So I have just finished up the most amazing week in LA. As it was my first ever time travelling alone I wanted to document it in a diary, sharing the ups and downs (there were very few downs, thankfully, despite there being some travel drama). Hopefully to inspire you guys to do the same given the opportunity, because travelling alone has been an incredible experience, and one I recommend you all seek out. It's something I will 100% do again at some point, and it's the most freeing feeling ever doing whatever you want whenever you fancy it, while constantly stepping further and further from your comfort zone.
So throughout the week I have been snapping away on my phone. I never share photos from my phone on here, but I hope you don't mind this being an exception this once. It was the best way to document things as I went, and to create a post that felt as much like a diary entry as possible. I still have so much amazing content to share throughout this week and next, so I promise these not so fabulous photos will not be continuing!
Monday 19th June.
I am currently sat at the airport having just demolished a Pret croissant. My flight is 1hr30 delayed, which is the second set back from this trip and I haven’t even started it yet! Yesterday morning I woke up with an email saying that the Air B&B I had booked had been cancelled. Queue intense panic that I was travelling to LA with nowhere to stay! The one I has booked was a beautiful studio apartment that I had already started planning some content around, so finding something even remotely comparable was hard. Due it being so last minute, all that was left was small box rooms or huge mansions, especially as I wasn’t willing to compromise on the West Hollywood/Beverly Hills location. After many phone calls with Air B&B, who were incredibly helpful and determined to solve the problem for me, I’ve booked a massive house with a pool and guest house. It’s cost far more than I had planned to spend, making this trip already feel like a huge extravagance. BUT, we are where we are, and I am determined to leave with good content so the location had to be right. It looks beautiful and I will of course shoot images as soon as I get there. Also, I do want to stress how good the Air B&B customer service was. They did all they could to help out, and were efficient with it all too!
2hrs30 mins still until my flight, but I shall pick this up again once I have arrived at the Air B&B. I am feeling very excited and not at all nervous despite these little set backs which is definitely a good sign, although I am still stressed and a little wound up from the palaver of re-booking yesterday.
HELLLOOO FROM LA!! I am in bed now trying to keep my eyes open! The flight was fine, got to my beautiful Air B&B and it’s even more incredible than I had hoped!!! Definitely a 'meant to be' moment with the other one. I nipped out to Erowhan which is a super fancy supermarket and spent $50 on about 5 things, ridiculous. But it’s worth having a mooch around there if you are sad like me and like a posh supermarket. Not worth buying anything unless you want to remortgage your home. Now, time to sleep.
Tuesday 20th June
Been up since about 4am today. I went out to Starbucks at 5am, and it was so nice to walk along Melrose as it was still sleeping. Since then I have been at my laptop getting through some work and planning everything I want to shoot this week to make sure I don’t miss a single thing. I have an appointment at Topshop at 11am to pick up some bits for a project, and a meeting at 1pm. Aside from that the main agenda for today is to track down a tripod, and get some alcohol so I can make myself an Old Fashioned and sit by the pool later on. Feeling incredibly chilled and happy, and very excited to shoot some content later on.
Went out for dinner this eve at a new restaurant in DTLA. Someone once explained LA as a place you only need to know one person, and then you will always be fine because people are so willing to invite you along to things and include you in their plans, and in turn introduce you to other people. It’s amazing how many people I feel like I can call on here despite having spent just one week here in the past. Anyway, I went out for dinner with Lauren and Ashley, two of the girls I know here (they own the amazing brand, LNA) and one of their friends. We had a lovely evening and I managed to fight through the jet lag! All in all it's been an great first day and I feel like I am literally buzzing about being here. Quite possibly my favourite place in the world.
Wednesday 21st June
Just got back from a long morning walk along a rather gloomy Venice Beach with Paula and her gorgeous little baby Luna. We had some brunch and then a long walk, chatting away the whole time. I often have to pinch myself at the incredible women I get to spend time with when I am here, so many successful and inspirational people who are all so willing to share their stories and successes too. Paula has had the most amazing career, and is now documenting her experiences of motherhood online too. I so recommend you all follow her, I am hooked and she is incredible!
I am just sat here with a book next to me on the sun bed about to catch some rays for a couple of hours and possibly nap. It's gorgeously hot today so I am thankful for the pool, I could spend so much time just sat out in the garden of my Air B&B because it is so peaceful and relaxing. This evening I am meeting Lauren and Ashley (the LNA girls) for dinner again, we are heading to a french spot called Marvin's on Beverly.
Update; Marvin's was amazing! Incredible food, definitely on the list of recommendations! Now to bed, I am knackered.
Thursday 22nd June.
Today is shooting day! The photographer we worked with when we came last time, Scott, has given up an entire day for shooting. It’s going to be a long one because we need to shoot wayyy into the evening to get the right vibes for some of the looks. I have a long list of everything I need to get but I am sure I will manage to forget something. We have to shoot 4x looks for a lookbook, 2x rolls of film and 2x digital posts. It’s going to be a loooonnnggg day.
Shooting all finished, and I cannot wait to share the images and video. The reason I wanted to come here is because you are guaranteed sunshine and blue skies, ideal for Summer content, but it can also be a tricky task to shoot in such strong sunlight. We spent a lot of time wandering up and down Melrose trying to find the right spot that was a little shaded from the direct sunlight. It all worked out in the end and we got some amazing shots.
