New City, New Perspective: Why You Shouldn’t be Afraid to Move Away
A short time after graduating college, I had an itch. I had lived in the same 20 mile radius my whole life, and the bitter cold of winter was beginning to get to me. The warm weather and miles of coastline Southern California had to offer was calling my name. I recruited my best friend, packed my car to the brim and headed West with no job, no place to live and no idea what was ahead.
I don’t remember leaving to be that hard. I had a group of friends who I was close with, a great family and even a boyfriend, but I knew I needed to go. The people who were meant to stay in my life would be there no matter how many miles were in between. “I can always come back,” is what I kept telling myself.
Four years later, I had made new friends, started my professional career and gained some great experience away from my comfort zone in New Hampshire. San Diego became my new comfort zone. I grew more confident and was forced to figure out life on my own without the safety net of my established network at home.
I loved where I lived and enjoyed the life that I created for myself, but always knew I would venture back. Though SoCal was great, I felt torn between living in a city that I loved and being closer to my family. I created many pro and con lists of my situation and thought deeply about what was most important to me and what truly made me happy. Yes, I did love the warm weather, but in the end, my strong New England roots pulled me home.
Though I did not choose to stay in California permanently, I cannot imagine my life without those four years. While on my own, I started not to care as much about what people thought of me, became fiercely independent and picked up hobbies that my previous self would have shied away from. It gave me a sense of freedom and self-assurance to make my own decisions and gave me a blank canvas to start creating the life I wanted to live. Your 20s are a time to take risks, travel, network, explore and find out what makes you tick; moving away is the perfect platform to make this happen.
For those of you who want to make a move but are scared to pack up and leave everything you are comfortable with, I urge you to just go. Push those “what ifs” out of your head and make it happen. The best part of leaving is that nothing is permanent. You can always move back to where you are from, or even move somewhere else, but nobody can take away the experience, knowledge and sense of pride that will become part of you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: KORINA SCHLIEPER
After graduating from the University of New Hampshire, I ventured out to San Diego, CA where I started my professional career as an Executive Assistant, earned my Master’s in Organizational Management, started a blog and soaked up all the sun and sand that SoCal had to offer. After four years, I am now back in New England looking for new opportunities in Boston. I enjoy the beach, hiking, traveling, volunteering, cooking, reading and learning/trying new things.
Read More About and From the Author: Korina’s WiLab Profile