On Moving Away

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I chose to stay in my hometown after graduating college. It wasn’t so much a conscious decision, but a result of all the little pieces happening to fall into place. After I graduated college and traveled in the Southern Hemisphere for a few months, the public relations internship I had before I left offered me a temporary position. I haven’t left my hometown since, nor have a majority of my friends. However, there are some of us itching to leave the confines of the familiar in search of fresh experiences. I totally get them! I do happen to love my city (Portland), but I’ve often daydreamed about what it would be like to live in NYC, Austin, or the deep south.

My friend Audrey knows the feeling all too well. She left Portland in search of her dream job as a production assistant in LA. Here, in her own words, is what she felt upon leaving her hometown to take up life somewhere else.

1. What are some experiences you’ve had since you moved away that you most likely wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do otherwise?

Audrey: Since moving to LA, I actually have a tan! But in all seriousness, most of the new experiences involve me doing activities that my hometown doesn’t offer as easily. For example, I’ve roller-bladed along the beach, partied in old Victorian-style mansions, and gone surfing in February without a wetsuit. There is so much diversity in a big city like LA, I’m able to feel anonymous, which is refreshing. I’ve also been able to explore who I would like to be without the influence of close friends and family around. I’ve had to make a lot of my own decisions, which is often scary, but also fun.

2. What do you like most about living in LA?

Audrey: I love the atmosphere in Los Angeles. It’s fast-paced, but laid-back at the same time, and everyone seems to be accepted no matter their quirks, or addictions, or crazy outfits. I’ve also cherished the ability to do what I love in a city that supports the film industry so heavily.

3. How have you been able to develop professionally?

Audrey: I’ve been able to network with people higher up in the industry, as well as talk with people my age about their experiences and goals. It’s been amazing to be in an environment where other people share your passion and where you can see yourself growing in the career of your choice. It's also pretty cool when Bruce Willis holds the door for you at a restuarant, or your dog plays with Kirsten Dunst's dog at the dog park.

4. What are some things that make you homesick?

Audrey: The film industry is often cut-throat and intimidating. It’s a lot of hard work and it can get really stressful. I’m really close with my family and especially my mom. Often times I just want a hug and skype isn’t enough. I also miss the green everywhere in Oregon and doing things with close friends back home. I miss going back to my alma mater to watch football games and going to the annual Brewers Festival, but I’m finding that there are events like this here that I can participate in as well.

5. Do you have any advice for someone stuck in their hometown and looking for a new experience or to move away in search of a career?

Audrey: I would say to network as much as you can. If you have a specific place in mind you’d like to move, check in with people who already live there if you can. If you have some funds saved up, go visit them or just go there and stay in a hostel. Apply for as many jobs as you can in-person because it shows true initiative. I know quite a few friends who have gotten jobs in a couple weeks by applying for jobs and sleeping on friends’ couches. If you just want to get away, start applying for jobs all over the country, or world for that matter. And remember it's okay to start at the very bottom. It's a foot in the door if nothing else.

6. Will you ever move back home?

Audrey: As of now, I can’t see myself moving home. I’m too focused on my life here to think about what it would be like to move back home. In the future, it would be beneficial to move back home to be closer to family, but I’ll make that decision when the time comes. As for now, I’m just taking each day as it comes and trying to visit home whenever I can.


  1. So are you planning on moving? I'm an army brat and where I am now is the longest I've been anywhere- aaaand I'm moving in June when my contract is up. There is something so exciting in the unknown. Good luck.

    1. Hi Lauren! I'm not planning on moving at this moment, because I love my job so much, but I'd love to move somewhere new for a couple years in the future! Good luck with your move in June.


Thank you for commenting on Field Notes! I read (and adore) every single one of them. I'd love to hear what you have to say!

Design by Studio Mommy (© Copyright 2015)