Anticipation – kicking off the adventure

I used to just go and figure it out when I got there – like my first trip to Florida. I landed in Fort Lauderdale with a friend and took a cab to our motel. Spent days on the beach and evenings trying to find a decent restaurant or fun disco. Came home knowing nothing much about the place I’d just spent a week in.
That all changed with a trip to New Orleans. There’s history in New Orleans, there’s excitement and ambiance, architecture, plantations, bayous, renowned restaurants, voodoo and vampires. I was going for only five days – what to do, what to do? I bought a guidebook (this was before Internet).
I traveled to New Orleans for weeks before I actually got there. I learned about the history and how the Spanish, the French, the West Indians and the Americans each influenced the Crescent City. I learned about Paul Prud’homme and Emril Lagasse and their cuisine, I found out about the dangers of leaving the French Quarter at night. I even read novels set in New Orleans to get a flavour of the city.
What I learned gave me a game plan for my visit. It didn’t spoil the wonder I felt when I got there, it enhanced it. And it became my approach for much of my future travels.

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