On November 5th, I packed two large suitcases and boarded a plane to my new home, Los Angeles. My heart was filled with joy as I stepped into the Los Angeles sunshine.
This move had been a longtime coming. I had been miserable in Seattle where the rain messed with my mood. After 25 years of growing up and living in the PNW, it was time to start anew.
The choice was obvious to me. What better city to chase your dreams than Los Angeles? The sunshine, Hollywood, Silicon Beach and the Lakers were all things that got me excited about moving to Los Angeles. After five months of living here and working on my startup full-time, here’s a few things I’ve learned.
1) LA is overflowing with ambition
This is somewhat obvious, but worth noting. There is so much talent and ambition here. People are chasing something. That makes networking events, Uber rides and talking to strangers fun. Everybody has a story about what they’re working on whether it be a rap album, short film or tech company.
This creates opportunities to collaborate with other creatives and people in your industry.
2) Everyone has a side hustle… or two
Most people are working multiple jobs to supplement their passion. Finding work as an actor is notoriously hard, but that also applies to comedians, producers and tech founders at the earliest stages. Many people are working part-time jobs as bartenders, budtenders, Uber drivers and brand ambassadors.
3) Get like-minded roommates
I was lucky enough that my cousin would have me in his studio apartment in Koreatown. If living with family is not an option, I recommend an app I created called RentHoop which is helping tons of people find roommates.
With as much as there is to do here, having a roommate you vibe with on music, sports or lifestyle will help you get familiar with the city faster.
4) What you heard about traffic is true
Traffic is as awful as you can imagine. Finding parking is a truly miserable downside of living in LA. If you’re not used to paying for parking, that will change real quick. I came down here without a car and have enjoyed taking Uber whenever I go anywhere. Uberpool is dirt cheap if you can time it right to avoid the surcharges which are somewhat regular. Plus, you don’t have to worry about parking.
5) Everything is more expensive than you think
A dollar here, a dollar there, it all adds up. It’s tempting to eat out all the time because of the amazing food, but it will put a hole in your wallet if you make it a habit. Eat at home as much as possible. Taco trucks are cheap and delicious so you can find affordable places to eat out, just make sure you’re saving for a rainy day.
6) San Diego and San Francisco is not too far
If you need a quick vaca from LA (who needs that?) or need to make a trip to Silicon Valley, cashuttlebus is an extremely cheap way to get there. Round trip, it will cost you about $20 if you book it early enough. Trips to San Diego are a bit more expensive at $60 round trip on a Greyhound. There are cheap hostiles in those cities that make your trip inexpensive and fun.
7) Just do it
There is a cost to following a dream. Life is not easy for long periods of time. Put yourself in the best position to succeed by working your ass off and doing what it takes to make your dream work. That may mean working dirty jobs or working with people you don’t like for a little bit. Roll your sleeves up and get to work!
Moving to Los Angeles is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Hope this guide helps you chase your dreams as you think about moving!
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