BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) –  Moving from one home to another is a daunting task in itself, but moving away from Louisiana can be especially challenging.

Many who’ve lived in Louisiana for years would agree that the food and culture have a way of inching their way into the soul and claiming a part of the heart.

But this is something a Louisianan may not even realize until they move away. 

This is the very experience that Dana Jones, a native of Louisiana who currently lives in Baton Rouge, had when she relocated to another state. 

Jones told BRProud she didn’t realize how much she loved her home state’s food, culture, and even its weather until she moved across the country. 

“The food is so different when you move away from Louisiana,” Jones said. “You’re like, ‘Oh my God, what are people eating out here?’” 

Raised on Louisiana specialties like gumbo, crawfish etouffee, and po’boys, Jones said the food in her new home was, “like a slice of white bread on a white plate.” 

And when it came to the weather, Jones admitted that Louisiana is known for its three seasons: wet, heat, and cold. But she found that moving to a place with different weather patterns took a toll on her body. 

Jones, who suffers from a chronic health condition, had the following advice for anyone moving away from Louisiana, “If you have a chronic illness, find a doctor and make an appointment before you leave. Make sure you have someone (a healthcare professional) who will follow your case.”

She also suggested finding a trustworthy community/social group within your new home to avoid loneliness and overwhelming homesickness.  

Some have also found it helpful to break down the huge task of moving into simple, achievable daily goals by creating a master checklist of items to accomplish. 

To help you create your own checklist, here are five suggested items to start off with:

-Visit your new home to become familiar with the neighborhood and local stores

-Cancel all Louisiana memberships and utilities

-Update the following documents with your new address: 

-Credit cards

-Insurance

-Utilities

-Voting registration

-Driver’s license

-WiFi

-Cable

-Pet registration

-Gym membership

-Mail forwarding

– Find new doctors and pharmacies for you, your children, and your pets

– Find a trustworthy community to join where you can make new friends

If you’re leaving Louisiana, you might also want to add “find out which of your favorite Louisiana-based food companies and restaurants ship” to your list.

That way, you won’t have to miss your favorite Creole and Cajun flavored specialties.