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October 03, 2017 04:51 PM

Landon Clements shocked Southern Charm fans when she announced in September that she is leaving the Bravo series after four seasons.

Now, the 36-year-old reality star tells PEOPLE exclusively why she left her castmates in Charleston, South Carolina, to further her real estate career in California.

“It wasn’t really about filming or not filming, it was just what I wanted out of my life,” Clements explains of her decision to step away from the cameras.

“I love real estate and the hospitality … That’s what I sort of wanted to get back into,” she says. “I know that if I want to get to the next level of things, I really need to get to work and be with people who believe in me, and training with them all summer has helped me so much.”

“I’m excited to pursue other things and we have so much fun making the show, but you know, I was just ready to do some other stuff now,” she adds.

WATCH: Southern Charm‘s Shep Rose on Kathryn C. Dennis & Thomas Ravenel’s Relationship Status: ‘They Do Not Need to Be Together’

In early September, Clements announced her exit in a statement: “I have decided to return to California where I will be pursuing my career in residential real estate. I recently renewed my license and am thrilled to join the team at CLIMB Real Estate. While I won’t be returning to Southern Charm, I’m excited for this next chapter in my life.”

Clements moved to Malibu, California, in March after season 4 wrapped production.

“I love Charleston, but it’s a tiny little town, so it’s hard to keep oneself really busy,” she says. “I just wanted to get back to California and the West Coast. When we finished filming last season’s show, I came back in March, and I had to do a bunch of classes because I let my real estate license lapse in California, so I had to basically go back to school, which I kind of loved.”

Another reason Clements packed up and left: her love life.

In Charleston, “I’ve known most of these guys since I was really young, or I’m related to them. It’s a very, very small town and there are great guys there, but I’ve literally known them since we were kids,” she explains. “It’s tricky at best, that’s another big reason I’ve been in California. … I’m not really looking to get remarried right now. I’m focused on my career and want to get the real estate stuff going, and then I’ll try to figure all that out.” 

These days, Clements travels coast-to-coast, often coming home to Charleston, where she remains close with former costars Shep RoseThomas Ravenel and a newly single Naomie Olindo.

“They’re not rid of me just yet,” she jokes of her pals. “Honestly, all of my friends travel so much that they come and visit all the time … so I feel like they’re all still around. We’re a big family.”

Last season, Clements found herself in a feud with Ravenel’s ex ( the and mother of his children) Kathryn Dennis after rumors of a romance between Ravenel and Clements spread in their social circle.

“Well, I don’t think it’s a big secret that Kathryn and I don’t really speak,” Clements says of the estranged friendship.

“But Thomas and I are great friends! He was out when I kind of came out to California. I was telling him it would probably be a good idea to get out of town for a little bit,” she recalls of her summer.

The realtor even reveals Ravenel has been dating someone new.

“His girlfriend Ashley is a sweetheart, and we’ve become really good friends, and she’s moved to Charleston and is getting her nursing license to switch over,” Clements says. “Everyone is happy trying to figure it all out.”

So will Southern Charm fans ever get to see Clements return to the show?

“Never say never,” she teases.

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