Making the Most of a Life-Changing Move
The 17-year-old Novogratz twins talk rebounding from a cross-county relocation.
Unlike another certain set of teen sisters whose faces you frequently see splashed across People, Bellamy and Tallulah Novogratz live exceptionally normal lives. Well, except for that whole reality TV thing. The twins' parents are Cortney and Robert Novogratz, the husband and wife design team behind hit HGTV series Home by Novogratz and Bravo fave 9 By Design, on which the sisters often appeared.
They're obviously pros under pressure, but the last year presented a different kind of challenge away from the glare of reality TV cameras. After spending almost 16 years in New York, the girls' parents moved them, along with their five other siblings, clear across the country to LA. There were upsides (moving into a legitimate castle, for starters), but relocating 2,000 miles and two time zones away is never an easy thing. We talked to Bellamy and Tallulah about what they learned from their big move, and—calling all soon-to-be college freshman—what you can learn, too.
Bellamy: My sister and I have lived amazing lives and we’ve never had to deal with any drastic changes. We were born and raised on the lower west side of Manhattan. Our freshman year in high school, our parents started to visit Los Angeles quite a bit. They’d lived in New York for over 25 years and were wanting a change. Out of all my siblings, I took it the hardest. I had a serious boyfriend—my first boyfriend—and a lot of the things other teen girls would probably be terrified of ran through my mind. I was really scared, and I was really devastated. It was really, really hard.
My parents decided that Tallulah and I would go on a road trip with two of their interns who worked for them over the summer. That made the move so much easier, because it was such a fun experience. But once we got to Los Angeles, it took a good six months to get adjusted—and to get used to being in a car all the time.
The best advice my parents gave me was to stop comparing the two, because I'd been comparing everything, from the food to the high school parties. But their advice was: Stop comparing the two places, and find out why you love LA. You can love both places.
We realized it's a new experience that we can learn from. Nothing is permanent. If we want to go back to New York for college, we can. They really do support us and encourage us to follow our dreams. Once I realized that soon enough I'm going to be older and living on my own and independent, I relaxed a little.
We didn't know a soul. We were going into a situation not knowing anyone, so we kind of got the opportunity to reinvent ourselves. We also just learned how to be ourselves and learned how to roll with the punches.
Tallulah: When I found out we were moving, I was pretty positive about the whole thing. But then on the day we left, it really hit me and I got really sad. When we got there, it was extremely difficult for me. But I decided to give it a chance and started to like it a lot.
Bellamy: Social media has really helped a lot, just by staying connected and being able to constantly talk through technology. That's definitely a game changer. One of the hardest parts about moving was that we saw who our true friends were.
Tallulah: We both definitely realized there are people who try to keep in touch with you. I had lots of close friends who told me how upset they were that I was leaving, and then I never heard from them. But I had friends who called me every single night and really tried to keep in touch. But I've also made lots of nice, new friends too, which helps.
Bellamy: I think [in this situation] you just need to remember that time heals everything and that nothing's permanent. You can, for the most part, take your future in your hands.