Swapping my New York bagels and pizza for a big Midwestern city was a big culture shock for me. It's not like moving across the world, but I definitely cannot take LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) to get home. I realized that I needed to bring my old home to Columbus to feel more at home at college.
My activities in NY consisted of ice cream runs with friends, eating, hitting the local farmer's market, and exploring the secret gems around town.
I realized that if I couldn't bring the things that I loved to do to Columbus, then I would never feel like it was home.
By doing a little bit of Google searching, I made a list of places I wanted to visit that would help me get comfortable while finding home in a new place.
For when you want to check out the local goods:
My Saturdays usually would consist of a combination of visiting my local farmer's market or working in my garden. I knew that finding a farmer's market in Columbus was a must-do.
The Clintonville Farmer's Market was everything I wanted it to be and all of the aspects of home that I needed it to be. Homemade bread, an apple stand, flowers, and the best coffee I've ever had (you've got competition, Starbucks) were all located at this place.
The farmer's market made me realize that it felt like home because it connected me to the community. I was able to find out the stories of the people who run stands while learning about the community all at once.
For when you have a sweet tooth:
Ice cream runs with friends was essential at home; no good time was complete without piling into a car. Next on the home list was Jeni's, a homemade unique flavor ice cream shop, to try to recapture the "friends and atmosphere" that was always around at home.
I'm a huge ice cream fan, so I can be really critical when I try new ice cream for the first time but, honestly, this is heaven on earth. I can't believe that this was never in my life before coming to school in Columbus.
Going with friends who were also new to the area made the experience even more fun and homey because it created the perfect environment for great vibes and good eats.
For when you need some falafel:
My family loves Mediterranean food, and by love I mean love. We usually all have different tastes, so finding food that we all like is a blessing.
Brassica is basically like Chipotle, (the employees there called it the c-word and glared at me for comparing the two places) but upscale with way more options and better quality. It was the perfect place to combine my love of Med food with the comfort I was looking to bring from home.
I didn't have my family with me, but taking friends who love food as much as you do is the perfect substitute in order to have a great time.
I was able to combine a food that reminded me of family and home with the new experiences of friends and a new city in order to feel, finally, like this was my new home where I'd have memories forever.
Despite the fact that I still haven't found avocado toast here as good as some in New York, I've come to appreciate the different places that makes Columbus distinctly different than any place I've known before. I've made a spot for myself in C-bus and I can gladly say I've brought my old home to my new home.