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Last year, I moved to Los Angeles from New Jersey, and considering my super tight bond with my parents, this was a huge leap for me. I was nervous to leave the comfort and love I could count on from home but I needed to switch things up professionally and had a major desire for warmer weather — making California the perfect choice.

My parents knew I’d been considering making the transition for a while, so they weren’t all that surprised when I told them I finally picked a date for my move. They were incredibly supportive throughout the entire process, and my mom even came out to visit as soon as I got my apartment to help me get settled.

Related From Vivala: Parents Can Be Your Best Friends

Living away from my family has been quite the adjustment. There are perks, of course, like not getting dragged to a baby shower for a woman I hardly know, but it can also be really lonely not having some of my favorite people just a short drive away. Here’s what living 3,000 miles away from my family is really like.