From Student Blogger Kayleigh: Things I learned in New Orleans

From Student Blogger Kayleigh: Things I learned in New Orleans

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Hello Gentle Readers!

In this week’s blog post I will talk about a city that is very close to my heart, New Orleans!
Read about things I learned and experienced in this truly amazing city.


1) Friendliest people you will ever meet

The Southern hospitality is no lie in this city. Every person I came across in New Orleans was kind, warm, a little crazy but always open to have a conversation with you. The people who worked at the hostel were so welcoming it took them almost two hours to check us in because they wanted to tell us all these crazy stories and gave us really amazing insider tips that made the trip even better!


2) Best city to celebrate your 21st birthday and the tradition of the dollar pin

Now this is the part where it gets a little vague. You see, the evening my mom, my stepdad (RAAAN) and myself arrived in New Orleans, was the evening I was going to turn 21. Now, on this evening nothing really happened, but the day of my actual birthday that’s where it gets interesting. The girl who worked at the hostel taught me about a true authentic New Orleans tradition. When it’s your birthday, pin a dollar to your shirt (no, no, I am not trying to get you robbed). Locals will know it’s your birthday and will come up to you to wish you happy birthday and pin more money to your shirt—what a great way to earn money! This caused me  to be serenaded to, getting (a lot of) free drinks, I got a t-shirt, beads, champagne and free cocktail glasses. My advice, if you are 21 or older, go to New Orleans to celebrate your birthday!


3) Pace yourself

I know it is really tempting to drink a lot in New Orleans, especially because you can walk around the streets freely with your drink in your hand and the drinks are really good. However, pace yourself because before you know it you become one of those people in the streets you made fun of just hours ago (yes, I am speaking from experience; did I have to rely on other people to tell me what happened because I drank a little too much and have no clear memory of that evening? Maybe.) 


4) Avoid Bourbon Street after your first stroll through it

You might think: “Isn’t Bourbon Street the main street you have to visit to experience New Orleans?” The answer is no. I always thought Bourbon Street was the highlight of New Orleans, it isn’t. It is great to walk over once, especially in the evening but unless you love the smell of puke, warm beer and regrets I suggest you go somewhere else. There are way cooler and more authentic areas in the French Quarter to experience the true New Orleans culture. 


5) Eat food in Dive bars!

New Orleans is known for its amazing food. However, a lot of Dive bars might look a little sketchy and it is easy to avoid those. DON’T. It’s these places that actually serve the best food and also have affordable prices. If there are bugs crawling over the floor and or water leaking from the ceiling don’t let that affect your decision of going in. In these places you will find more locals than tourists and if you complain about Bourbon Street loud enough, the waiter might pick up your tab for you.


Kayleigh de Vrij, from the Netherlands, attends Green River College in Auburn, Washington. She is majoring in Gender Studies. She intended to go to Green River College for nine months as a gap year experience but has extended her stay by six months to finish the Gender Studies program and to transfer to University College Roosevelt in the Netherlands.​