Growing up in southern California and living in one of the most liberal cities in America, one can imagine that visiting the rural South for me could make me uncomfortable. In my social work studies, I’ve been shown many negative statistics about this area. Although statistics present one side of the story, I found that one shouldn’t make their mind up about a place before experiencing the place first-hand.
In January, I was lucky enough to visit some of my boyfriend’s family in rural Louisiana. I did not know what to expect at all. Although I was initially worried about my visit, I can now say that I am in love with the South.
These negative assumptions filled my head before the trip. I’ve learned that being in the South, life seemed more in tune with nature and with those around you. The deep sense of community- knowing your neighbors, going hunting in the woods or messing with tadpoles in the yard are ways of life that I found fulfilling and harmonious. These were some of the many characteristics about the South that I wish liberal metropolitan cities would adopt.
We visited NOLA for one day, eating great food and drinking “beverages” on Bourbon Street. NOLA is so full of culture; it was interesting to see how much different cultures can come together to create something anew.
My visit to the South widened my horizons. Seeing how life changes based on your location made me feel excited for what I do and where I go in the future. I would like to one day return to the South to experience the rich, vibrant culture that is not found anywhere else.
What areas of your own country do you wish to learn and experience more of?