The Layover

We recently caught an episodes of Travel Channel’s The Layover. We are both already fans of Anthony Bourdain, although some of his recent project have not been to my taste. As his life and world view have changed, so have the work. The Layover appealed to us because there are so many occasions when we have a limited amount of time, resources, or mobility in cool locations. The Layover is all about finding the thing to do in a place. This is easier when you aren’t traveling every day, we often don’t have the time or inclination to pre-plan. There are certain gems that you must experience. New Orleans is one of those places, no matter how much or little time you have, there is a memory to be made.

This is an oldy but a goody

This is an oldy but a goody

After watching Bourdain’s 48 hours in Nola, it got us both thinking about how much we enjoy that city but not for the obvious reasons. There is no other place in the US with such a unique culture, not always noticeable on Bourbon Street. This is not to say that you shouldn’t take part in that wild time once, but the city offers much more and better places to booze and hear music. Part of living this lifestyle is meeting people from all over and gathering a large network. We have the privilege to know a couple of really cool cats in New Orleans, including a native. Hanging out with a local in the know is truly awesome and has been a large part in formulating our opinion of Nola.

Pippi going Steampunk for the parade

Pippi going Steampunk for the parade

The different cultures and classes live so close together, that they blend and it creates what is uniquely New Orleans. Different interest and world views are mixed together and appreciate to grow what is NoLa. This is very apparent in the food. While there are many traditional Louisiana foods, anything you eat in the city has a bit of the melting pot to it. That is also to say that New Orleans is not the place to start your diet. Next time you are thinking about going to a city as well known as this one consider some options that don’t make the top 10. I assure you that it will still be fun and possibly a more authentic visit.

A fabulous dinner at Three Sister, one of my favs

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Travel, Adventure & Sam Brown

Samantha Brown has been with the Travel Channel from the early days, a host since 1999. I know that her poise and fun on-camera style has inspired many to “just go”. I am no exception. Watching Passport to Europe with Samantha Brown fascinated me; this midwestern sounding woman is traveling all over the place and makes it look easy. She always carried the air of someone who wasn’t pretentious, privileged or arrogant. She was just a typical American tourist.

 

She inspired me to pursue a life away from my hometown; she inspired me to relax about being in the unfamiliar. We recently had a chance to hear her speak about her life as a TV host and her passion for travel. We are always trying to find fun things to do and when we caught a billboard for the Travel & Adventure Show it was a must.

 

After seeing that Sam Brown would be speaking there was not question when we were going. To meet an inspiration was amazing but what she had to say was even better. After all these years of being a TV host she is still approachable and sounds like she an old friend. The biggest concept she was trying to impress upon the audience was to travel your own way. There is a distinction between tourist and travelers but what does that matter as long as you are experiencing something.

 

Sam signed a Polaroid for me!!!

Sam signed a Polaroid for me!!!

 

Josh and I are travelers, we like to be a part of the places we visit, detest resorts and prefer to set a minimal itinerary. I am often a bit judgmental of tourist, how I feel they are doing it wrong. I know of some people who travel to another countries only to never leave a resort. I have a hard time understanding that but why should I care, it’s their holiday. It is about what you get out of it, not what others want.

 

Travel is also about more than just seeing the history of a place. I love going to museums but there is real value in being a part of the present. When we went to New Zealand we had the perfect mix. Visiting historic locations and museums while also being a part of local customs and eating local food. A highlight of our trip to Belize was having lunch from a street cart with the dive crew instead of going to a restaurant.

 

The great guys from Island Divers in Belize

The great guys from Island Divers in Belize

Brown did have one parting story that really struck me, once while in the middle a long string of filming (being gone for months like us), she was just craving a bit of home. I live out of a suitcase and have no home. There are times when this wears on Josh and I, that we have no place to call home. This is the hard part of traveling like we do, that lack a normalcy. There are times when we could drive into a city and see something spectacular but instead we just get takeout and do laundry. It is boring but at times more refreshing than a spa day. We travel our way.

 

Be a traveler or be a tourist but Just Go.
***This is part of a series of posts called “Travel Tuesday“, each covering topics unique to our lifestyle***