Photo by Grayson Ruiz

When I flew out to LA last weekend, I didn’t really know what to expect. The last time I had been in Los Angeles was when I was nine, and my vague memories weren’t doing me any justice.

I am someone who loves to travel (even if it is exhausting at times). I love seeing those new places, finding great places to eat, shopping, learning about the culture of that specific place, going to the airport, basically every element that correlates with traveling. I was curious to see just how the Los Angeles society would be, especially since I had heard that the culture there was particularly “high-end” and “snooty”.

Another city that I had compared to Los Angeles was New York City, and having been there three times, I felt like I already got a sense for the people that live there and the culture.

Besides spending the majority of the day thrifting, I took the TMZ Celebrity Tour, saw David Spade, ate at Jones L.A., and got coffee at Alfred Coffee on Melrose. Just from walking around, I got the sense that it was less “hustle and bustle” like New York, and more laidback. It reminded me in little ways of downtown in Austin.

The people I interacted with were not snooty at all, and in fact were welcoming. The only thing that I had heard that was valid was the traffic, and the parking downtown was tricky. There is no shortage of bodies in L.A., but the numerous restaurants and shops make up for the time spent on the road. I definitely went into the trip expecting worse since it was such a big city.

I started to really ponder the stereotype of big cities like this, especially since we are living in such a small one currently. Can we really pass judgment on cities using just what we’ve heard from others? From this trip, I ended up loving Los Angeles even though I had thought I would hate it.

Sure, the food might be a little pricey, the gas might be a dollar fifty more than the gas in Texas, and it might be a pain to drive anywhere no matter

the time of day, but I wouldn’t have known just how beautiful and eclectic it was until I actually experienced being there.

I have always prided myself in being a “New York City” girl and I’ve always wanted to pursue a career there after I attend college in Texas, but I had worries about if I could keep up with the fast ways of life in the north. And now that I’ve seen and experienced Los Angeles, I believe it will be a better fit for me to pursue a possible career there instead of NYC (but I will hopefully be visiting frequently).

There are too many stereotypes about what each perception of a big city is like. My biggest advice for anyone who enjoys traveling, or would like to travel in the future, is to go out and experience the culture of that city yourself before making judgments. You could be surprised by the outcome, and possibly have a new place to call home.

Written by Grayson Ruiz, Opinion and Lifestyle Editor