Home.

Move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk into someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food. Open your mind. Get up off the couch. Move. – Anthony Bourdain

Chicago is a great city, don’t get me wrong. It has everything you need, really…good pizza, tons of activities, and the world’s most beautiful skyline. I am extremely proud of the city I grew up in (okay, I spent the majority of my life in the suburbs, but I’ve done my time downtown) and I’m not afraid to admit it. It defines me in more ways than I ever imagined.

And Chicago will always be home.

Last week, I finally took the plunge. I moved to Austin, Texas…and just in time to escape the bitter cold winter at home (I might have planned that on purpose). But you know what? It was time. I grew up in the suburbs, went to school in the city…it was time to be somewhere else. To live somewhere else.

My friends from home keep asking me why. Why would I want to leave such an amazing city? Everything I needed, I had right at my finger tips. My friends, my family…everything, everyone is in Chicago.

I think the better question is: why not?

I have this extraordinary need to live in different places, meet new people, and see new things. Broaden my perspective. And while a vacation can do that, you don’t truly know what any one place is like until you’ve lived there for a bit.

I understand why people stay put. Leaving, when you have everything you need, is hard. It took me the entire summer to finally get up the courage to go. You’re literally and figuratively leaving your comfort zone. It’s dangerous.

But what’s life without a little risk?

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