“We carry our homes within us which enables us to fly.” – John Cage
I grew up in a small town in Eastern Kentucky. And when I say Eastern Kentucky, I mean very far east – the nearest Interstate is nearly an hour-long drive away.
I filled my days with hanging out at friends’ houses, walking around the local Walmart, and driving through the park repeatedly. I spent most weekend nights in the mountains. Honestly, there wasn’t much else to do.
When I graduated high school, I, along with several of my fellow graduates, made the daring choice to leave our small town. With that decision, we took a step towards the unknown.
But let me tell you – I have found that there are some great perks to moving away from your hometown.
You can start completely fresh.
No matter where you are from, you have a reputation in your hometown, whether it’s good or bad (especially if you are from a small town). When you move away from home, you can start completely fresh. No one knows who you are and you have the opportunity to become whoever you want to be!
You will learn how to be independent.
When you live at home, you rely on your family and the comfort that you have found within your community. However, when you leave home, you no longer have that comfort and stability. Suddenly, you’re on your own.
Sure, that can be scary. But this unknown community and being on your own truly allows you to grow and become an independent adult.
You’ll learn to rely on yourself! Although I have to admit, I do still call my mother when I’m unsure if something is still okay to eat.
You learn how to manage money.
When you live by yourself, you have rent to pay. Along with rent, you have various other bills, you have to buy groceries, and of course you want to have a little fun! Moving away forces you to learn how to manage your money appropriately.
You will gain new skills.
When I lived in my hometown, I was incredibly shy. I never truly had an opportunity to speak in front of groups of people, so I feared it. But when I moved away and began college, I found myself speaking in front of groups of people more and more. I outgrew being shy and I have increased my communication skills.
Your story may be different, but the fact is that you will gain new skills. A new location opens up more opportunity for you to grow and change.
You begin to trust yourself.
When you constantly have a community of support around you, you lean on them. But when you move away on your own, you have to begin making more and more decisions on your own. Through the process of trial and error, you will slowly begin to trust yourself and the decisions that you make more.
You find new activities/more career opportunities.
When you move to another town, you will find that there are different things to do (maybe even some that you’ve never tried before). You’ll also find that there are more career opportunities, especially if you move to a larger town or a city.
Get out there and experience more new, exciting things!
You meet people from different backgrounds.
Since I did grow up in a small town in Eastern Kentucky, there wasn’t much diversity. When I left my hometown, I began to meet people of various backgrounds.
No matter where you move, you will find people who have a different perspective about things than you do. It’s wonderful to hear other opinions, learn about different cultures, and understand the different backgrounds that we all come from.
You appreciate your hometown more.
If you met me in high school, you could hear me bashing my hometown practically every day. However, when you move away from home, you start to realize that it has some very great things that you miss. Personally, I miss the mountains that I used to believe locked me in.
Wherever you’re from, you truly begin to appreciate all that’s in it after you leave.
Sounds great, right?
Obviously you can do all of these things from your hometown as well! I don’t doubt for a second that people who remain in their hometown have plenty of excellent experiences and opportunity.
But from the perspective of someone who left home when they were eighteen, I found both plenty of challenges and a lot to gain! If you’re considering moving away from home, I would actually encourage you to do it.
No matter where you live, just make sure that you’re out there living your life!