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Migration is an important part of the lives of many young adults. In numerous areas around the world, and particularly in regional and remote areas, cultures have emerged where the migration of young adults is normalised and expected. While the impact of the migration of young adults on the areas they have left and have moved to has received considerable attention in both political and academic arenas, there is a need for more research that addresses the cultural meaning of migration and the importance of the migration process for young people themselves. The paper is based on two large research projects undertaken between 2000 and 2005, which focused on the experiences of migration of young adults in Tasmania, and includes data sourced from interviews and focus groups with young migrants as well as an analysis of media and policy documents. We discuss the 'turbulent lives' of young people in Tasmania, including the expectations and aspirations of young adults growing up in a culture in which migration is normalised and their experiences of leaving, and returning to, their childhood homes. These issues are considered in the context of recent theoretical debates surrounding the impact of mobility and attachment to place on the identities of migrants.