quench the thirst for a traditional gumbo or succulent crawfish, but they keep the yearning to a manageable level. Lastly, if all else fails, I book a flight home! Not very cost effective, but I'll be damned if I'm going another month without petit fours, jambalaya, fried shrimp po’boy’s, gumbo (seafood OR chicken/Andouille), Taco Tuesday, Popeye’s or a BLOODY MARY.
NOLA HERE WE COME! Sevy and I will be embarking on a 10-hour direct flight from Heathrow to Louis Armstrong International. Just like when you go to Hawaii and receive a lei once you land, there will most definitely be beads, beer and boobs to greet us. Don't worry - I'll write a little blog post and fill it with some photos for everyone!
New Orleans Deli in Los Angeles.. even angels get homesick.
I mean, LOOK AT THAT! Who wouldn't get homesick?