My 1wrongturn (s)

My name is Bonnie and I live in New Orleans, the city famous for food, jazz, debauchery and most recently, experiencing the largest national disaster in the history of the United States. Although I was born here, I moved away in 1980 swearing to never return. I spent many years in New York, earning a degree in Art History from NYU in 1987. For some unknown reason, I decided that it would be a good idea to become a lawyer (at that time, all I knew about lawyers came from TV, which led me to believe that I would earn lots of money, wear great clothes, live in a swank house and have lots of sex). So, I returned to New Orleans in 1989 to attend law school, with the intention of staying only three years. 20 years later, I am still here. As they say, “best laid plans.” However, I am no longer practicing law and, just for the record, it was nothing like what I saw on TV!

Car shopping and house hunting

Growing up, I lived a rather nomadic life. Not in the sense that I moved from city to city, but rather my family moved on an annual basis (if not more) and exchanged cars just as frequently. We spent our weekends going to open houses and car lots. I remember going to look at a brown van, in the 1970’s, which had air brush on the outside, shag carpet and a mini-fridge; we didn’t get it. Around the same time, we looked at a home that had a glass floor; we didn’t get that one either. The point was not always to buy a new car or house, but just to look and imagine what it would be like to own the van or live in the house.

Embracing 1wrongturn

Many people think that my upbringing was odd and unsettling. That may be true. But, it was also an upbringing that taught me to explore new surroundings, imagine possibilities, and embrace change. In other words, never be afraid to take “1wrongturn” – there might be something good around the corner. And if not, at least I never have to wonder what would have happened if only I had I made that turn.

Career turn (s)

As an adult, I have made lots of turns. Right and wrong, these turns have taken me down different paths, such that I have learned and experienced new things all along the way. As a brief summary, since graduating from college, I have worked for: a nonprofit that works to prevent art fraud and theft; an art gallery; a private investigative company (that was cool!); a publishing company; a non-profit organization that builds public/private school partnerships; a law firm; I owned an ice-cream company that made herbal and floral sorbets (that was yummy and totally ahead of its time); and most recently, spent the last ten years at a historic house museum, the last eight as executive director. Many people think that my professional career has been odd and unsettling. That may be true. Most definitely, it has not been linear. But, through all the turns and twists, I developed a body of knowledge and expertise that came together at the historic house museum – art history, gardening, entrepreneur, education and even my legal skills.

Why 1wrongturn.com?

So, why a travel site? I am not in the travel business nor have I left my job, sold all my possessions and uprooted my family to travel around the world. A travel site combines two things that I love to do – travel and research. Travel is about the actual experience, whereas research is about the possibility.

Bonnie on Scooter

I love to travel

Since my first trip to Jamaica, when I was a little girl, and a lizard crawled down my father’s shirt making him dance around and yank his shirt off like a crazy person, I have loved going to foreign places. I love being in a place where people speak a different language, food is completely exotic, public baths are cleaner than your home, everything is unknown and every turn of the corner presents an exciting discovery. Much to the chagrin of my husband and daughter, my travel cry is always “Let’s turn down this street” followed by “Just one more block.”

I love to research

Almost as much (but not as much), I love the anticipation of travel. I love learning about new places, new people and their cultures. I love the process of (1) getting the travel guide (YES, THE PRINTED TRAVEL GUIDE because I am old enough to still want the tactile experience of the paper) and getting a general overview of the place; (2) getting on the internet to learn more and virtually explore neighborhoods; (3) based upon my research, figuring out where I want to stay relative to what I want to do; (4) explore travel blogs and webzines to get personal insights; and finally, (5) narrowing it down and creating itineraries. Yes, I am a research WONK! I love to research travel. I will stay up to absurd hours of the morning researching trips.

Forget all the plans

But, here is the funny thing, I don’t really care if we follow the itinerary. The idea is to have enough knowledge and insight into a place that I feel comfortable to stray from the itinerary and take “1wrongturn,” which is at the heart of my love of travel. By the time my travel starts, we can hit the ground running. Advanced planning allowed us the luxury of idle wander and exploration, without losing time or feeling rushed.

New possibilities

Research and travel fuel my imagination, setting in motion new possibilities. Traveling and sharing travel experiences create opportunities to connect with people, explore new worlds, broaden your horizons, and make discoveries of a lifetime. These things make me happy.

There you have it

1wrongturn.com is about making connections, exploring the world, broadening my horizons and being happy. I don’t know why I bothered with all the other stuff.

Pack your bags

I hope that you will join me, explore the world, broaden your horizon and take 1wrongturn.

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