Dec 3rd, 2019, 05:50 PM

Making the Leap

By Mae Chabrunn
Why Everyone Should Leave Their Hometown at Least Once

On August 22nd, 2019 I boarded a flight from New York, JFK to Paris, CDG. A few weeks, prior I packed up my Manhattan apartment and said goodbye to the city I  called home for my entire life. The decision to leave did not stem from any animosity towards New York, but instead came from a desire to experience something new. Terminating my lease, turning over my keys, and stowing away my furniture was just the first step in what turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences.


Moving to a new city pushes you outside of your comfort zone in ways you would otherwise never be pushed. Without your normal support system, you are forced to take risks in nearly every aspect of your daily life. From learning a new language to figuring out the intricacies of a new transportation system, you will soon realize that you are more self-sufficient than you ever would have realized had you remained stagnant. The experiences you gain when you move to a new city will make it evident that you are strong enough to be truly independent.  

While leaving behind what is comfortable and secure is terrifying, making the leap into the unknown is something everyone should do at least once in their life. 

Leaving your hometown gives you new perspectives. Seeing the world through a lens other than the one you have known for so long allows you to gain a broader understanding of a variety of issues.

Moving to a new city allows you to interact with people and cultures that you otherwise would have never crossed paths with, consequently opening up your mind to ideologies and perspectives that are vastly different from those you may have experienced at home. Making the move enables you to challenge yourself and the ideologies that have until now been a constant around you. 

One of the most frightening parts of leaving home for a city that is foreign to you is the prospect of making new friends. As children in our hometowns, making friends is almost second nature. You are surrounded by the same people for so long that your network of friends is vast and tight-knit. Creating that same network in a new city as an adult is a far more daunting task. However, the friends you meet when living in a new city essentially act as your surrogate family. With everyone being in an unfamiliar place missing their typical support networks, you learn to rely on your friends as you would your family. The friends you make at this point in your life will be lifelong friends, despite the city you all end up in down the line. 

Leaving home gives you the opportunity to make new memories. Whether that comes in the form of meeting new friends, gaining new perspectives, or truly learning to love yourself. Leaving home is something that everyone should do - at least once - at some point in their life.


Perhaps the most rewarding part of leaving home is that it truly makes you value where you came from. Putting some distance between yourself and your home gives you the opportunity to miss the place and the people you left behind. Staying in the same city for too long causes you to forget what makes that place so special. Having lived in New York my whole life, I was becoming blind to the many facets of the city that makes me proud to call it home. While I know that I will return to New York at some point in my life, I needed to leave in order to be able to return. I needed to miss it in order to appreciate it.