Goin’ to New Orleans: sinking in to a city we love

Me and our super-fabulous hostess, the bride who's helping make the plan come together. Here we're toasting in her kitchen -- and we will most certainly toast her numerous times in the weeks to come. Thank you, Cara!

It all started with the idea that we might have to skip Jazz Fest this year.

While I’m getting my business off the ground, our cash flow is reduced, so we’re looking at all the expenses we can possibly trim to live within our means. We love going to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival every spring, but it’s optional. We consoled ourselves with the knowledge we’d at least be in NOLA in March for our friends’ wedding.

But then I started putting the pieces together for an exciting little scheme:

  • My new part-time role allows me to work from home, so I can do that work from anywhere there’s Internet and cell service
  • Likewise, the work I’m doing for my business can be done anywhere
  • John’s self employed so he can paint and do graphic design anywhere
  • The bride at the wedding we’re going to in March is moving in with her groom after the wedding, leaving her cute house in the Garden District, where we’ve often stayed during Jazz Fest

We began to investigate the pieces so we could stay in New Orleans from the wedding through Jazz Fest in early May, and every sign pointed to it being a good idea:

  • The bride agreed to sublet her NOLA house to us at a rate that’s less than our NYC rent, so assuming we’re able to sublet our place, we come out ahead in living expenses
  • Changing our flights home from late March to early May would have cost more than $500 — but one-way tickets from New Orleans to New York in May were cheap.
  • John has picked up several new design gigs in the last few weeks, which will help keep his cash flow up while we’re away
  • I was worried I’d have to put piano lessons on hold — but my teacher here is on Skype and I lined up a place to practice in New Orleans. Maybe you’ve heard of Preservation Hall? I’m helping them with some marketing work around their 50th anniversary, and their marketing director said I can practice there during the day.

John made a painting that's a vision of my life -- see the music and the Mardi Gras beads? This plan is getting more of both into our lives.

Before you post a comment that says “I’m so jealous, I wish I could do that,” let me share with you an excellent blog post from Peter Shankman, founder of Help a Reporter Out. It’s headlined How to Jailbreak Your Life So You Can Live the Way You WANT and it arrived in my email this week, just as we committed to New Orleans.

It’s a long post but well worth reading if you wish you could do what we’re doing. Here are a couple of highlights:

  • Is your job to be somewhere in a physical place, five out of seven days a week? If you love your job, I mean truly love your job, love the people with whom you work, love your office, love your commute, then hey, you know what? RESPECT. You’ve got it. Enjoy it, baby. You’re done with this blog post, and I give you mad, mad props. For real.
  • We all need to work. We all need to make money. With the exception of trust fund babies, we all gotta find a way to make some cash and live our lives. Some people just choose to do it a different way than others. Some of us choose to work for a living, and some people choose to incorporate work into living. For the past 16 years, I’ve worked harder than almost every person I know, yet I’ve never felt like I’ve worked a day in my life.
  • I will never, ever begrudge someone their fear. If what you’re doing works for you, that’s fine, but if you’re jealous, then you got a problem. See, being happy and being jealous don’t mesh. So it usually comes down to you being angry about your fear. But here’s the thing: Fear keeps us healthy. Fear keeps us alive. It’s what got us through the age of mountain lions and other big-ass animals that could have us for tea. But here’s the thing – Fear is built-in because we used to have no other options. Wanted to eat? You had to face your fear and kill something. Back in the age of the stone, Dean and Deluca didn’t exist. Fear now exists primarily to hold us back.

Are you motivated? Are you thinking of how you could ask your boss if you could work from home three weeks out of four so you could go live in your dream locale? Or contemplating how you might live someplace with a low cost of living so you can launch that business you’ve been fantasizing about?

If you aren’t now, maybe you will be in a few weeks when we start filing dispatches from New Orleans.

When I first started blogging, back in late 2005, it was to chronicle a one-month stint in NYC. John and I sublet an apartment on the upper east side to test drive living in New York, and I wanted to share the experience with friends back home. So consider this round two of sharing a cool life experience with you.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!


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Categories: career, creativity, lifestyle

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8 replies

  1. Colleen, that’s great news. I wish you all of the luck. We news to catch up.

    Eddie

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