For the majority of my life, I have lived in a small town in northern Arizona. As I got older it seemed as if my town got smaller.

All that I could see in the town were negatives. It looked ugly, felt small and filled with terrible people. Yes, I was bullied throughout elementary, middle school and high school, but that is not the story I am here to tell.

Needless to say, I was ready to get the heck out of that town and move on to bigger and better things. I wanted to meet new people to be in new places with bigger opportunities. That is exactly what I did, and I would not change it for the world. I moved to the city of Phoenix to go to college and pursue what I am most passionate about.

For the first year that I was away from home, I wanted to stay away and never go back. I hated going back for Christmas break or visiting at any point. When people would say they were taking a trip to my hometown I would always question "Why would you want to do that? It's so ugly and there's nothing to do there" All I had towards my hometown was negative emotions and maybe even a bit of anger.

After being away for about three years now, my perspective has completely changed. I have nothing but love for my hometown, its beauty, and the sentimental value that it holds. Every time I visit, I stare at the beautiful mountains and stare at the sunsets and visit the local shops as much as humanly possible. Adventuring around my hometown whenever possible has become my new favorite thing to do.

At the end of the day, it is where I am from, where I grew up. Yes, there are bad memories, but there are also so many good ones, like dad racing the train on the way to school, or mom letting us stop for ice cream every Friday after school to celebrate the end of the week or walking around downtown with friends in high school thinking we were cool.

It is the little things that you learn to appreciate. It might take being away from something for you to truly appreciate it. It is true when people say that distance makes the heart grow fonder.

I hated my hometown for the longest time, but now I visit every chance I get. Even if I am no longer living there, it will always hold a piece of my heart.