Well, time for the homeward part of the road trip. This is always the hardest part. I am very much connected to New Orleans and feel at home here but this hasn't been my home for a long time. My home is definitely Maryland but sometimes I don't feel a deep connection there. Even if I could make a good living in New Orleans, which I can't, I would probably still choose Maryland.
People who move away from their home town or state often develop personalities and lives that are different from siblings or friends who stay behind. When they visit home, they are still connected but feel a bit disconnected. That's my story. I think I retained some of the positives of growing up here and discarded what I believe are the negatives.
Visiting here and spending time with friends and family from the past help me appreciate them and the uniqueness of New Orleans. At the same time I appreciate the directions my life has taken. I am lucky to have the best of both worlds.