Navigating LA with a compass

Grateful for:

  1. Funkiest coincidence squared: after spending 3 days in New Zealand I ended up on the same plane to LA with a girl I met last week in Vanuatu. We didn’t even have the same ultimate destinations. But the weirdest part came at the check in when totally randomly as it has never happened to me before they took. My ticket away and said they have to reissue me with a new one and it placed me in the seat right next to her!
  2. Having done the traveling lifestyle for much longer than me it was good to hear her experiences, some of which mirrored my own and generally put me a little more at ease with my current life crisis of “omg last year traveling felt good and fun and now it is a heart wrenching experience”
  3. Watching “lost in translation” on the plane. 2 major BFOs from the movies covered in the next 2 points.
  4. When scarlet said “every girl goes through a photography stage” it hit me that hey, I did go through it too. But I still carry a camera around thinking the “inspiration” will come back. But what’s even worse, I realized, I carry around with me implements for pretty much ALL hobbies I was fascinated with at some point thinking that the passion will come back. It sounds ridiculous to me now yet the attachment bonds are still hard to break and I am not about to ship it all back, more like just staring at myself in dumbfounded amazement. No wonder I have such heavy luggage with me this time around. It’s bizarre noticing my own idiosyncrasies and I wonder how much other silliness I do that I don’t realize.
  5. Advise from old and (hopefully) wise bill given to scarlet, “figure out what you want and how ton ask for it”, made me realize, yet again, that I don’t really know what I want. I guess I still have time to figure it out and I am enjoying the process of trying different things, but hearing it straight liked that made me feel a little uneasy about my ambivalence.
  6. Clearing US customs and immigration without a hitch!! Amazing! Especially considering I spent 5 months here last year without a visa. Or maybe it is precisely because of that fact, I am no longer an intruder but an “insider”.
  7. Committing to a game of urban orientation and navigation without Internet or map but with a compass and a smile. LAX > union square > Hollywood. Anyone can take a cab, but how to find an address in the city one has never been to, now that’s an adventure! Hint for anyone repeating the same: union square has a metro free phone that provides directions. Best Buy has Internet on the demo machines to look up the details as you are getting closer to the destination.
  8. Shopping in best buy with 2 large luggage bags. It looked and felt pretty ridiculous but seemed to make sense at the time: I needed a sim in case I got the address wrong and needed to call my host and I forgot my laptop power adapter and needed a replacement to get online once I did get to my destination. Also an interesting experiences rolling my luggage around the streets all this time, couple of times caught up with homeless people with their trolleys full of stuff… Anyway, doing weird stuff no one else would do with me if I wasn’t traveling on my own, that’s the spirit of this particular journey.
  9. I have been visiting with some really amazing hosts in the past 2 years but I still can’t help but be amazed at the generosity of my friends. This particular friend I have never even met in person until now, so it was a double present surprise.
  10. Having the most amazing inspiring conversation, I simply don’t have enough adjectives in my jet lagged mind to accurately describe it. Paradigms were shifted, things explained and dates set.
  11. I completely forgot how amazing and varied the health food market is in USA. It took me at least 2 excruciating months to adjust last year after leaving and now I can’t wait to get my teeth stuck into all the yummy goodness, just afraid to get too used to the good stuff again. I mean, a sprouted wheat bagel with organic raspberry jam with no sweeteners added – OMG!..