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10 things I’d miss about California if I had to leave tomorrow

Tomorrow marks our second year of living in Los Angeles. It’s been a whirlwind of friends and family visiting, more Sierra adventures than you can poke a lodgepole pine stick at, and growing feelings of habit and familiarity. It’s certainly provided an interesting mix to reflect upon.

Here’s ten things, in no order, I’d dearly miss about life in California if I had to leave tomorrow…

1. The Eastern Sierra

“Where’s that?” says a Runyon Canyon regular as they adjust their white hot pants. Let me tell you my pretties! If it’s possible to fall in love with mountains, the Sierra have stole my heart (their altitude gets it racing at least!) A range of light that’s friendly yet challenging, beautiful yet rugged, popular yet wild. Swoon.

2. Netflix

The thought of commercial television makes me shudder. For less than $10/month I can enjoy entire series like House of Cards or Breaking Bad, random British comedies or mega-classic movies (all without commercials and all at an instant). Netflix, you have my permission to take over the television world, good luck.

3. Accessibility

San Francisco for a weekend? Maybe New York? Fly return to London for less than $1,000? Yes please. Researching holidays has gone from, “How many days do we need to get there?” to, “How to decide between Canada, Chile or the Bahamas?”

4. The internet

Nothing special here. Waaaaait a second… Ohhh, I don’t have to! Here, our usage is billed on speed not download/upload, so I can watch/view/send/upload however much I like.

Though Americans think it should be faster (they like to be the best), either way I’m not complaining one bit (pun intended).

5. Choice, choice, and choice about choice

Ranch, Caesar, Balsamic, Blue Cheese, Italian, Thousand Island, Vinaigrette, Caesar, Greek, French. That’s just the list offered to accompany your garden salad (which comes out first, but only if you want it to). Being able to ask for changes without being stared down as an inconvenience is refreshing. By the way, I’ll have Balsamic thanks.

6. The weather

Don’t ask me what it is today in LA. I’ve stopped checking forecasts and instead have a schedule of windscreen wiper replacement from heat, not use. Where I am it’s the same nearly every day, sunny. Even the mountain forecasts regularly feature a row of yellow happy faces.

7. Opportunities

The opportunities in California are mind boggling. After completing study I’m now working to find a match with a great company here, and I can’t wait to make my dream role a reality. The diversity means I’m inspired to target industries and roles I’m truly interested in and passionate about. Here risk doesn’t seem to have the dogma it does in Australia, making it more inviting to be creative in problem solving.

8. Whole Foods

It may be known as whole paycheck, though I never tire of exploring this wonderful world of great food, local produce, and awesome goodies. I only have one tip for Whole Foods – start a couple of your stores in Melbourne and Sydney, they’d go nuts, just like one of your ‘make your own peanut butter’ stands.

9. There’s always something happening

Giant community bike rides, theme parks, showjumping, ice hockey, concerts, exhibitions, movie filming, comedians, live Anchorman readings by the original actors. I don’t have to wait for an annual festival for Los Angeles to buzz, I’ve yet to receive a petition begging an entertainer to play here, and my ‘to do list’ just gets longer. Note, strong links to #5 on this list.

10. The future

Maybe it’s the Pacific Ocean air. Maybe it’s the sunshine. Maybe it’s the cocktail of companies and stories and histories of entrepreneurship, trying new things and creating the future. I can’t help but be engaged and inspired living here. I want to take risks, I want to challenge the norm, I want to help create the future, not respond to what someone else created.

Or, maybe that’s just my 30s! Either way, living here feels progressive, I like that.

Arrow Peak above Bench Lake

WWW

California in Fall

Redwood Creek Overlook

KrustyLand Universal Studios

 

Lastly, and importantly, I’m not saying LA is better than Adelaide, or California is better than South Australia, or the USA is better than Australia. These are just some of my favorite things about living here. Every city and every country has its good and bad depending on the lifestyle you seek. Next week I’ll share ten things I miss about South Australia to prove that.
Are you an expatriate? Have you lived overseas? Are you in Australia now? What do you think you’d miss most about where you are right now?

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