I recently celebrated two years living in California and to acknowledge my Cali-versary I thought I’d post about why/how I moved. This is actually a decently requested post over the past year. I understand the fascination. A 23 year old decides to pack all her meager belongings and head to a city that couldn’t be any more of a polar opposite. Moving across the country isn’t easy and my process may not apply to you but here’s how I did it.
I should start with the “why”. The truth is, I don’t have one specific reason for moving to Los Angeles. When I began toying with the idea of relocating, I had my sights set on Ireland. I’d had a pretty convincing dream about the possibility of a spectacular life and that’s what I wanted. Unfortunately, the time, effort and finances it would take to make that huge of a move was more than I wanted to tackle then. Especially with the timeline I had set.
I didn’t want to transfer with my job at the time because I wanted a whole new lifestyle and I wanted to submerge myself in the “culture” of California. I wanted to eat at Urth cafe, lunch in Malibu and do yoga on the beach. That plan was dropped immediately after landing when I realized how important constant cash flow is in LA. Lunch in Malibu?! More like a number two at chick-fil-a, a milkshake if I was lucky. My savings account was only going to take care of me for the first three months. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have money coming in. Unexpected expenses will happen.
I didn’t have many belongings so packing a two suitcases and then shipping a few boxes was all it took. I purchased my car eight months after moving. Yea, that was rough. But no matter what, in LA a car is a luxury and a necessity. Things are way too spread out for any successful public transportation adventures.
My next final tip would be to get familiar with your community as soon as possible. I found this easier for me to accomplish because I didn’t have a car for such a long time. That forced me to hit the sweltering pavement.
Moving isn’t easy and it actually may not be for everyone. It’s daunting and can be lonely and extremely expensive. It’s a huge change. I guess My personality is a bit different than most. I didn’t start feeling that intense home sickness until a year and a half of living here. (There’s only so much lack of Jamaican culture one can take without beginning to yearn for it.)
Honestly, as great as a “$300 in my pocket and a dream in my heart” story sounds, it’s much too stressful of a task to actually want to commit to. Do your research. Plan as much as you can and then you can wing the rest.