Staff Opinion: Oh the Places You’ll Go

Why You Should Move Out of Your Hometown

By Elizabeth Lyons-Best | February 27, 2019 7:20pm
As a self-proclaimed "army brat," Elizabeth Lyons-Best shares why her experiences have made her realize the value of moving away from home.
Media Credit: Annika Gordon / The Beacon

As a first-year freshman, I’ve answered the question, “So, where are you from?” more times than I can count. Everyone is trying to get to know each other, and this ice-breaker is usually the first to be asked. This question is also my biggest nightmare. 

When asked, I usually hesitate and say “Well… Originally I am from Oregon... I just moved from Hawaii...but my parents currently live in Kansas.”

If you come from a family that constantly moves, you can probably empathize that this question is very tricky to answer because where can you consider home? Where are you from? The place you lived the longest? The place you were born? Perhaps it is the place you lived most recently? 

I have yet to find the answer, but I am still working on it. For now, I just call myself a “military brat with a West Coast meets Georgia twang.” 

Regardless, I have always been curious what it would be like if I did have a “normal” life. If I lived a normal life, I would have probably attended elementary through high school with the same group of people. I would have lived in the same house all throughout my childhood, and moving across the country would not even be a thought that crossed my mind. 

These curiosities linger in the corners of my mind, but as I have grown up, I realize how everyone should be able to have these experiences (at least once).

Packing up and moving to a completely new place could be a very scary thought; however, it is so worth it.

Without these new experiences, I would have never witnessed the surprisingly breathtaking sunsets of Kansas. I might not have ever felt the crisp Oregon air enter my lungs. Driving through the country with the windows down in a small town in Georgia would only be something I saw in movies. Beaches in Hawaii would be a dream, not a five-minute drive from my house. 

So, go! 

Push your limits and immerse yourself into the new accents of a different state or even a different country! Meet the different kinds of people and try to adapt to their way of life, different than your own. Explore the nature and experience the distinct weathers from across the globe. 

You will not be disappointed if you have the right attitude. 

If you try it and do not like the place you are at, then move back; at least you can say you did it. Move out of your hometown, pack your bags and go. As the wise Dr. Seuss once said “You’re off to great places. Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!”  

Elizabeth Lyons-Best is a photographer at The Beacon and can be reached at