If you're from Louisiana and have ever moved away, I'm sure you've asked yourself how the heck are you going to survive? In a place where cajun food, crawfish boils, and the Who Dat nation are no longer relevant, it's easy to feel out of place. I've personally been dealing with this for the past three years. Some times are harder than others, but I've figured out how to survive being a misplaced Louisianian living in another state. The next time you're feeling homesick or like a foreigner in your own country, give this a try. My suggestions revolve around food, beer, and football, but let's be honest, those three things are at the top of any Louisiana native's love list.
Have a seafood boil
You may not have easy access to crawfish, and you'll definitely not get any crawfish boil invites, but most places sell fresh shrimp and that's the next best thing! All you need is some Louisiana cajun seafood boil seasoning (which can also be found in a lot of out of state grocery stores) and some potatoes, sausage, corn, and garlic and you're set! I do this a few times a month and it satisfies those seafood cravings every time!
Join a local alumni group
Many cities have alumni groups for Louisiana colleges, especially LSU. When I lived in Massachusetts, the LSU Boston
group was seriously a life saver. I would watch all football games at the LSU designated bar surrounded by many LSU fans. In those moments, I didn't feel like I was 1,400 miles from home. Instead, it felt like I was back in Baton Rouge and it was amazing. The other great thing about Louisiana alumni groups is most of them will do an annual crawfish boil. This is the perfect way to get both your taste and feel of home.
Find Abita beer
If you're from Louisiana, you have a special love for Abita beer. From living in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Texas, I've learned that Abita beer is actually popular in many places outside of Louisiana. I never went without my Strawberry, Purple Haze, or Amber! Sometimes your local liquor store may only carry one type of Abita beer, but don't be afraid to ask them to order the one you want. I've had success finding and requesting a special order many times! It can't hurt to ask.
Don't forget about Popeye's
Luckily, Popeye's is a chain and can be found in many other states than Louisiana. When you get a craving for some red beans and rice, this will do the trick! Don't bother trying the red beans and rice on a menu outside of the boot state because you will most likely be disappointed with a dry, bland plate of just that- beans and rice.
Invest in NFL Sunday Ticket
For those that bleed black and gold, there's nothing worse than a Saints Sunday game day and not being able to watch the game. Even if you're one state away in Texas, you won't be getting all the Saints games on TV. NFL Sunday Ticket will give you access to all of them and make you one happy Who Dat come game day.
Stock up when you go back home
When you're in Louisiana, stock up on your favorites to bring back with you. True story: right before I moved to New England, I nearly cleared out the cajun food aisle in the grocery store. Then, every time I went back home to visit, I brought an extra bag with me just to fly back my Louisiana goodies. Call me crazy, but I was one happy misplaced southerner when I started craving gumbo and jambalaya and the food on Connecticut and Massachusetts grocery store shelves wouldn't cut it.
Have you ever moved away from your home state? What do you do to keep from feeling homesick?
Labels: Louisiana, moving, new orleans, tips