This is NOT where I came from. :P
I talked about all my homes just recently… but whatever, just go with it.
I'm from a town called Baldwin, which is a suburb of New York City. It was a great place to grow up. I think everyone that's ever lived in Baldwin has, at some point, complained about living in Baldwin. But now that I haven't spent more than a few months each year there since 2009, I have enough perspective to really value what the town gave me. I got all the benefits of suburb life with the best city in the world a mere 45-minute train ride away, and the diversity of my schools gave me friends of all ethnicities and religions. Really, I was very cultured from an extremely young age. I consider myself extremely lucky.
Why did I leave? To go to school.
Sorry, that sounds boring. Here's a more interesting version: my parents forced me to leave.
I'm actually being serious, lol. Both my mom and my dad went to college very close to home (and my dad lived at home until he was married), so they were both hell bent on finding me my dream school. Far away. I wasn't allowed to consider schools on Long Island, or in New York City. I looked at a few schools in upstate New York and in Boston, but that's as close to home as it got. Most schools I ended up applying to were in driving distance, but the drive had to be the better part of a day. My parents didn't want me to be able to just pop home for dinner, or to do laundry, etc.
And that was more than fine with me! I happily crammed my life into several giant duffel bags and skipped off to the school that gave me the best scholarship… which, coincidentally, was the school I'd applied to that was furthest from home. (I may have a little bit of an independent streak. Maybe.)
I called Miami home for four years, with a five-month stint in London sprinkled in. When I was done with college, I packed up and headed even further away from home, and I've lived in Colorado Springs ever since. My original move was for an internship; another two temporary jobs later, I feel like I'm living the equivalent of the starving actress trying to make it in Los Angeles. I'm a little bit broke but still naive enough to believe that my big break is just around the corner and determined enough to keep trying to make it happen.
So really, while I left home for very pragmatic reasons, it was really all about chasing my dreams. (That sounds so obnoxiously cliche. But it's the truth!)
Sometimes it'll hit me at really odd times. I'll be in my car, driving to the grocery store, and I'll blink and realize this is my life. I live in Colorado. I work for the United States Olympic Committee. And it's normal. When did this happen? How did this happen? It might not be the glamorous, adventure-filled life of a serial traveler, but I've gotta say… it's pretty neat.
I still feel a little too harsh for Colorado, though. You can take the girl out of New York but you can't take New York out of the girl. ;)