February 10, 2017
When I received the news that I’d be living and working in LA for 12 weeks – I didn’t quite know what to think.
I mean, I’d visited LA 5 years ago at the age of 16 with my mum – and the experience was less than underwhelming. Maybe it was the fact that we stuck solely to the touristy things, living off ridiculously large portions of unhealthy food, with the majority of the time being touted around on a stinky old bus, only to gawk at celebrity homes. Ugh, laaame!
I was beyond excited about working at one of the most incredible creative ad agencies in the world – but the actual living component of the experience was one that I had pretty low expectations for, given my past ‘experience’ with LA.
What a misjudgment on my behalf.
There’s something about LA that I’m deeply appreciative of. It’s more than a city, it’s a lifestyle. Cliche as that may be, the people here are fiercely proud of the city that has undeniably sculpted their identity – with a city they now call home having a profound impact on their outlook on life.
So far for me, the people are ridiculously chill, happy, open, accepting and always ready to help. LA may have the perception of being an empty soulless place, but my interpretation of it is that everyone is here just doing their own thing, trying to make their dreams a reality, not phased by being a contrarian.
Many don’t have a typical job like is the norm in Australia. Many are hustling to create their own dream jobs. Look, it’s seems usual, weird even, but I’m ridiculously inspired by it. Yes, many will probably fail, but that’s a part of the journey, and I think it’s beneficial for every aspiring entrepreneur to experience. Even now as I sit here typing this in a cafe, I’m seated next to a group of young entrepreneurs talking about their business ambitions – yes, you go guys!
And then there’s food, dear lord the food is amazing. For someone who (clearly) has an obsession with good cuisine, I’m overwhelmed by the options here. On any day you can pick a new cafe that will serve fresh, healthy, wholesome food. Like right now, I find myself typing away in a very well-known LA cafe, ‘Intelligentsia’, after having a scrumptious brekky at Rose Cafe and Restaurant. My belly is happy… wallet, not so much.
Oh and the adventures to be had!
In any day, you can drive to a new pocket of LA – and feel like you’re in a completely new city. As well as that, LA may be the only city in the world where you can surf and snowboard in one day. If you’re an adventurer, who loves hiking and exploring, then you will adore LA.
Having set pretty low expectations of this place, after spending a month here, I am absolutely blown away by everything that LA has to offer.
But I attribute that to my mindset. I’m open to experiencing new adventures and cultures, and would never limit myself to my comfort zone. I realize the stupidity of not taking advantage of a privileged situation – I realize there is so much to learn and to gain in a new city at this stage in my life. Yes, it’s so much easier to just chill out at home, remain insular and closed off, but that’s meaningless and empty. The best experiences come from making meaningful connections with new people – through sharing experiences that ultimately enrich our own lives.
And every new city, every culture, every single human being, has something to teach us.
Let’s open our minds to enriching, transformative experiences, and put our biases aside.