This year, however, the road trip itself was a discomforting déja vu of traveling the same path we did a year ago albeit without the feeling of fleeing a dangerous situation and going into the unknown. The thing I noticed this time around was how clean the world looks outside New Orleans. Twisted metal and debris piles are not the norm as they are in our city; I think I had halfway forgotten that. There also is a noticeable lack of blue plastic stretched over roofs and gaping holes in buildings, and the roads become fairly smooth once you are an hour inside Mississippi.
The vacation provided a much needed break from work and a subconscious, continual anxiety about the slow pace of recovery in New Orleans as a whole. While I welcomed the time off and the refreshing energy of a new place and the welcome arms of friends, however, there is an underpinning of sadness when I compare where I am to the city where I live and the battle scars that are still obvious on the landscape.
I also feel anxious, like I need to return to New Orleans and get back to the day-to-day tasks of recovery and the companionship of other survivors of the hurricane wars.