The last few weeks have been spent celebrating this great city and all of our fabulous friends! From barbeques to drinks at Bouligny Tavern to jazz at Preservation Hall and a taste of it all at Bacchanal for our big Bon Voyage – it has been a blast! Thank you to all of our friends who make living in New Orleans that much more wonderful.
And now our 4 day extended road trip from New Orleans to Connecticut with our Newfoundland: Jelly Roll, cat: Marmalade, tortoise: Satchmo, and all our belongings, along with a boat is upon us.
We’re gonna miss you when we’re gone! (just a minor tweak in lyrics, but I always like to improvise those anyway!)
“Half a pound of cure is worth half an ounce of pure prevention.”
We took this saying to heart and made appointments at our local travel clinic as soon as our itinerary was final. In preparation for this doctor’s visit, I felt we must be very organized, have all of our questions prepared, be ready to grill the doctor, and ensure we were getting the right advice. I was concerned that like a lot of doctors these days, they may not have the time I felt we needed to really understand our medical needs for the next year – with unknown access to doctors and hospitals of unknown quality ahead. Lee was much less apprehensive, but amused me and helped make a list of all of the questions, vaccines, and antibiotics we should at least discuss with the doctor.
Boy were my concerns allayed. We spend 4.5 hours at the travel clinic, and every single minute was helpful.
The entire staff and experience was exceptional – from the front desk, to the 15 minute “travel basics” video we watched, to the incredibly experienced nurse and unbelievably thoughtful + knowledgeable doctor. We were reminded of essential tips like, “Boil It, Peel It, Cook It or Forget It”, were provided water filtration system options, and given detailed instructions on the complex schedule of how, when, and where to take our malaria medicine. The doctor walked through every single country, region, and city we are planning to visit, reviewing the latest disease and prevention methods for each area and his recommendation for every step of our journey.
Then came vaccine and shot time. Our nurse kept us engaged, informed, and believe it or not, laughing, the whole time. We even got lollipop suckers for being brave, 26 year old grown children. What a treat! Thank you Tulane Travel Clinic for turning a daunting experience into a very fun and memorable day! And of course, for keeping us healthy as we travel the globe!
I hung up the phone after purchasing our tickets and was beaming. Lee had already left the room after hours of revising plans, hunting down the right bank card, extending my usual purchasing limit, and reviewing the details one last time.
We had to celebrate together! I put on the best traveling song I could think of and started the most enthusiastic jumping march, with Jelly Roll quickly following in tow. Upon finding Lee and making our boisterous, beaming entrance…he surprised us with an angled bottle of champagne and the cheer-enducing POP! of the cork flying out of the bottle and through the air. We danced in a circle, holding our champagne glass above our heads and shouting “I would walk 500 hundred miles…Dah Dah Dah!!!”
12 months and a blank slate. Or rather, a 4 foot by 3 foot map of the world with one pin: New Orleans. Venturing out from our home in New Orleans had been decided. Now the big question was, “Where to?”.
We started with a large map of the world, mounted it on particle board, and hung it up right next to the bed for inspiration. We then reviewed official listings of countries by world region. Knowing our limited budget, Tim Leffel’s “The World’s Cheapest Destinations” with recommendations for 21 countries proved very helpful. Lastly and perhaps most importantly, we weighed our natural travel interests.
List after list, comparing for regional and country overlap, including input from family and friends, and lots of research later we arrived on our final list of countries, cities, and cultures to explore.
See Our Path (tab above) to follow along! And please share any recommendations, connections, and tidbits of inspiration with us!