It's not always easy leaving home and starting a new life for yourself, but now that Bristol Palin has traded freezing Alaska for the dry heat of Arizona, friends tell me she has zero intention of ever returning to her mom way, way up north in Wasilla.

"Bristol loves her mom and family, but it was time for her to start her own life with her son," a friend of Bristol's tells me. "'Dancing With the Stars' changed her life. She had never left home before, and it gave her the confidence to know she can survive and finally step out of her mom's shadow."