Travel Blog 8: Halloween, Birthdays, and Love-Ins
As a child, Halloween is a time to dress up and play make believe, running from door to door to accumulate as much candy as possible. As a single adult, Halloween becomes a time to dress up and play make believe, consuming copious amounts of alcohol to make for a memorable night that is rarely remembered.
Most often, costume parties become the source of celebration. I personally enjoy attending concerts where bands have fun playing the classic music of other musicians from decades before them making for an extra-special show for their fans. Halloween is a time to get silly, recognizing that the holiday season is quickly approaching.
When Halloween concludes, November begins, welcoming in another year of my life on November 4th. I like to make that day incredibly special each year. Sometimes that includes being surrounded by family and friends while other times I like being around complete strangers. One of my most unique birthdays took place in 2013 while in New Zealand where I spent the morning white-water rafting and the afternoon bungy jumping, facing two frightening fears of mine; water and heights.
On November 4, 2020, I’ve decided to try something I’ve never done before; eliminate the phone. I left it on airplane mode in my car the entire day. I wandered the French Quarter in New Orleans, having fantastic discussions with a stranger over coffee, a street musician with his dog, and the man that introduced my mind to Love-Ins.
In the 1960’s and 70’s, Love-Ins became a form of people getting together. In that day, it included meditation, yoga, meals, and of course, psychedelics and open sex. The radio comedian, Peter Bergman, coined the term Love-Ins and hosted the first on March 26, 1967.
While watching my birthday sunset at ‘The Fly’ along the Mississippi River, I decided to organize the return of the Love-In. I posted on every New Orleans Facebook group, included Nola hashtags on Instagram, and posted on New Orleans Reddit. I informed the group of Love-In history and organized it as a place for strangers to come meet other strangers. Many people showed interest on the social media outlets, but who would actually show up? While it was looking a little grim at first, 5 other individuals did wind up coming to join me in the park. It was beautiful!! One person set up her hammock. Three people brought their own cocktails. One of the participants is a drummer in a band trying to score gigs around the city. Another is a writer from Connecticut. They were all special and unique in their own ways, and it was so good to get to know new strangers.
My goal with Love-Ins is to turn them into Meet-Up groups for people to chat with strangers in their own community. I see Love-Ins splitting into various categories, as meditation groups, yoga groups, local bands, travel talks, and literally any activity that people are into. I see them happening in suburban communities, city settings, and anywhere between. They can be an opportunity for local establishments to get business and meet members of their community. People can showcase their talents to other like minded individuals. We can create peace throughout the world based around togetherness. Perhaps that’s wishful thinking, but I can totally see the smiles along the way.
I can’t wait to watch Love-Ins resurface and grow within the modern era. Happy travels all!