I have finally decided to live out my long-term dream of relocating to Los Angeles for the summer. I had no expectations, no plans and just decided to give myself some time to go with the flow and say yes to most things that come my way.
I wanted to explore a real life in Los Angeles and live it through people I met along the way. I also wanted to keep it as real as possible as I always sensed that there is so much more to Los Angeles than Hollywood and I’m forever grateful for the opportunity to live it. As I live in East London, I moved to the Echo Park which is East LA as I wanted to stay as close to home as possible by keeping the vibe similar.
Living in Echo Park really opened my eyes to what the true LA vibe is as East LA is a home to so many creatives that made the place really popular. Silverlake was my favourite go-to for a night out as well as eating out and it really reminded me of Shoreditch.
Being in East LA naturally, I spent a bunch of my time in DTLA as it was less than 2 miles away and a mere $3 Uber ride. My gym and Wholefoods were down this way so it was nice to be so close to the city and easier to run errands especially as I don’t drive. I loved the DTLA as it really showed such contrast to what people expect from LA (or shall I say Hollywood)! It really baffled me how can such an amazing city that aspired so many dreams can have this massive gap between rich and poor. Homeless people here are nice and friendly except where they are really high or drunk which is the reason for a large amount of them living on the streets. Best to stay out the way and not engage much but I do really encourage not judging them as we don’t know what most of them went through. It made me feel so grateful to know that we in the UK have such good security net and a large amount of support should God forbid, we ever find ourselves in such an unfortunate situation.
People don’t cross much between areas in Los Angeles which I found very surprising. You make a choice of where to live and you pretty much stay there the entire time. People from London tend to love Santa Monica and Venice and as much as I love the beach and being close to the ocean, these areas were so busy with tourists that I really wanted to stay away from those areas.
Hollywood is the same, very busy and touristy but we did make an occasional trip to it for the sake of a good cocktail. I didn’t enjoy spending much time on this side and the same goes for the Beverly Hills but I’m not going to lie, it was nice to visit and take a stroll down the Rodeo Drive. This really helps me raise a bar and dream bigger especially as I got myself to a place where I’m able to live my dream. I did this by myself and no help by anyone apart from friends helping me snap photos along the way.
I haven’t explored many other sides to Los Angeles but I will try and spend some time with my friend that lives in South Central LA on my next visit which is hopefully next month.
If you don’t drive Uber and Lyft is the best way to get around the city. Off-peak times come with a really cheap fare uber to Hollywood from Echo Park was around $5. Renting a car comes with a lot of responsibilities including insurance and parking costs and if you want to go out and enjoy yourself, you will have to add Uber costs on top of that. So really uber and lyft are your best options and you will probably save some money too. Public transport is existent but not so many people use it. I wanted to get on a bus a few times but they tun every 20minutes and I just didn’t want to wait.
I met some amazing people in LA and formed long-lasting friendships. People are not scared to be real here and trust me if someone is fake you will be able to tell straight away. I wish I could say the same for people in London but I really want to share this massive misconception that people in LA are fake. It’s probably true to some extent but its really obvious and you can make a conscious decision not to engage. I met some great people in this city and they really made it special for me. They go off the vibe you give and truly they are some of the friendliest people in the world. I miss my LA friends every day and can’t wait to visit them soon.
I wish I could say the same thing for LA boys who let me tell you are smooth in their game. They wine and dine you, take you out on their motorbikes to chase the sunsets down the Mullholand drive and always open the door for you. I dated some real gentleman in LA and had very interesting conversations. Unfortunately, its just an act as most want a girlfriend experience without much emotional availability. London is quite opposite where boys are emotionally unavailable and hard work and in most cases, won’t even buy you a drink. At least you know what you’re getting yourself into wheres LA is more of an emotional trap and if you are not strong as a female and ready to stand up for yourself well you may end up hurt. I can say I truly enjoyed the dating process but it barely passed the 3 date mark as, as soon you realise the level of shallowness present, you kinda feel not into it much and ready for the next. Regardless its more fun to date in LA as guys try harder than in London which makes it more fun for us. Its also way easier to meet people on a night out so you have so many more options when it comes picking a right fit to see again. LA boys are cute although London boys have more style however it all boils down to your personal preference.
LA is fun but way more mellow than London. Alchocol is not served past 1AM is and in most cased before. Everything shuts early and if you are not into warehouse afterparties or people houses, then your options are limited. In London, we party harder and have so many more options available to us! I suppose everyone is stoned in LA since weed is legal so they can’t be bothered to come up with many party concepts since sitting on the sofa may seem more fun. I truly enjoyed bar hopping in Silverlake and it was kinda nice not to suffer from severe hangovers like I do when I go out in London. I went out every day so this mellow drinking really suited me.
LA is more expensive than London for food and drink. Actually, dining comes out pretty much at the same price excluding gratuity but wine is way more expensive which was a little shocking as Napa Valley is only a few hours away. Groceries were really pricey and of a questionable quality. Once I left a broccoli inside the fridge for over a month and it looked exactly the same as when I got it. The only place that can be trusted is probably Wholefoods. You need to go for organic food at all times and if you like cooking at home your bill will be over $100 weekly for groceries. Despite the fact that Ubers are cheap, you will need to take a few days and it adds up on a monthly.
The weather makes it all worth it just make sure that the place you are staying at has an AC.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post as its based on my true experiences on my recent Los Angeles trip which was 2 months long. I will be going back more frequently and will try and deliver more value-add content for you guys. Please feel free to let me know the topics you’d like me to cover in the comments below.
Love you lots.