Moving is difficult, that too, moving to a city that’s full of strangers, and it makes that step even more difficult.

However, in my experience, it’s been vital to becoming who I am and where I want to be. Moving to a new place will create growth in ways you never expected.

I’ve moved three times now, to cities where I knew either less than three people or no one. I’ve moved from Texas to LA, LA to New York and most recently, LA to Nashville. The process never gets easier; in fact, as I get older the process can sometimes feel scarier.

If you’re in your 20s and you’re questioning a move to a new city, for a new job, a new venture or a different pace of life, do it. Here’s the reality: Time is going to pass anyway, so you can keep living in your comfort zone, or you can take the leap, and get out there.

If you’re single, it’s even more of a reason to get out there; some day you’ll be married with kids, a mortgage and countless responsibilities, and that step won’t be as “easy” as it is now.

Here are five reasons to make the move:

Power To Pause

When you move to a new place, it grants you a moment when you can take a pulse check for where you’re at in your life, in your career, etc.

I’ve realized those who I admire most all do this important step in their lives. Every once in a while, they pause, they reflect and then get back to work. Moving to a new city welcomes the power of pausing to reflect and ask yourself, “What have I not been doing that I now want to?” “How do I want this chapter to look differently?” You have the grace to start fresh and re-prioritize.

Challenge Your Comfort Zone

We all have some type of box we live in, something that keeps us from stepping outside the lines, and taking the leap to move, or to switch up our path or plan. When you move to a new city, things and people you relied on, are no longer physically there. Your favorite take out spot place, a glass of wine with your best friend on a tough day, or that long road you found yourself on when you just needed to drive it out and jam to your favorite tunes. They all no longer exist when you move to an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar places. However, when you expand that comfort zone, you’ll be surprised where this trajectory leads you.

You’ll Grow, A Lot

Growth is never really a comfortable thing, let’s be honest, but the benefits far outweigh the process. You’ll learn aspects of yourself you never knew, or maybe you’ve put off for awhile in the pursuit of other things in your life. You’ll learn how to walk confidently into a party where not one face looks recognizable. You’ll find the lessons you learn when you move to a new city, translate into every aspect of your life and eventually in your future. Taking a leap to a new city, will make you braver and more confident, but it won’t come without some tough times. Embrace the journey, and give yourself grace as you grow.

“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end.” — Robin Sharma

Expand Your Network

Not only will your work contacts grow as you live and work in a new city, your friends will also expand, and you’ll be exposed to a new culture. You’ll find new friends who teach you new lessons and bring out different sides of you, and you might even see the world through a new lens.

You’re not replacing your friends from your former city, you are simply adding more depth. And what a beautiful thing to have so many people you love scattered all over the map. I know this has been true in all of my moves. Every place has taught me something new and has expanded my world, as well as my way of thinking. Each place holds dear friends who each hold a special place in my heart that is as unique as them.

Independence and Freedom

When you move to a place that is unfamiliar, you’re going to dig deep, and learn to depend on yourself in ways you may have never experienced. You’ll surprise yourself when you see all that you can do. Moving to unfamiliar places has also made me cling to my faith in a different way than I had before. You’ll find there’s freedom when you let go, and you simply enjoy the journey whatever city you’re in, every bump in the road, mountain top view that it encompasses.

Cheers to new adventures in new cities, my friends.

H/t The Idealist