How many of us at age 11 had the smarts or the confidence to move away from all you've known in the hope of reaching your dreams?
My guess is while most of us would like to think retrospectively we would have made that decision in a heartbeat, there aren't many kids of that age who have the maturity to put their future above friends and family.
I was the same at a similar age. With a spot booked at the renowned Lindisfarne College in Hastings, I instead chose the less expensive St John's College because I would be with friends and I preferred having that safety blanket on day one, even if it meant reducing the opportunities I was exposed to.
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Fortunately, I don't regret the decision and depending on who you talk to, I turned out okay. But there are many people who aren't as lucky and those who don't get the chance to better their education in the first place.
In the realm of school sport, these chances are few and far between. Only the best of the best have their pick of the bunch when it comes to their schooling, and most of them need to be seen as the next Beauden Barrett to do so.
For those who specialise in codes without an oval ball, their chances of picking up scholarships are even harder.
It all goes to show the lengths young sportspeople and their families have to go to in the pursuit of sporting success.
And why the instant distaste some people react with is completely unreasonable when they hear Northland's young sporting talent is leaving for greener pastures.
The story of Whangārei BMX rider Luke Brooke-Smith is one we've heard many times over. A young kid filled to the brim with talent, proven on the national and global stages, is leaving Northland for Cambridge in the next step towards his dream of competing at the Olympic Games.
Prolific Northland athletics product Nik Kini is another, having recently moved to Christchurch to attend Shirley Boys' High School. Kini, who ranks among the world's best in his age group, won the senior boys' shot put and hammer, and finished second in the discus at last weekend's national secondary school championships in Wellington.
I think we can all understand that if you want to become a professional BMX rider or thrower, your time in Northland is limited.
To be fair, becoming the best in any code will require constant travel and change simply to keep up with sport's ever-evolving landscape.
Unfortunately, these moves can often be greeted with resentment from your regional sporting identities who see it as nothing more than schools throwing money at young athletes, depleting the natural talent outside of the main centres.
A lot of these instances concern rugby, a sport which is renowned for big schools in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington to draw away any Northland kid with a bit of talent with the offer of a free education and elite academies.
Fortunately, Northland rugby is getting its act together to try to keep young players in Northland for longer but at the end of the day, there will come a point for all talented sportspeople when they have to consider how serious their ambitions are and whether Northland is the right place for them to be.
Obviously, succeeding in sport is not impossible living in Northland and I'd be the first to encourage people to stay in their region for as long as possible. By having more skilled sportspeople in Northland, it will inevitably rub off on their peers.
But the last thing we need is to make those who leave feel embarrassed to do so. The best outcome we can hope for is for our young talent to go away, develop, become the best, all while considering Northland home.
Because the moment they feel more connected with Auckland, Hamilton or Wellington rather than their hometown, is the moment we have failed in our job to encourage young kids to follow their dreams.