Three Weeks In LA

Moving to LA
The famous Hollywood hills

I suppose when I first moved to Sydney – almost two years ago now – I was faced with a culture shock different to that of the one I would face when moving to LA. Having left behind a city whose streets were paved with gold; a place where every night brought with it a new opportunity for a cultural outing; a new excuse for a bottle of bubbles with friends (I did far more of the latter than the former) I distinctly remember meeting a friend of a friend for the aforementioned bottle of fizz one Thursday night at a rustic bar in central Sydney shortly after I’d just moved down under. I recall looking around the bar in both wonderment and confusion, thinking where on earth is everyone? Baffled by the fact that we not only got a table, but that half of them were empty – and it was Thursday – a night in London synonymous with sticky floors, questionable kebabs and many a hangover in offices across the city come Friday – I couldn’t quite get my head around the fact that this was normal for Sydney.

But get used to it I did, and soon I accustomed to the somewhat drastic lifestyle change that came with moving down under. While my weekends in London were spent mainly stumbling home in the early hours of the morning along the gutters of South-West London, I can probably count the amount of times I’ve been home after midnight on two hands since moving to Sydney. And while at first I loathed the early nights; the lack of buzz on the city’s streets, the shortage of places open past 11pm, the almost empty bars and pubs in mid-week Sydney, I soon came to love the alternative; the early mornings, the bonding with friends over yoga (instead of the third round of drinks), the coastal walks; the early nights and the often hangover free weekends.

RELATED:  A Girl Down Under: In which I book a one way ticket to Bali

And thus, while my first impressions of moving to LA were less than favourable, now, just shy of three weeks in to my time here, I’m starting to warm to my new – albeit temporary – home. While the culture shock may have been an altogether different type to the one I experienced when moving down under; there are, of course, similarities; often it can simply be a case of finding one’s rhythm and pace and new way of life when embarking on a new adventure in a new city.

Moving to LA
Venice’s beachy blues

I’m not able to work while I’m here, which means I’ll have ample time to explore the city’s many neighbourhoods – and while a week’s yoga teacher training and this week’s blistering heat have set back my adventurous ambitions – I’ve managed to squeeze in visits to Venice Beach, downtown LA, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood – and in doing so have uncovered bookshops and brunch spots galore.

Unlike Sydney, and the Eastern Suburbs in which I live down under – much of whose social scene revolves around living an active lifestyle and thus doesn’t cater to the nightlife so synonymous with cities like LA and London – the purr of excitement here is tangiable; the bookshops are open late, the pavements are lined with the hum of people, the bars throb with wine and friends and food and laughter every night of the week.

I miss the waves, the water and the friends I have in Bondi, I’ve struggled since moving to LA with the city’s stifling and often relentless heat, I will always find the disparity of riches in a city so full of abundance heartbreaking, but I’m beginning to see LA in a new light. As a city that boasts a kaleidoscope of cultures, of people and of places, that so many flock to on a hope and a prayer and a place where people follow their dreams and reach for the stars.

RELATED:  In Which I Book a One Way Ticket to London

Love this post? Click here to subscribe.

10 comments on “Three Weeks In LA”

  1. I hope you’re adjusting well – I know the LA heat can be brutal, especially with all that climate change is bringing to the area! Getting used to a new place is always a little more difficult than expected, but over time you’ll definitely start to appreciate things more. I think you’ll find, as you explore more of LA’s cultural side and the rest of California, that there is a lot to see and do! If you want more of the beach/active sort of activities there’s a lot to do farther south in the San Diego area. Definitely head up to the Bay Area as well to escape the heat if you can! Good luck, look forward to reading more of your LA Edits!

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I faced a similar culture shock living overseas and am currently going through the transition of returning home again. It’s not easy, but nothing worth doing is!

  3. Loved reading this honest post! Travel definitely is not without it’s challenges. I enjoyed hearing your perspectives on the differences between the three cities.

  4. Great description of LA. I have never been but I can feel the striking diffetencea between Sydney and LA. I also love those aspects of Sydney culture and am shocked everything closes so early because in NY, everything is openallthe time. But loved this and so glad you’re settling.

    1. That is definitely my least favourite thing about Sydney – come 3pm all coffee shops are closed and during the week restaurants close at about 10. It’s turned me into a bit of a grandma as now I love a good early night xx

  5. Interesting to read your thoughts on this.I have not visited Sydney or LA but have this strange fascination with LA only based on what I have continuously been seeing on Youtube and movies. I have the impression that it is an extremely busy city, high traffic etc but it’s also where all the creative minds collide and where people choose to go to make it in the entertainment industry. I really don’t know if I will love it or hate it but I would sure love to spend some time there to check it out for myself.Let me know how it goes for you.

    1. I think LA’s the sort of place that we all have pre-conceived ideas about due to the way it’s portrayed in the media and on TV. It’s definitely very, very different to how I imagined, and there’s a huge disparity between the rich and the poor. Parts are beautiful – parts not so! Would love to hear what you think about it if you ever pay it a visit xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.