Why You Should Leave Your Hometown & See The World

After I graduated from college, I headed to New York City. I know that New York City isn’t exactly “seeing the world,” but it was the first of many steps I made in leaving my hometown behind for greener pastures. I knew I wanted to travel at some point, and see everything I could, but after my move to New York City, I was broke and it took me awhile to get my travel on, so to speak.

But after a breakup in 2010, it was time for me to spread my wings and fly away. I sublet my apartment and jumped a flight to Paris. Since that day, I’ve been to 21 different countries, and I’m not even close to being done. There’s a whole big world out there, and I want to see as much of it as I can  and so should you.

So take a look at a map, pinpoint your adventure and get to it. Here are 13 reasons you should leave your hometown and the see that big, wide, wonderful world out there.

  1. It forces you to be brave. The very definition of bravery is stepping out of your comfort zone and just making a go of it. Even if you feel a little unsteady at first, it’s all part of the adventure.
  2. You get to know cultures completely foreign to your own. Nothing opens your mind or makes you grateful for the good things you have in your life, like going off into the world and seeing what other countries have to offer (or have to endure). Each culture is unique in the way the do, well, almost everything. And it’s from these cultures that you learn things that forever change you.
  3. You never know whom you’re going to meet. Case in point: I met my husband at a cabaret in Paris. And while he may be the highlight of the people I’ve met so far, with a lifetime of traveling left to go, I know I’m bound to make more friends  and maybe even my second husband, too.
  4. Passports exist for a reason. It’s true! So, don’t you want to fill yours with stamps? Although, now that the European Union has opened its borders, you don’t get as many stamps as you used to. Looks like you’ll just have to hit up South America, too.
  5. You’ll have a better understanding of yourself. When you venture outside your comfort zone, you get to understand yourself in different circumstances, among different people, and just how you react when things are exciting, strange, weird, or even a little creepy.
  6. You should always do things that scare you a bit. To quote Eleanor Roosevelt ”Do one thing every day that scares you.” It’s the best way to feel alive. If flying even a state away from your hometown scares you, then start there.
  7. You only have one life so make it a good one. You may be in your 20s or 30s now, but before you know it, you’re going to be 50. I’m not saying this to be morbid; I’m saying it because it’s true. Life goes by so fast, and you don’t want to be hunched over in a wheelchair at 80, wonder wtf you did with your life.
  8. You’ll get to experience a myriad of delicious foods. Never had cheese in France? Get on that. What about pizza in Napoli? Put that on your list, too. Do you know that the Chinese food we have here in the States isn’t what they eat in China? Well, then go there and see for yourself.
  9. You should have your breath taken away as much as possible. The first time I stood on the steps of Sacre Coeur in the Montmartre neighborhood of Paris, looking down on the city below, with the Eiffel Tower in the distance, I gasped. I literally had to catch my breath, then I cried happy tears that come with such a feeling. You want to experience that as much as possible.
  10. You’re doing something others only dream about. Do you know how many people want to leave their hometown and see the world but never do because fear is stopping them? Don’t be like them. You do you.
  11. It will finally make your Instagram account exciting. Let’s be honest here: People are sick to death of your photos of your pedicures (seriously stop that; feet are gross), or how Starbucks has misspelled your name yet again. Give your followers something to really like and appreciate like you in front of the Taj Mahal.
  12. You’ll have bragging rights. When I came back from Budapest, I took it upon myself to be that annoying person who pronounced it as the people who live there do: Buda-pesht. Why? Because it was my way of bragging and more to the point, it’s kind of entertaining to be that douchy.
  13. Your hometown will always be there. My hometown in New Hampshire is still in tact and just as beautiful as it ever was. Every time I go home, I have a deeper appreciation for it, because growing up there made me the woman I am today. I may travel and see the world every chance I get, but I’m a New Englander through and through, and it’s always nice to go home again for a visit.
Amanda Chatel is a sexual health, mental health, and wellness journalist with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured in Shape, Glamour, SELF, Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Elle, Mic, Men's Health and Bustle, where she was a lifestyle writer for seven years. In 2019, The League included Amanda in their "15 Inspirational Feminists Every Single Person Should Follow on Twitter" list.

Amanda has a bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She divides her time between NYC, Paris, and Barcelona.

You can follow her on Instagram @la_chatel or on Twitter @angrychatel.