Good Bye Orlando.. Hello LA!
What I wore to the airport- I took this selfie in the Delta private lounge.
I love discovering a new city on my own even thought it's not immediately a comfortable thought. As an introverted person, the travel experience becomes something entirely different and not exactly like what I’ve read in other blogs that touch on the freeing power of having conversations with strangers and taking on adventure as it comes. Well that’s simply not an enjoyable way for me discover anything- I'm comforted by the obsessive re-search of places I need to visit and the creation of a well detailed itinerary. I didn't have a whole lot of time to plan for this trip so my version of adventure is to put on my headphones, play some nice music and walk the street with fresh eyes- enjoying the best parts of people watching and getting lost in my own observations. Whatever playlist I choose enhances the moment to seem like a music video allowing me to hold on to the memory more vividly. I see the signs, the sights, I visit galleries, I eat by myself and barely mention a word for 8 hours unless absolutely necessary. The day is filled with music that no one else can hear but I'll remember plus the simple joy of being alone in a crowded room.
Although I was in California for work, I had sometime to explore for a limited amount of time. I always get a bit anxious before I leave the hotel room but I amp myself up by putting on a good outfit and taking the extra time to do my make up. I mean, it'll be a crime if no one else gets to see what I just worked so hard to achieve- that adorable girly dress made casual by my flat boots with an added punk vibe thanks to my go to leather jacket.
In the streets of downtown L.A having my introverted travel experience is made a bit harder by the amount of friendly weirdos that live there. I say that with love, really, since the whole 'California vibe' wouldn't be complete without them. For example, I was walking early in the morning towards the fashion district excited about possibly finding the right item my closet is currently missing (said item is always elusive, giving me an eternal excuse to shop) When I see a man riding his bike who took notice of me. I smiled- because that’s what I do- I always smile in the hopes that if this person is a murderer then maybe he will spare me because I was kind to him. I’m not kidding- it’s basically a nervous smile but I make sure to look confident and genuine when I do it as a sort of defense system.This man took it not only as an invitation but worse- an advance, a flirt, a metaphor for a wink and a 'come here' because the male ego can sometimes be a magnificent dick and also that's what happens when you smile to strangers. Next thing I know he was off his bike and walking beside me, telling me I had potential and that I was the perfect candidate to work at his flower shop. I'm not sure that the flower shop was even his or if 'flower' was code name for something else but I pretended to be flattered he offered. I was as short with him as I could until he took the hint, told me I had a beautiful face one last time and rode off into the distance. I immediately made a mental note to try and work on my 'bitch' face when coincidentally another stranger across the street called for my attention just so he could signal the 'O.K' sign with both his hands- my immediate reaction was to smile at him.
The skirt I got from the fashion district. It was only $10!
Although I was disheartened by the amount of homeless people in the city and went on an internal rant about the contrast of wealth, poverty and vanity midst tinsel town- I did find a little piece of magic that I will visit again next time I go. Naturally it was a book shop. Like a moth to a light, like a sinner to a church, I look for them in most places I visit. Aptly called 'The Last Bookstore' or hipster heaven- situated in an old bank which accredits its location with lots of the ever important -character- to make it a hit among the cultured, the young and non reader wannabes. You can probably read plenty about this little gem, as later on I found it listed on some paper tour guide as a place to visit in downtown L.A. The second floor was a labyrinth of bookshelves decorated with whimsical details like flying pages, there was a gallery dedicated to local art and the original bank vault was where all the horror books were kept. I could have easily spent hours in this place plus the book prices weren't bad: I got four books for less than 30 bucks, so a major win for all!
The books I purchased.
I had a lovely time and I can't wait to go back with a proper time frame an flexibility. I made a video about it which you can check out below, it's a little different than your regular video blog since while I was editing I reflected on how many things have changed this year for me and how I look forward to more travel days.