Louisiana is a state like no other. With its multinational influences, diverse landscape and one-of-a-kind history, this portion of the American South is one of the most interesting places in the country. Moving to Louisiana from any other part of the world is likely to be an experience different from what you are used to, and following a few tips on how to make the most of this transition can make this change positive and enjoyable.
Prepare for the Weather
Depending on where you are moving from, it's a good idea to be prepared for the Louisiana climate before you arrive. The state is located between the 29th and 33rd parallel of the Northern Hemisphere, and it's bordered by the Gulf of Mexico to the South. This location makes the climate subtropical, according to Louisiana Tech University.
The weather is warmer and more humid than many other places in the United States, with the most extreme heat and humidity concentrated in its southern regions. The state's proximity to the Gulf and its location along two different wind belts make wind a constant force across the state. These winds bring in Gulf moisture as well as cooler winds from the north, making precipitation and storms here a regular occurrence during most of the year. The state is particularly vulnerable to hurricanes and has been the site of some of the worst hurricane landfalls in American history, including the Katrina disaster in 2005.
Embrace the Culture
One of the most important factors required for the enjoyment of life in Louisiana is embracing the local customs and culture. This state has some of the richest history and culture in the world, and it's apparent in everyday life.
The southern portions of the state, including the cities of New Orleans and Baton Rogue, have heavy French, West Indian and Mediterranean-African influences. The southern swamps of Louisiana are home to the Acadian, or "Cajun," people who migrated from Nova Scotia in the late 18th century. The city of New Orleans is perhaps the best example of the combination of all these cultures. In the northern parts of the state, there is an Anglo and African influence which led to a rural, farming type of community.
When you are living in any of these areas, it will quickly become apparent that these cultures have intermingled to create a truly unique vibe. Common regional cuisines include crawfish etouffee, gumbo and jambalaya. Music such as Zydeco, Cajun-French music and traditional New Orleans Jazz is always present, and a variety of languages are spoken here that are not heard anywhere else in everyday America. Cajun and Creole French, Indian and variations of Spanish are all common depending on the region you live in.
Expect Unique Wildlife
Don't be surprised to find creatures and critters that are a bit unusual when you arrive in Louisiana. Alligators and armadillos are common in many parts of the state. Mosquitoes are a big problem in Louisiana because of the climate, and citizens here are encouraged to use repellant with DEET to avoid West Nile virus or other mosquito-spread diseases.
Take Advantage of Outdoor Activities
Check with local sporting goods stores to find out about ideal fishing locations and hunting opportunities. Sportsmen have it good in Louisiana because it is loaded with a variety of fishing and hunting spots along its rivers and tributaries. A large portion of the state is still rural and is prime land for the outdoor type. It would be a shame to move to such an area without taking advantage of its natural opportunities.
- Photo Credit Louisiana state contour against blurred USA flag image by Stasys Eidiejus from Fotolia.com
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