I can’t believe it’s already been two and a half years since I moved across the country to the City of Angels and turned my dreams into reality.
Now look where I am today! I’m still surviving and thriving…somehow 😊
I had been dreaming of the day since I was a little girl and was determined to do anything to make it happen. I grew up constantly performing in front of the camera for my family and friends, knowing I wanted to go to Hollywood and work in the entertainment industry one day.
After receiving my degree in Broadcast Journalism, I constructed a plan to move to La La Land and everything fell into place. (You can read more about my journey and guide to moving to LA on my blog).
Even after completing hours of research along with visits to SoCal, nothing could have prepared me for actually living and experiencing the lifestyle in Los Angeles. So, after surviving two and a half years here, what knowledge have I acquired? I’m sharing my top truths about what I’ve learned after living in LA for two and a half years.
Where you choose to live in the city is a BIG DEAL
I quickly learned how different every part of LA is and how each neighborhood really has its own “personality.” Los Angeles is a huge city with lots of traffic which makes it seem even bigger. I had two weeks to move from Chicago to LA after accepting my first job here, so that didn’t give me too much time to explore each neighborhood. I ended up not loving the area where I rented my first apartment. I moved to the westside after my lease was up and I LOVE it. It is a short walk to the beach and a quick commute to work, while also being in a central location.
A big mistake I first made was thinking an 8-mile commute to work was close. It took me over an hour both ways. You should try and live as close to your job as possible, if you don’t want to endure a horrible commute. I have now learned what time and where traffic is the worst and it helps when making plans for the day.
Have a conversation with everyone you encounter…and BE NICE
I can’t tell you how many opportunities or friendships have arisen from random encounters I’ve had around the city. I’m normally a nice person, so I will always be nice to everyone I meet. However, in this city it is extra important! You never know WHO you will run into and why. It could be a celebrity, a new friend, a new client, someone who can help you take the next step in your career, etc. I believe people are put into our paths for a reason!
Get as many side gigs to go along with your full-time job, because it really is as expensive as everyone says.
Between my full-time job and my blog, I am still constantly on the search for any side gigs to help me live comfortably here in LA. I am just starting out in the entertainment industry, so my salary isn’t great and yours won’t be either. I do blogging, background acting, entertainment gigs, influencer events, and more to earn extra money.
Explore and enjoy the weather.
Yes, the weather is really this nice pretty much all year round. You always can find something fun to do every single day of the week. You meet so many interesting people and can get invited to events at any time. It’s hard to say no when you really shouldn’t go. FOMO. Every weekend, I try to do something new that I haven’t done yet in this busy city.
When you need to get out of LA…guess what?
You are a short road trip away from some amazing places like Catalina Island, San Diego, Joshua Tree, Big Sur, and Palm Springs to name a few. Also, a walk on the beach will make ANYTHING better. Whenever I’m feeling lonely or have anxiety I take a nice long walk on the beach.
There are dogs literally everywhere!
Coming from Chicago, I remember calling my mom saying, “Oh my gosh, there is a huge golden retriever casually in this woman’s cart in Target.” However, now I am definitely use to seeing the abundance of puppies in the city and I’m not mad about it!