It isn’t easy but it’s worth it.
Since graduating high school from St. George, Utah in 2010 I have moved around a lot and currently planning another move. Although I have lived in St. G a few times as “pitstops” I have lived in Portland, Oregon…San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico…Denver, Colorado….Burlington, Vermont….San Felipe, Mexico….and currently planning my move to Grand Junction, Colorado!
I always felt lucky to how strict my Mother was to make sure I left the state after high school, not because I was a pain in her ass (okay, maybe a little) but because she wanted me to experience more than Utah. She refused to help pay for my college and living at all right after high school if I stayed in Utah. Go, Mom! (Hi, Mom! I love you)
Why do I still do this after college? It keeps life interesting! People ask what keeps me moving around and it has been a variety of things such as school, work, family, and even relationships.
I have always found it extremely important to not only leave your hometown but also the state and take a chance to move somewhere new, even if it’s for a year or two. Your hometown will always be there. However, take a leap and leave for once.
Here’s why you should live in new places and get the hell out of your hometown.
You’re a local and not just a tourist • One of the main reasons why I love to live places for months at a time rather than just fly and visit is because you become a local instead of a tourist which means you are actually living the culture rather then wandering too all of the basic tourist locations and taking the same photos as every other tourist. When you live somewhere you discover something new everyday & you can be the one helping all of the lost tourists.
Experience culture shock • Culture shock does not only come from country to country but also state to state in the US. My culture shock didn’t come from living in Mexico but actually living in New England. The attitude and environment is much different in New England than the western states. The “New England attitude” is a real thing and something a sweet Utah girl was not ready for.
Become more openminded • When you live in other places you experience people that are not only different from you but different from everyone you grew up around. There is a difference from politics, religion, and lifestyle. You quickly figure out that there is good in people who are different from you and you might end up becoming very good friends despite your differences.
Create your identity • The thought of “Go out and find yourself” sounds incredibly cliche but it’s very important and something I think can only truly be done if you leave what you’re used to. You might discover new passions and hobbies, a new religious path or even just grow yourself as an individual by interacting in a new place with new people. I have changed & grown a lot since high school and in ways I knew I wouldn’t have if I didn’t leave.
Make friends for life • I think when you live somewhere and meet people, that’s when you can make friends for life instead of just a new Facebook friend. Because I move so much I have friends all over the country. I know some of the most amazing people from all different backgrounds who have helped me shape into the person I am today.
Experience homesickness & appreciation • When you become homesick you actually find a lot more appreciation to your home and the place you grew up in then you ever would have before. For me, my homesickness was not only my physical home where my family was but the dry heat and surrounding red rocks. I never had appreciation for it until I left the nest.
Here are a few things you will quickly learn leaving the place you grew up in
- There’s more to life than hometown gossip. Who’s doing what and who’s doing who. Who Cares?
- Your past doesn’t matter anymore, your mistakes are miles and miles away now and currently disintegrating.
- You’ll get a boost of confidence because let’s face it – you’re a badass for taking this big step in your life!
- You’ll be more inspired and creative.
- You learn who your real friends are back home – miles away won’t change your friendship and love for each other.
- There are so many opportunities in this world and it’s very exciting.
Leaving your hometown is not easy and moving in general takes a lot of work. What happens if it doesn’t work out though and you feel like you’ve made a terrible mistake? Mistakes are okay. Understand the comfort that your hometown will always be there and it was a good life lesson in the long run. Besides, comfort zones are made to be broken.