I feel like everyone has some love for their home state, but there’s just something about people from Louisiana taking that love to the next level. Myself included. I remember being younger and wanting to high-tail it out of here as soon as I could. But it seems the older I get, the more I want to stay! Hurricanes, suffocating humidity, and crazy wildlife aside, here’s why I love calling Louisiana my home.
1) THE FOOD
Seriously. It’s amazing. There’s a good reason why we’re known for our cuisine. Gumbo, jambalaya, poboys, boiled crawfish, king cakes, beignets, boudin, étouffée….the list goes on. And boy do I love eating it! Our gatherings are centered around what food we’re having and there’s always enough to go around. And there’s probably a food festival or two for it as well!
In addition to delicious food, we even have great spices. Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning is a staple in my spice cabinet as well as most other Louisiana natives. It goes on pretty much everything. If you haven’t heard of it, or tried it, you need it in your life asap. Say hello to spicy, creole heaven. We can also easily find pre-made roux for all of or gumbo and stewing needs. Which, if you’ve ever tried to make your own, will appreciate having it already done for you. We’re also home to Tabasco sauce and Zatarain’s. I’d say we are pretty set in the food department!
2) The Community
While we do our fair share of arguing with one another, that all goes away in hard times. Hurricanes? Floods? You can bet your butt that your neighbors are going to be collecting donations, bringing dinner, and helping in any way they can.
My parent’s house flooded back in August, and was the last house on the street that did. My parents helped lift up cars, furniture, appliances, etc. for neighbors closer to the rising water, and the neighbors further down the street did the same for them. And afterward when the house was a construction zone? Those unaffected brought all of us lunches and water. Every single day. We had friends/coworkers calling and asking daily if we needed anything.
They had state-wide donation centers and businesses (like Celtic Studios) opening their doors for those that were displaced. They had the “Cajun Navy” going out with their own boats to pick up those that the National Guard or local law enforcement couldn’t reach. You don’t see that kind of community everywhere.
3) Anything Is An Excuse To Get Together
We have festivals for everything, and manage to turn a simple event into a party. It’s a talent. Hurricane coming? Stock up on supplies (and alcohol) and have a little shin-dig while you’re holed-up indoors. Sport event? Heck yes we’re having a party! Nice weather? Since we rarely have it, might as well enjoy it and have a get-together.
4) “Laissez-les bon temps rouler!” (“Let the good times roll!”)
The unofficial motto of Louisiana and general way of life. We like to enjoy life. We work hard too, but we understand there is a balance. We’re going to have fun while there’s fun to be had. It’s probably why the top five happiest cities in the US were all in Louisiana a few years back….or it’s because of the food. Honestly, who knows. Either way, we certainly know how to have a good time and throw a great party!
5) The State Itself
Louisiana – a.k.a. Sportsman’s Paradise. Between hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, etc., you’re bound to find something you love to do here. Yes, you will probably suffocate from the humidity and get eaten alive by mosquitoes, but all you need is some mosquito repellent and willpower and you’re good to go!
Jokes aside, the state can be pretty gorgeous. I remember coming across this video while I was in my second semester of grad school in Scotland and getting teary-eyed watching it. Keep in mind I was super homesick after being away from home for several months, not to mention stressed as heck (because grad school). Also ignore the fact that is is technically a political ad – he lost, but it’s a great video!
In addition to the beautiful scenery, we’ve also got some pretty crazy wildlife. Half of which I feel is poisonous or very dangerous. Between alligators, snakes, spiders, etc. But, you have to admit that kind of diversity is pretty cool. Also a little concerning – especially when you come across headlines like this: Man Finds Alligator in Home, or have your mom text you pictures of the giant snake that showed up that morning…I’ll save you from that one. But the ducks and deer are pretty cute, and our family fishing trips are always something I look forward to!
Louisiana might not be perfect, and it might be insufferably humid at times, but I love it all the same. I love the culture, the people, and most of all, the food. It’s the place I call home.
So how do you feel about your home state? Love it, hate it?
Let me know in the comments below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!