In celebration of our incredible 2019 Alumni, this fall we are featuring student stories on our blog. Today’s reflection comes from Delaney G., and this summer she joined The Road Less Traveled on our trip to New Orleans: The Gulf Coast. This program combines community service and hurricane relief efforts with cultural immersion and adventure activities. According to Delaney’s trip leaders, her kindness and positive energy were incredible assets to her group this summer. Continue reading to hear about Delaney’s NOLA experience with The Road Less Traveled.
“This summer I went to New Orleans with The Road Less Traveled and I had an absolutely incredible time! At first I was extremely hesitant because I didn’t know anybody and I was in a completely new environment. I really struggled when I first got to New Orleans because it was difficult to adapt to so many new experiences. As the days went on, and I started making friends and trying new things, I was thrilled by the entire program. We got to do all kinds of different things like explore the French Quarter, go to museums, go to parks, kayak, and much more.
The community service aspect of the trip was probably my favorite part because it felt fantastic to be helping a community in need. New Orleans still needs a lot of help, but I feel good knowing that I was a small contributing factor to helping those that needed it most. We worked to bring community gardens to low-income neighborhoods and worked on a house for a family trying to rebuild their lives. These were all valuable experiences for me.
Our trip leaders were absolutely fantastic and they made the trip so much better for me. It was cool meeting people from all over the country and hearing stories about all the different places they were from. We had lots of inside jokes and my experience with the group helped me realize that I didn’t need my phone or social media as much as I thought. It was really nice to be without a phone and technology.
This trip was a phenomenal new experience for me. New Orleans is such a cool place with a diverse and unique culture, and I would recommend it to everybody. The food in New Orleans is amazing and different, and although I am vegan, my leaders made it easy for me to find things to eat. I still enjoyed some quintessential NOLA foods like red beans and rice, gumbo, pralines, and lots and lots of snowballs. I even learned how to make pralines and I’ve made them at least three times since I’ve been back home.
Overall this was one of the best experiences of my life and I recommend this trip to anyone who is considering an opportunity like this. I’m already planning a trip through RLT for next summer because it was a life-altering experience for me and truly something I’ll remember forever. I still continue to talk to friends I made on the trip every single day. I truly loved this trip and would love to go back to New Orleans.”