Before going on The Bachelor, Hannah Brown had her life planned out: get her degree, marry, have kids, live in Alabama. Now, as the newly-appointed Bachelorette, Brown knows that’s not what she wants. “I want my life to be [exciting] regardless of whether a man is in it or not,” she tells Glamour. “I want to see more of the world and, through that, find out more about myself.” So before this new journey begins, Brown sat down with us to explain why you’ll see a different side of her when The Bachelorette premieres this May. Read on.
I wanted to be a trophy wife, and I was fine with that. I thought I had my life written out—what it was going to be, what kind of woman I was going to be—and none of it happened. I dated this guy forever, and I thought we were going to get married. We looked at land where we lived, and he was going to take over his dad’s business and get his engineering degree. I was going to get my degree and ultimately have babies. And there is nothing wrong with that. I was going be the queen of Tuscaloosa, and it was OK. There was always something in my heart that knew I wanted more, but I settled because that’s kind of what he wanted—and what everybody did back home.
When we broke up, it was shattering for me because I loved him, and it’s what I thought I wanted. Then I won Miss Alabama, which was another dream. It pushed me to start figuring out myself a little bit. Then The Bachelor happened. I was nominated for it, because I had never otherwise put The Bachelor on my list. I was skeptical and kind of terrified, but when Colton was announced I saw potential. On the show, you have to talk about what you want, where you see yourself, who with, and what you want in a person. I don’t think I ever asked myself those questions before. And then all the travel and seeing the world—it just opened myself up to realizing that I don’t want to go back to the life I had before. That is not me, and never was me. I was settling.
It’s not that it isn’t for other people, but it just wasn’t going to be enough for me. I realized I deserve to be happy and have all the things I want in life. It might be scary and outside the norm of what everybody else does, but I need to just go for it. Ultimately, my future wasn’t with Colton, but my journey isn’t over. I’m so excited for the rest of my life, and I want love to be an adventure. I want it to be fun. I want it to be exciting, and I want my life to be that way regardless of whether a man is in it or not. Alabama will always be home and have a special place in my heart, but I want my life to be more than just living there. I want to see more of the world and, through that, find out more about myself.
In a way, the hardest part of this journey has been the time since I’ve been off show. I haven’t been able to really do much. I’ve worked a little bit for some of my friends that do home decor stuff, but I’ve just had to hang out, which has not been fulfilling at all. I’m kind of living in the past, and I’m ready to move on. The in-between stage is the toughest.