Local Travel

There’s not really much to do in Metairie. But once I moved to New Orleans, a whole world opened up! There are just always things to do in New Orleans.  I spent my first few years of age exploring and falling down in the French Quarter and Bourbon Street. I have since refined my tastes to be a little more targeted. Particularly, I love the Garden District. Small restaurants, cafes, boutiques, and endless walking around space.

Every so often, I’ll make my way over to Frenchman Street to check out local music and the art market. But when that happens, I usually end up imbibing too much and making questionable choices with the trajectory of my evening. To that effect, I try to reserve nights like this for when I have out-of-towners or dates.

I’m also quite fond of the Lafitte swamps and while I would love to go out there on my own and take my boat out, I don’t have a boat. I usually just watch the groupon deals for a swamp tour and do that when I have guests. People lose their shit over alligators. I’ll also do this with the kids we’re representing once in a while. They should know how big their world really is!

And finally, there are so very many celebrity-cheffed restaurants in New Orleans that I love to try. I won’t even wait for accompaniment for these. I like to go eat meals on my own. There’s something really calming about it.

National Travel

Now I’m much more responsible about my money, my time, my travel. I understand so much more now that I needn’t leave the country to find adventure. There are so many cool trips around Louisiana – even just the swamps of Louisiana, the gulf of Mississippi, the mountains and honky tonks of Tennessee, etc.  I spent about twenty-five years ignoring some very cool local attractions.

My favorite place to visit is Asheville, North Carolina. In the middle of conservative “southern” North Carolina, there exists this little New Age Mecca city for arts and women and inclusivity and microbreweries and art and happiness.  People just feel at ease there. There is always something to do, see or participate in. The Blue Ridge Parkway runs right through it, so it’s scenic and popular.

There’s so much live music whether in clubs, concert venues or beautiful summer festivals.  There’s always street performance and outdoor music to be found.  And it attracts most of the big name acts coming through the region.

Oh! And Nina Simone is from Asheville!

International Travel

I used to be quite the avid traveler. I travelled to five continents (North America, South America, Asia, Europe, and Australia) before I even finished college. But I had never been to California. It dawned on me when I was about 23 how much money I’d spent leaving the country without ever having exhausted the travel opportunities within the Americas.  Since then I’ve made a point to get out of Louisiana at least four times a year.

I grew up in North America, no cool story about my travels TO North America. Nor are there any cool stories about my travel WITHIN North America for the first half of my life.  To offer perspective, I had left Louisiana plenty of times in my twenties, but only to leave the country.

I went to South America when I was 20 and there was a January term study trip to Ecuador. I honestly don’t even remember the *premise* of the educational part of the trip. It was pretty much just a three-week party for which I got some art credits.

Asia was even less planned out. I was dating a Japanese-American woman for about two months when her grandmother in Kyoto passed away. She very weepily asked me to accompany her to the funeral and while my brain was screaming TOO EARLY TOO EARLY, I obliged and we had a terrible time. Turns out, travelling with a new significant other can be very challenging, especially if there’s going through some very loud and dramatic mourning about a woman they’ve (nor you’ve) ever actually met.

I was just about to graduate from college when my roommate decided he was going to spend the summer in Australia. I didn’t have a job lined up yet, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and I was already tens of thousands of dollars in student debt so I figured…. now or never.  We rented a little rv van/bus thing and drove around the country for about three months having the best time. It was the best, freest, happiest time of my life. Paying off those loans – still to this day – feels very worth it.

Hobbies

I have hobbies. While I work hard and often, I unwind hard and less often. I like to make small films and photographs, mainly of nature and my nephews/nieces to post to my Instagram page. After a long day in court trying to make a judge acknowledge that a child is a human, or watching maps and clearance patterns so that I can get people home safely, I like to set up my tripod in my yard and spend three hours filming a slug only to lapse it into a 30-second video of a moving slug. It’s a nice calming reminder that no matter what I do and no matter how hard I work, biological life goes on however it must to survive.

And I’ll admit that the number of “likes” I get on a post does help me determine what to post more.

I also like different kinds of fitness. Lately I’ve been doing Muy Thai – a Thai kickboxing practice – which allows me to stay fit, meet people, and be active. Last week though, I caught a thumb in my left eye and have been sporting a pretty sexy (?) shiner since. Although, the girl I met a week before this accident seemed to find it kinda sexy. So maybe that’s working against my clean cut image? In a good way.

For a while I was even helping a local company provide pool service in Gulfport, MS. Not exactly what I would call a hobby, but something about using the net to pick up all the floating pine straw helps me relax.

 

Flying!

I forgot I wanted to make this blog about flying too. When I’m not working in child injury advocacy, I am an air traffic controller. Yup! Just like the guy in Breaking Bad, but I’m much better at it, so far. The gist of this is that I work on the ground through a controlled airspace providing advisory services to aircraft in non-controlled airspace. So I spend a lot of time saying, “you’re clear to proceed to gate #.”

My preferred role in air traffic controls is through tower control, responsibility for the active runway surfaces.  I clear aircrafts for take=off and landing and ensure that the prescribed runway separation always exists.  So if you’re ever sitting on a plane waiting for a gate, know that someone like me is sitting in a tower making sure that you get a gate, but that it’s safe for everyone on your plane as well as all of the other planes at the airport.  This is a good fit for me because while it allows me to use my analytic brain and conduct work through ha series of logical steps and conclusions, it doesn’t allow much for big disastrous mistakes like the one in Breaking Bad which was caused by a mid-air collision due to an air traffic controller on zero sleep and reeling from the death of his daughter.

For what it’s worth, my airport requires leaves of absence for any air traffic controllers experiencing a similar trauma or upsetting life event. Besides traffic and weather, air traffic control problems are the next cause of air traffic disasters – in my opinion. I wouldn’t want anyone doing the job who could possibly disagree with me.

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