Having traveled solo around the world, I love the peace and tranquility of staying in an area and “feeling” a culture or city. My poor husband rarely gets to go on trips with me, and when he does, he will fly in and spend the last few days with me. I am lucky to be married to such a patient man! The WanderTours New Orleans Culinary Tour came across my radar a few months ago and I thought I really should go on this one, it would be good to see New Orleans from a different perspective than the party city it was in my younger days. I used to live on the Gulf Coast and New Orleans was a frequent weekend trip that was spent mainly on Bourbon Street drinking Hurricanes and spending my time in the pubs.
My other thoughts on this trip were, can I survive a group tour with a bunch of women? I tend to have really good friendships with women, but usually one-on-one, rather than groups of girlfriends. I treasure my dinners with the close friends I have, sitting down intimately and sharing what is going on in our lives. I had images of cat fights and passive-aggressive behavior on the New Orleans trip. I was firm on my choice to add the Single Supplement to my trip. I could not imagine sharing a hotel room with a complete stranger! I started to see the Introductory emails coming in prior to departure and I wondered who each of these women were and I tried to determine if I would have anything in common with them. They were of all ages and work backgrounds, some were retired and they came from all areas of the country.
The day finally arrived and I was in one of my favorite cities in the US! The smells of the Cajun and Creole cooking, the hair frizzing humidity and the multitude of tourists wandering the streets made me feel right at home. I arrived a day early so I could wander around with my camera and get a feel for New Orleans before I was on a more structured schedule. I was nervous about meeting everyone and excited at the same time to be going on all of the excursions that Beth had scheduled for our group. Did I mention that this was a Wander Tours event? After a good nights sleep, I went down to the lobby to meet with everyone. I think we were all a little quiet at first, but it did not take long to start chatting and learning more about each other. What I was pleasantly surprised to find out, was that I was with all like-minded women who had a love for travel and adventure! Even though we all came from different backgrounds, we all had that one thing in common.
The next four days were fun and memorable and I would definitely do this again! I came away from New Orleans with the joy of meeting new friends and the possibilities of future travel adventures with women who have the same spirit that I do. I also came away from this trip with marvelous recipes and cooking tips from the classes that we were a part of. It was the first time that I experienced New Orleans from a cultural and culinary perspective. I think I only stepped foot on Bourbon Street once, and that was to share the Pat O’Brien’s hurricane experience with these ladies. I had to have at least one! We had a lot of good giggles that night. The hotel we stayed in was full of history and some of us even had ghostly experiences. New Orleans is one of my favorite cities and will continue to be a source of inspiration for me.
Lesson learned: I am no longer worried about traveling with a group of women, just the opposite, my life is richer, having met women that have the same love for travel as I do.
HOTELS in New Orleans