Nostalgic about Colombia? Ideas to Make You Feel Closer to Home
Feeling blue and missing your homeland? No te preocupes, it’s not as hard to connect with Colombia as far away as it may seem. With over 1.5 Colombians in the U.S., you are not alone! Colombians in the country have not missed a beat and many have brought their country’s flavors and good vibes. You just have to know where to look!
It’s normal to miss your grandma’s ajiaco, hormigas culonas or even mondongo (if that’s your thing). Or maybe it’s the sweet and endless late night dancing and partying with family and friends that’s got you itching for Colombia. Even though you might not be able to replicate the exact same feeling and tastes in your new home abroad, there are a few things you can do to turn that frown upside down.
Below is a list of ideas to bring a little bit of sabor from Colombia right to your doorstep.
Go salsa dancing
Get the Colombian rhythm pumping through your body and go out to your nearest salsa club to shake your hips like Shakira while sipping on a dangerously delicious rum cocktail or pola. Dancing to the sound of Vallenato and hearing those heartfelt lyrics will take you back to your land in a heart beat. If you’re not into clubs or need to brush up on your moves, try Zumba classes, invented by a caleño to get the world moving to the rhythm of Colombia!
Cook up some traditional Colombian food
It’s OK if it doesn’t taste exactly like tia’s cooking and if you can’t find all the ingredients you need. It doesn’t have to be a cazuela de mariscos and can be as simple as a cheese and corn arepa with a hot chocolate. Can’t find the exact same cheese? doesn’t matter! Mozzarella will do the trick just fine. Need Colombian recipe inspiration?
Check out MyColombianRecipes.com for inspiration.
Dine out in a Colombian restaurant
If cooking traditional Colombian food is a no-go for you, and you really crave that something special that’s too complex to make at home, Google around your area to find the nearest Colombian restaurant. With so many Colombians in the U.S., you are bound to find a restaurant or 2 within driving distance. Plus, if you do locate a Colombian eatery, you’ll probably make a few parceros along the way as I’m sure won’t be the only Colombian with antojo.
Order a subscription box of Colombian snacks
Subscription boxes are catching fire lately. If you don’t have a latino supermarket near you or simply want the convenience and surprise of a Colombian snacks subscription box, this one’s for you. Whether you want a one-time box or a monthly treat, you’ll find all your beloved mecato colombiano flavors here. Quipitos? Chocolatinas Jet and even the finger-licking good rosquillas which you used to buy from vendedores ambulantes when you went out on a family trip can all be found in a this little box of goodness. Rediscover the land you love through sweet, salty, or a mix of both mecato colombiano snacks.
Join a Facebook group of ‘Colombianos en (insert state/country/city/province/neighborhood)’
From experience, I’ve noticed Colombians are a proud bunch that like to stick together. Even if you think you live in a remote area, you’d be surprised that there could already be Latino and Colombian social groups in your community. Do a quick online search on social media and Facebook to see if the community you were looking for doesn’t already exist. And in case, it doesn’t create one in just a few minutes. You might be surprised by the hundreds of Colombians that will join within the following weeks.
Go to Miami
If for some reason traveling to Colombia is not possible but time and money allows, book a ticket to Miami, the capital of South America.
For a full immersion, do your research to find the hottest latino dining and outings and come prepared to speak only Spanish. You’ll find that there’s no lack of Colombian restaurants, people, and good energy.
Wear a Wayuu bag/Arhuaca or shirt from the Colombian Selección
You might think you are the only Colombian in your town or that there are only a handful of them around. You’d be surprised how many there really are. They might blend in, speak perfect English and be first or second generation living in the U.S. However, being the patriotic Colombians that they are, they will recognize the item from their homeland and call you out on it. ‘Tu eres colombian@?’, they’ll ask.
Host a Colombian themed party
If you really want a good parranda, throw a party with family and friends around a tasty meal or BBQ (no need to get fancy). As a matter of fact, it doesn’t even have to be Colombian food. The most important is that everyone is having good time. That’s the real essence of a Colombian party. And of course, no party is complete until the abuelo gets up to shuffle his feet to J.Balvin.