Has it really been almost a year since I left home? It’s not hard to believe knowing that New Orleans consumed me; It erased my past, became my present and will remain in my future. New Orleans is not just a city; it is a way of life. I am fascinated by the city’s historical architecture, from the balconies in the French Quarter to the beautiful houses on St. Charles Avenue. The city blends all types of cultures together and creates a breathtaking masterpiece.

I love walking down on Bourbon Street, listening to street bands. Music in New Orleans is like air, abundant. It fills my heart with joy, happiness and faith. Bourbon Street is a world in itself, full of glitter, sparkle, magic and glamour.Beyond music, I discovered that witchcraft and voodoo are still practiced today. One day I wandered into the French market and I saw some cards, palm, sand and snow globe readers. I was impressed by all the authentic historical items and hand-crafted dolls, which are supposed to bring luck, cure ailments, procure lovers, and cast revenge. This magical aspect of New Orleans adds to its infinite, gothic beauty.

In addition to the Voodoo shops, the Southern hospitality is captivating. Locals are welcoming contrary to foreign belief. I perceived the United States as individualistic and selfish, but I was wrong to think that of New Orleans. This is the city where everybody is courteous and locals consider foreigners as family. New Orleanians are nice and polite beyond description.Most of all, I cannot forget my first Mardi Gras experience. The parades, music, costumes, masks, and beads are the spine of this carnival. Undoubtedly, the city becomes even more dynamic than ever. I had the chance to catch Muses’ inspirational shoe, Zulu’s famous coconut, tons of beads and many other throws. Mardi Gras was on my bucket list for a while. This is one of the best festivals I have ever attended.

This city has soul: It taught me how to live, love and enjoy being young. New Orleans is a world of its own. It is a way of life that is deeply rooted in the bottom of my heart. I will leave soon, but this city will always live in me, which is why I promise to come back.

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