Don’t settle for Kansas anymore Toto: 10 reasons you should leave your hometown if you haven’t already
I once had a friend who said, “if it draws your attention, you should at least try it on.” She was referring to shopping, but it’s actually great advice and applicable to more than the mall. I think it’s good advice to anyone who has considered leaving their hometown. Try it on, it might be made for you.
I am sure people have told you, as they have also told me, things like: “you have to travel while you’re young” because it expands your mind and your knowledge of the world, you’ll get to see things you’ve never seen before and because later in life, you won’t have the opportunity. While I think this is true in a general sense, I never hear anyone giving the advice that I would give to someone starting out in college or having just left. I would tell a friend: you don’t need to travel often, just move once. My reasons are many.
First, if you don’t have the funds to travel, you can probably scrape up what’s necessary to move. A one-way ticket is certainly better for your bank account than a monthlong, European tour, and in my opinion, you can get more out of this practical uprooting.
Second, while traveling to one new place and staying there may not give you a breadth of new people and sights from a myriad of cultures, it does provide a person with things I would consider just as valuable.
Now, before you groan and click out to go investigate which Disney princess is your spirit animal, hear me out. Here are 10 good reasons you should leave your hometown.
You will feel better
Of course, not right away. You’ll be scared shitless for the first couple of weeks. Later though, you’ll feel independent. Aside from all the other benefits this trait provides, I’d wager that it just makes a person happier.
You get to start fresh
I loved moving schools even before I left my hometown. Growing up, like most of us, I changed dramatically from year to year. It was nice to have the chance to reinvent myself each time I enrolled in a new school. It’s easy to feel stuck in the past, but it’s also a lot easier to be the new you when everything else is unfamiliar too.
Your family will miss you
They will say they do the first day, but after a few months you’ll find many mistakes forgotten, many successes reflected on, and that you, flaws and all, are sorely missed.
You’ll miss them too
I think it’s true that distance makes the heart grow fonder, and I think families can benefit from some space. What’s the big deal if holidays seem tinted through the lens of your brain tricking you? You’ll save so much money on wine.
You get to learn about a new place and culture
It’s only one culture, but once you move, you’ll find that spending time in even one community that is different from your own gives you a lot of perspective. A change of scenery is great for renewed insight.
People will take you seriously
It’s a lot harder for friends, family and future employers to see you as a child when you’ve gone out in the world and don’t drive your laundry to mom’s every weekend.
You’ll have new friends and connections
Because you aren’t with your old friends, you’re forced to make new ones. That means new stories, insights and memories.
Think of all things you’ll never taste if you stay in the vicinity of your mom and her questionable meatloaf.
You will be stronger for it
Moving is hard. Starting over is hard. Once you realize you still have your feet underneath you, even in a totally new life, you’ll feel invincible. The next time an unfamiliar opportunity for change presents itself, you won’t have to wonder if it’s too much for you. You’ll welcome whatever life throws your way.
You feel ownership over your own life
This, although a feeling more than a tangible benefit, is by far the absolute best part of moving away from the place you grew up. You will look around the new city or town that you call home and realize that all the connections you have are your own. The places that you know, you made those spots yours. The people that you have met, those new friends belong to you. The job you have isn’t because your uncle put in a good word for you. Everything you have in this new place, you made, and it belongs to you like nothing in your hometown ever really would have.
Moving away lends you a new state of mind more than anything. It’s hard at first, but it pays off. You’ve got to try it, Toto. It’s never “too late.”
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