Maybe I’m Alone for the Holidays, But Lonely I’m Not

The Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans, LA

Christmas: whether one is single or in a couple, whether traveling to family or vice versa; typically, it’s a holiday one spends with loved ones. But this year, my Christmas looks a little different. I’m spending Christmas week in New Orleans, just me and Penny, my 3-year-old mini Aussie shepherd. (Any other single independent women out there, just doing their thing? Leave me a comment!)

But explaining my Christmas plans to others the past few weeks went a little bit like this: 
Them: “Do you have family in New Orleans?”
Me: “No.” 
Them: “Ok. Are you going with friends?” 
Me: “No.”
Them: “[General befuddlement] Ok… Whyyyy…?!?!”

Hey, it’s all good. These are all typical questions, and most people provide typical answers. I’m just pretty atypical. (Guys, don’t even get me started on December 25th itself, and how it’s now much more of a consumption-centric commercialized shopping event than a true celebration of the nativity of Jesus Christ!!… but, I digress.)

I’m a solo traveler, a bit of a free spirit. I have no husband, kids, or other familial obligations. I don’t owe anyone my time or need to ask anyone for permission. And I work remotely. As long as I have my dog and reliable WiFi, I can escape at the drop of a hat. I LOVE this flexibility; it fuels me. When I decided to visit New Orleans, it was because I had never been, I’d heard good things, I have a few days off, the weather would be good, and I had to fly a few more legs this year to reach the next tier of airline status. The logic was a no-brainer. (Any one of you who was thinking the questions, these are my answers, atypical or not!)

So. Logically and airline-status-wise, Christmas in New Orleans made sense. But what about emotionally? Am I sad, lonely? Nostalgic for my family, for traditions of past Christmases, wishing I was coupled up?

No. Other holiday scenarios may be perfect for others, and I 100% don’t fault them for that. It’s just this type of thing is more my scene. (Last year, I spent Thanksgiving alone in Berlin, and it was glorious! I drank my weight in glühwein, tbh.)

Don’t feel sorry for my solo status: I’m thrilled to be here. I have one week to experience a brand new destination, see all it has to offer, and walk in the footsteps of locals and visitors alike. On Christmas Eve, as the sun set on NOLA and I walked the three miles round trip to Whole Foods… I felt exhilarated. I’m in a new and exciting place. I have a unique opportunity to take my time here, which is the type of approach I’m trending towards more and more when I travel. (More on that later.)

It may be atypical, but, as always, I don’t mind. As for where I will spend the holidays next year… ask the magic 8-ball! Could be anywhere — and with anyone. 😜 Happy holidays, my friends 💕🎄

Bonus: My New Orleans must-sees & dos

  • Visiting the French Quarter and ordering a Sazerac, which was invented in NOLA
  • Jazz and nightlife on Frenchmen Street
  • Beignets at Cafe Du Monde — legendary (so be prepared for long lines) but well worth it!!
  • A stroll through the lobby of the The Roosevelt New Orleans, a fancy hotel full of brightly lit Christmas displays (during Christmas)
  • Kayak/swamp tour through the bayou with a sharp eye out for alligators
  • Feelin’ spooky with a tour of Lafayette Cemetery or a walk through the willows at New Orleans City Park
  • A dose of history at the National WWII Museum
  • Cocktails at Cure in Freret neighborhood

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