The Ties That Bind

Food is indeed the connective tissue to a person’s family and culture. Specific flavors have the power to transport us back to our childhood kitchens, and so many know what it’s like to have significant pieces of our hearts overseas.

We’ve officially wrapped up the holidays and since childhood I’ve always wished that there was a way to collectively celebrate with my mother’s large family in Colombia.  Since becoming a mother, I’ve grown increasingly in awe of my own mama’s experiences of raising my brother and me – in absence of her large familial support system.

Her heart will always be inextricably connected to her far away family and beautiful land.

Mountains of Colombia, Colombian coffee growers photo 2Beautiful coffee fincas (farms) overseen by my uncle in Colombia.

That’s why working with Western Union was a perfect fit for me. Like so many Western Union customers and immigrants to this country – my mom never considering sending money back home to be out of the ordinary.  Albiet selfless and challenging – it is a standard within so many cultures.

Every Wednesday, the family gets together for lunch, and my mom calls them on the phone to catch up with everyone.  I can practically taste the soup that they serve just by thinking about it.  I hope that my mother visits her family again soon and adore what Western Union recently pulled off for some customers.  I also admittedly fantasized about escorting my mom to Western Union’s NYC retail location to surprise her with authentic family-love-infused dishes just like the people in this moving video.    Have a look. It is sure to tug at your heartstrings.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.



  1. This post makes me home sick, homesick for a meal with my family, laughing together, making memories together

  2. I can not imagine what it must be like to leave the country where you were born along with most of your family. Food is definitely ingrained in my mind with dinners at my grandparents house–or those big meals my grandmother used to cook for me when I was left with her for an overnight!

  3. It would be so hard to live far away from home. I love that my mom moved to SC to be close to me.

  4. Good Mexican food. Or, let me rephrase that, Mexican food that tastes like it’s made in the south. When I moved north, I found out the hard way that they make their Mexican food completely different up here.

  5. When I lived in England, it was so easy to keep in touch with everyone back home, it made living across the world easier and while I would never regret the incredible experience, after two years of living so far away, I knew that my heart belonged in Trinidad.

  6. I know this feeling all too well after having lived abroad for over 8 years and I STILL get this feeling when I leave Sardinia to come home every summer! It’s so comforting to know there are ways to bridge the gap and keep us connected with our loved ones!

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