Why You Should Move Away From Home At Least Once In Your Life
Feature Image: Kat Tanita
I was born and raised in Los Angeles and growing up, I never thought that I would be the girl to move across the country for college or for a job. I was always that girl who got homesick at sleepovers, school trips, and birthday parties. Honestly, I’m still that person in a lot of ways. There’s no place like home, right? That being said, I was somehow compelled to move away from home for college and I’m not sure how I did it considering my childhood full of homesickness. But, I recently graduated from The University of Alabama and have been able to look back on the past four years with the biggest smile on my face and not an ounce of regret. I loved living out of state so much that I even moved to a different state after graduation — I now live in Florida. Moving away is oftentimes scary, expensive, difficult, time-consuming, and overwhelming, so why move? Oh here’s just a few of the reasons!
You find yourself
As cliché as it sounds, you will find yourself — whatever that may mean for you. When you move to a different town or city, you have an opportunity to leave everything behind. An opportunity for a fresh start. You’ll be in a new town which, of course, is scary in many ways. However, you’ll also have the opportunity to make new friends and explore a completely new territory. Once you isolate yourself from your hometown, you have the chance to discover what really interests you, what kind of friends you’d like to make, and you’ll have the chance to explore various career paths — all of this without your past getting the way.
You learn to become independent
This isn’t always the case, but usually if you’re moving away from home you start paying for your own place, your bills, your car payments, and whatever else you need to pay for. In this way, you are becoming more independent and, bonus, financially responsible. Sure, your family is still helping you out when you need it, and that’s OK, but congratulations: you’re on your way to full-on adulting. Also, living in a new place, whether by yourself or with a roommate (or three), you have to learn to do things by yourself and for yourself. This could be anything from assembling your own shoe rack for your new closet or going to a career mixer by yourself.
You are forced to meet new people
Okay, so maybe ‘forced’ is dramatic. But, if you don’t put yourself out there when you move away from home, you literally won’t meet new people. So, moving to a new place will inspire you to invite your coworkers to your favorite happy hour or to take that exercise class at the local gym. This way, you’ll meet people from all walks of life, some with similar interests to you and some not. Regardless, surrounding yourself with new faces will allow you to learn from the experiences and lifestyles of others. If you need more advice on how to make friends in a new place, click here.
It’s An Opportunity to Travel
I can’t tell you how many places I’ve been able to visit just by moving away from home. Sure, you can travel when you live at home in some way or another. But, when you move to a new place, you get to see an entirely different part of the country (or world). For example, because I went to school in Alabama, I was able to road trip to cities in Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and Louisiana — checkin’ off those bucket list items one road trip at a time. And if it weren’t for living out of state, I’m not sure I would have been able to see all the places I have. If you are planning on moving or have recently moved to a new place, take advantage of your new territory. Go to that music festival nearby. Or, take a road trip to a National Park you’ve always wanted to visit. Now’s the time!
Experience a different culture/lifestyle
It doesn’t matter where you move — you will, without a doubt, notice and experience a different culture and lifestyle. Of course if you move from a small, rural town to a large, urban city, you will experience a culture shock. You might wonder why people are still out and about at 2am or why there’s a never ending cycle of car honking. But, even moving an hour or two away will be different in various ways. All 50 states run at a different pace from one another, and so do the smaller subparts of those states. There are different things to do, different sayings, different values, and sometimes there’s a different way of life. Experiencing a different culture helps you grow as a person because it helps you appreciate different perspectives that you may not have seen otherwise.
When people would ask “why Alabama?,” I usually answered with“why not Alabama?” Whether you’re moving away from home for college, a graduate program, or a job, you have the opportunity to do something out of your comfort zone just by moving. Then, in moving, you’ll be given other opportunities to move out of your comfort zone, such as asking new people to hang out or going to that event by yourself. Remember, you can always move back home if you don’t like where you moved to. I assure you, though, that you will look back with a smile on your face, happy that you moved.
If you could move anywhere, where would you go?