I am trying to decide where to go for a vacation in 2018. One destination I am interested in visiting is the last place someone with sensory issues would likely go.
Last December, someone suggested I take a trip to New Orleans. For those not familiar the destination known as "The Big Easy", it is a party city, even when it is not Mardi Gras. There are many different nightclubs and other unique happenings, such as Voo Doo shops and the easy accessibility of alcoholic drinks on Bourbon Street. In other words, a city is a place where it is easy to get sensory overload.
If New Orleans is such a chaotic place, why would I want to take a trip there? The decision was not made without research and asking the opinions of others about visiting the city. I think it is because I want to see if I can handle visiting this popular tourist destination. The last time I visited New Orleans was well before Hurricane Katrina as a pre-teen.
Do not get me wrong; I do not believe I can handle a multi-night stay in the French Quarter due to how loud the city can get. Fortunately, I have extended family members that live just a couple of hours away in southern Mississippi and have visited New Orleans many times. They can give me tips on handling a day on the town.
I am going with one of my cousins in March for a day trip, which is probably as much as I can reasonably handle. The plan is to visit the World War II Museum, which was ranked as one of the top ten museums in the United States by the website Trip Advisor and have lunch in the French Quarter. I will see when I get there if I can handle walking down Bourbon Street, where all the action happens. More than likely, I will just keep walking and not stop anywhere. If one can get past the noise, many of New Orleans’ buildings have beautiful architecture and a rich history that spans 300 years as of 2018.
To prepare myself, I can watch YouTube videos on what to expect when visiting and I have E-Mailed the Autism Society of New Orleans on tips for visiting the city. In fact, here is a blog I found about a mother with a child on the Autism spectrum who took her family to New Orleans and her tips on visiting the city.
There is no guarantee I won’t get overstimulated if I visit New Orleans. However, I will not know unless I try. Planning a trip like this teaches me risk and reward when making a decision. It is also possible I may have a good time and make new memories with my cousin. Plus I can decompress on the car ride home and I can stay with family a couple of hours outside the city in order to save money on a hotel room. If I do not like New Orleans, I will not go back.
Going on vacation with family is an excellent way for those with Aspergers to try new things while having someone close to watch over you if things get too rough. The key is to do as much research as possible before deciding on the final destination. I just hope I have time to make it to Café Du Monde and have a fresh beignet.
Have you ever visited New Orleans and if so, did you like the place? Comment in the section below.
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