I’m coming up on my 1-year anniversary as an Angeleno, and the question I’m frequently getting is: how do you like LA?
Honestly? I have a lot of thoughts on living in LA. If you’re new here, last year, I packed up my entire life and moved from Virginia to Los Angeles. I’ve only ever lived on the East Coast, so this was a huge change for me. How am I adjusting? There are some pros, some cons, and many new experiences.
So, what do I genuinely think about living in LA? Read on to learn more!
My Honest Thoughts on Living in LA
I will preface this and say that LA living is not for everyone. I’ve really enjoyed my experience here so far, but I think it boils down to two things when you move somewhere new: how willing you are to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and the people you surround yourself with.
I knew that moving to LA was going to be an uncomfortable change, but one that I wanted to try so that I could grow both personally and professionally. I did know a few people in town before I moved, but I don’t have family out here, so I really had to build up my circle again.
From what I’ve seen, the people who really thrive in the city have a good group of people around them. I think that if I moved to LA like I wanted to as a 20-something, I would have left the city heartbroken and, well, broke. But now that I’m in my 30’s, I’m comfortable with my friend group, I’m confident, and I’m honestly a better judge of character than I was ten years ago.
The Pros of Living in LA:
I mean, let’s state the obvious: the weather is life-changing here. When I wake up, look outside of my window, and see sunshine and palm trees, it’s nearly impossible to be in a bad mood. No, the perfect weather still hasn’t gotten old, and I don’t think I’ll ever get over it.
Being in LA is also way better for my career than living in Virginia. I felt like I had exhausted most of my collaboration opportunities in the VA/DC market, and I was excited to start anew here. I’m a full-time blogger/content creator, and it’s been incredible to meet with brands in-person almost weekly. Plus, the fact that I delved into the wine blogging world is ideal: California is the best state in the country for creating wine content. I’ve partnered with more wineries out here than I ever did on the East Coast!
There are endless opportunities to create content in the city. Aside from NYC, it really is a great town to be an influencer. It’s a big town, but there are enough opportunities for everyone!
I find that people are friendlier here as well, but this might be a biased opinion (trust me, I’ve heard horror stories about the people here, but I really haven’t had awful experiences!) I’m pretty extroverted, so meeting people wasn’t hard for me at all — I can strike up a conversation pretty much anywhere, from the grocery store to the car wash to the lobby of the movie theater. It’s refreshing to connect with people who have great energy, and I’m thrilled that many Angelenos have taken me under their wing and have shown me the city with grace.
Lastly: I love the building I moved into, and living in Downtown LA has been so much fun. There are so many cool restaurants here, and I love having the balance of being able to walk to run errands and also being right off the freeway if I want to explore another part of town.
The Cons of Living in LA:
Really, the biggest con here is the cost of living.
Taxes are higher. Gas prices are insane. The rent is surprisingly comparable to DC, which was also too much money. LA is beautiful, but she’s expensive. I’ve had to budget here, which can be difficult as a freelancer when brands don’t want to pay you on time!
Am I going to be able to buy a house anytime soon? Probably not. But honestly? Travel blogging is picking up in 2022, and I’m happy renting in my luxury high rise. It’s nice not to have to worry about packages piling up or maintenance issues when we’re out of town. Tom and I signed a two-year lease when we moved, but as long as there’s no crazy price hike, we’d love to stay in our place for a third year!
Honestly, traffic is a pain, but I find it comparable to DC traffic. I used to work at a regional magazine and had to make 20-30 mile drives regularly around the area, so I’m pretty much used to sitting in traffic. I don’t have to leave my neighborhood that often since I work from home, and I only go to events that I love, and I have a Target, grocery store, Sephora, and a Nordstrom Local within walking distance of me, so I’m not spending a ton of time in my car!
To Sum It Up:
I love living here, and I see myself living in Southern California indefinitely. Sure, the cost of living hurts, but I’m honestly happier here. It’s way more of my vibe than the East Coast ever was, and I’m excited to see what else is in store for me here on the West Coast!
Have you ever lived in LA before? Are you thinking of making a big move in the future? Let me know in the comments below!
Photos by Tom McGovern