Friday 23rd June
Headed down to DTLA this morning. It’s sort of like a mini Soho in LA - it’s the only part that feels like a proper city. LNA have their offices down there so I headed down to pick up some basics. They are fast becoming my go-to brand for all basics, I will do a post sharing them all very soon! Now I am back at home trying to get on with some work, but procrastinating like crazy. I had hoped I would be more productive here, but aside from shooting a lot of content yesterday, I have been doing everything else at a snails pace which I think is down to feeling really relaxed - so it may not be a bad thing after all!
This is also going to be the first evening where I am in on my own, which I feel way more relaxed about than I thought I might. I went out and bought some whiskey and coke so I can enjoy my favourite drink in front of the TV and then get a really early night.
Saturday 24th June.
I’ve got a bloody cold. Its been brewing all week and finally has arrived in full force today. I was meant to be heading to a pool party with another blogger but have bailed in favour of surrounding myself with tissues while desperately trying to muster up some productivity and motivation for my work. I’ve got Harry Potter on in the background, just nipped out to get a bowl (a very LA thing that Scott introduced me too on our shoot day, it’s essentially a bowl of rice and salad separated into sections) and am powering through some blog posts. I am hoping to head out later to see Paula again before I leave on Monday. Which, by the way, is the last thing I want to be doing - I would love to be able to extend my stay here! Even though I have been in all day and last night I still feel totally content being on my own, it's amazing and way more refreshing and liberating than I imagined.
So the evening plans changed, as they often do here. The LA lifestyle is super laid back, with plans being made and changed at the last minute. It takes getting used to but it's actually really good when you go along with it, plus it means you can tag along to different plans at the last minute. Which is just what happened tonight, I ended up heading to Soho house with Lauren and Ashley and some of their friends for some dinner and drinks. They do such a good Old Fashioned at Soho House!
Sunday 25th June
Today was the sort of day I really now associate with LA, how welcoming people are. I met with the AMAZING Rachel from ThatsChic (go check out her videos, you will love them) for some breakfast in Larchmont. It's an area that was full of yummy Mummies, an inordinate amount of dogs, and lots of cute shops and eateries. I would 100% stay around there, it was gorgeous. Anyway, we went for breakfast with Rachel's boyfriend and I mentioned in passing how I was wanting to go to LACMA. Immediately they said they would come along an invite a friend, and suddenly something I was going to be doing solo becomes an amazing group trip. It's the smallest culture change that I noticed so much there. Back home I find that if you meet one friend, who has plans later in the day with others, it's completely normal to end one set of plans to head to the other - rather than merge them together and introduce one another. I think it's how I have found myself with such a network in LA after just one trip, everyone includes you in everything and you never ever feel like you're intruding.
Sidenote; it's also through this that I have learnt not to fuss about tagging along with people's plans. Previously, had I messaged someone about doing something and gotten a response of 'I am heading out with some friends at 7pm, but you're welcome to join!", my instinct would be to fuss about and say something like 'oh are you sure?? would I not be intruding'. This week has taught me to just say 'YES', show up on time, and make sure you're good company. After all, someone doesn't have to invite you along to their plans, so if they do just make the most of it!
Anyway, back to the day! LACMA was amazing, completely worth the visit. It was huge, and the modern art collection was particularly impressive. It's the perfect way to spend the afternoon! After that we headed to the The Grove Farmer's Market for lunch and then onto a Korean ice cream spot for the most insane 'shaved ice' ever. Also well worth experiencing!
So I have just got back in, again! I headed to Venice this evening to meet from friends of a friend in Manchester. They were the loveliest people ever and we spent the evening eating, drinking and laughing a lot. I have never been so social as I have been this week and it's been insane. To be able to spend so much time with such a varied bunch of people is something I hope to take home with me and continue. It's AMAZING!
Monday 16th June
So I am writing this from the Avalon Hotel, which is not something I expected to be happening. I was meant to be flying home today, and spent the morning packing and getting ready to leave. However, my flight is 24 HOURS delayed!! It's with Thomas Cook because they go direct to Manchester. I DO NOT recommend flying with them, and I will never ever book a flight with them again after this. There was not a single Thomas Cook representative at the airport to explain what was going on, as a group of us stood together trying to work out what the hell was going on. The customer service at LAX was dire. The word 'sorry' was not uttered, and this isn't just a delay of a few hours... it's an entire day!! The did offer to put everyone up in a hotel at LAX, but it was like 2pm when this happened and the flight isn't until 4pm tomorrow - no way am I spending a day in a hotel at LAX. I have booked myself into the Avalon Hotel, where we stayed last time. It's in the centre of Beverly Hills so I have just nipped out to Barneys for a little walk and to make the most of the fact I am here for longer than expected. I have surprised myself with how chilled I have been throughout this, I haven't felt a moment of worry at all which I am pleased about. Just resigned myself to the fact I can't do anything about this, and I will just be home a day later than planned.
Anyway. I am going to let you know how the customer service with Thomas Cook pans out after this. I am a firm believer that companies can redeem themselves from things like this with amazing customer service - we shall see!
Even though I am now here an extra day, I am going to sign this off here. This has been the most amazing and rewarding week. I have spent time with amazing people, stayed in the most gorgeous house ever, and spent so much time wandering the streets of LA. I never thought I would fall in love with this city as much as I have - I know I will be back here again this year, and I am desperate to come for a whole month and immerse myself in this lifestyle even more. As for travelling alone, I can't recommend it enough. The world truly feels like my oyster now I have done this once, and I know I will do this again. It's been exciting, liberating, fun. I can't put a single negative word towards this, all the worries and fears I had were not necessary. If you are feeling tempted by the idea of doing a solo trip then go for it. It's incredible, and you will not regret it.
P.S. Watch this to see what I wore this week!