I know a few months have passed but, I wanted to give a quick recap of my summer. It was definitely one to remember; a real dream filled with it’s own challenges and struggles.
On the 15th of September I found myself at LAX Airport, where I would be spending the next 10 days in Los Angeles I’ve never been to the US before but it was one of the few places I had down on my bucket list to visit (but knew it wouldn’t be anytime in the near future, I simply couldn’t afford it) but I would never have imagined that I would have been given this opportunity so soon.
Here are a few lessons that LA has taught me which I want to pass onto you (I’ve added a few pictures at the end):
Just Ask – The Female Quotient (TFQ):
I was fortunate enough to spend some time with The Female Quotient, a company focused on advancing gender equality across the globe. Looking back, it all seems like a dream. I remember when it finally sunk in… around 5am at Heathrow Airport, where I just burst into tears of joy. I’ve followed the TFQ’s work for so many years and genuinely admire everything they do to support and empower women. I’ve often looked at their work as a guide on how the Us Programme can develop.
I really don’t want to create the impression that the opportunity just landed on my lap. This experience was birthed from a year long struggle to find a summer internship. It was my mentor who advised me that I should email TFQ and see if I could spend some time with them. I had been in communication with the team earlier in the year and if I’m being completely honest with you… I didn’t think I’d hear anything back. Instead, they said that we should arrange a call to discuss the next steps and that they would love to have me!
Over the past few years, I’ve found myself understanding the immense power in ‘just asking’, which has now become an integral part of my life. I don’t want to look back on my life and see so many ‘’what if?” moments. Think about it, the worst possible thing that could happen is getting a ‘’no’’ but, I’m a firm believer that the right opportunity will come at the right time. So just keeping asking and looking, and eventually a door will open.
The beauty of travelling solo
I thought I would never travel solo. I would think to myself, who would help me take photos or more importantly, what about if I got lost? How would people find me? (lol)
Then I found myself in a place 5,437 miles away from home, forced to live outside my comfort zone. If I truly wanted to make the most out of my experience, I had to adapt and boy am I glad I did. I had some of the best conversations during my time in LA. Many people shared their own stories; admired my accent, and were eager to understand how I got to this point – travelling by myself in the City of Angels.
However, I’m not going to make this sound like it was a bed of roses, I had my fair share of challenging moments. This leads on to my next point…
Saying No to Fear
Many people were shocked and commented on how brave it was for a 21 year old female to travel by herself to the US, that too for the first time. To be honest I was very nervous about the trip, but I’m reaching a point in my life where I’ve been pushed into understanding that if I really want to achieve greater heights, I need to say no to fear.
I only started travelling abroad when I reached university, and mainly to European countries, which was a big step up! A friend recently reminded me that God is taking me on a journey to learn how to start being comfortable with the uncomfortable. I needed this experience, to see more, to learn more and to understand there’s so many stories I need to hear.
The time is now to enter those new places and confront some new giants.
The Uber Rides
My uber journeys played a big role in what I enjoyed the most about LA. I met a range of unique individuals, drivers who would educate me on the differences between the Lakers and The Clippers, the Kardashians or others on their stories about moving to the West Coast…
The conversations I loved the most were my drivers discovered I was a strong believing Christian; they were all so happy! All three of them, shared their stories, and spoke about pure life and it was almost like I was destined to meet them in that moment to help me with a few problems I was facing.
I’ve learnt that some of the most unlikely individuals that I would never expect could also be cab drivers. So after attending The Florence + The Machine at Hollywood Bowl Arena, which was insanely beautiful, I started to talk to my uber driver. I soon found out that he was an attorney whose office was in Rodeo Drive. He decided to join uber as a way to meet new clients. I left that journey feeling so inspired! He really didn’t need to join, he had a great life, lots of money, but he wanted to learn more and to reach new people. He explained his upbringing of living in Beverly Hills, but his passions to support the next generation with dedicating much time to the pro-bono work his company carries out.
I attended a Church called Mosaic during my stay. I’ve heard much about it from various people in London and watched a few of their videos online. I loved the atmosphere, situated right in the heart of Hollywood, with the Walk of Fame literally one minute away. I ended up visiting it three times during my stay and remembered looking at Walt Disney’s star and thinking what do I want to be remembered for. A little deep I know, but it’s so true. The Pastor even gave a message one week on ‘what’s the legacy that we’re building for the future generations?’ I think with 2018 coming to an end, and many of us are now taking the time to review this year, it’s a good time to reflect and see how we can make sure we continue to develop and build our legendary in 2019 and beyond…
I guess I can say part of my story was really ‘MADE IN LA’. I have learnt so much and truly lived my best life. I know I’ll look back in a few years and that will probably remain my favourite adventure!
It’s been real!
Until next time.
Walt Disney’s Star, Walk of FameThree Flowers Wings, Melrose Avenue
Game Night at the Dodgers Stadium.
Visiting the Hollywood Sign with another great uber driver, it was his first time of seeing it since being in LA for 40+ years.
I spend much of my time walking and exploring Venice Beach & Santa Monica.
Arriving at LAX Airport
Spending the evening at The Broad Museum
Sprinkles Cupcake ATM MachineA spontaneous evening visit to Santa Monica Pier with two friends I met earlier.
Florence + The Machine Concert at Hollywood Bowl
Doughnut stop with one of my amazing uber drivers.
Rollerskating with Chloe, she helped with a photo and we connected straight away
Sunset at Venice Beach