This past week has been full of bittersweet moments as I’ve closed the door on one chapter of my life to start another. After 4 years of calling South Florida home, I said goodbye last week to the palm trees, the tropical year round weather, the amazing beaches….call me crazy, right? I have so much to owe Miami for really developing me as a woman. When I moved there at the age of 23(a whole 4 years ago!), it was the first time I was completely on my own. I had no family there, or close friends, just acquaintances and I was determined to make it work whatever way possible. If you would like to keep reading about my journey, click “continue reading” below but bare with me! This may be a long one.
I wanted to share my story because who knows, perhaps sharing my story might provide someone else with the inspiration to leave home on their own for the first time. Everyone’s experience is different and I always get asked what brought me down there, so decided to share my story on my blog today. Also, hope you enjoy these #throwbackthursday pics I’m sharing throughout my years in South Florida. I apologize for the quality in advance as they were all taken with an iPhone.
Ran my first half marathon circa 2014.
Got to meet some celebrities too! LOL. This picture was taken at a Miami Heat game when I met Mr. Chow from The Hangover circa 2013.
I have always loved Florida and having visited Miami a couple of times on vacation, I started to sell myself on the idea that South Florida was the breath of fresh air that I needed. While I had no family there or even close friends, only a few acquaintances, I was determined to make it work no matter what. Finally, one morning, I got some incredible news about a job opportunity in Miami. I knew it was a God thing and it was my time to go. Without hesitation, I packed my bags and left home two weeks later.
At the time I made this decision to leave home, it was 2 weeks after I turned 23 and 2 months after I graduated college. Needless to say, after being in Charleston for 16 years, I was ready for a change and felt Miami was a good place to start. Miami is full of diversity, opportunities for growth, has an exciting atmosphere, and was the breath of fresh air that I needed.
First time skydiving circa 2015.
I have always been quite an independent spirit and have always found a way to make it on my own. By no means was my experience perfect, I had plenty of mistakes along the way that taught me valuable lessons. Don’t ever feel like you have to have everything planned out either. I know it sounds irresponsible of me, but I honestly did not know where I was going to live when I drove down here. I just knew God had a plan for me, and I trusted it whole-heartedly. Luckily for me, some sorority sisters were kind enough to house me for the first three weeks I was there when I had nowhere else to go. But then a place opened up for me almost a month after I got there, and not only was it affordable but it was right in the middle of Downtown Miami with a waterfront view and in a great area! I look back and think about how fortunate I was to have had the opportunity to live in all these beautiful places in Miami.
My first Bachlerette party circa 2015.
With friends circa 2016.
During my time in South Florida, I met people from all over the world and made some great friendships. Not only was it a memorable 4 years, that I will forever cherish, but I also had the opportunity to meet my boyfriend there and that was truly the biggest blessing of all.
Jared and I at our first Broadway musical circa 2015.
My biggest piece of advice for anyone wanting to explore a new area or just try something different is…don’t wait. Life is calling your name and everything is a risk. The biggest opportunities are sometimes found in the biggest leaps of faith you will take in life…Just go with it and never look back.
Disney with the fam circa 2015.
Where was your first home away from home? I want to hear your story.