Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Reflections: Remembering The First Time Traveling

Since the beginning of time I've been dying to travel. Yeah, there were some experiences with family and church. These places involved New Orleans, Mississippi, Atlanta, The Bahamas, and Florida (where I was born). While they were great experiences, nothing beats traveling out into the world on your own. You discover what you like, what you love, what you hate, what you don't want to deal with, and most importantly where you can improve. That is why I finally took the big step and traveled on my own.

Now the chosen place wasn't a random pick and it wasn't somewhere filled with a million people I know. It was a place filled with a million strangers. According to some it's a place filled with a million strangers with a million different dreams and half of them won't fulfill them. Take a moment of silence for the people whose dreams will never be fulfilled. Anyway, since dreams are what we (I am) are of,  this place immediately spoke to me and said  "Visit me and you'll probably fall in love." I did fall in love too. Okay, the excellent place is Los Angeles, California and it was the first travel experience ever by myself.

The trip lasted from October 26- 30, 2011. Allow me to tell you about this great time filled with fun, laughter, and worries.

Hollywood And Malibu Beach: The First Time
Night One
Upon leaving the airport, there were mixed emotions. I was happy to be in a new place getting a new experience that will last me forever. However, at the same time I didn't know what I was getting into. I'd had lots of support from friends to ease my mind, but at the same time lots of warnings from family to scare the shit out of me. So as I left the airport the first regret filled my head. That was the one of not renting a car. The next was not having a credit card yet. This will be explained later. The next scared part was being given a dirty hotel room. The hotel was located in Hollywood, but no matter where the location is they tend to do crazy stuff. They quickly fixed that though and my mind was filled with ease again. That night I chilled in my hotel room, rejoiced in silence, and was visited by a fellow FAMU graduate for a little bit. It was nothing special, but it was special at the same time. 

Day 1
The first day I was up super early, 6 A.M to be exact. The room and outside was cold, much like Houston mornings had started becoming. While it was still dark outside buses, cars, and people could be heard loud and clearly. Usually I'd have to get up for work at some point, but instead I stayed in the bed, turned on the television, and ate some of my snacks. About four hours later, it started to feel as if the city was ready for me. Well to be exact, Hollywood was ready for me. 

That day I walked about a mile down Sunset strip just taking in the scenery, walked to Hollywood Blvd and down the whole street, and then discovered the spot to take tours. The chosen tour involved celebrities homes. The only name I can actually remember from the tour was Simon Cowell's place. This place is huge, all white, and definitely not being lived in. It had a lot of men doing construction work on it. Actually a lot of the celebrities homes didn't involve the celebrities actually living in them. By the end of the tour I had taken over 100 photos and wasn't even sure what I was photographing. I'm a reformed camera addict that spent years in make-believe clinics, but that one experience sent me into a relapse. After the tour I ventured to get something to eat and then went back to my hotel. There was nothing else to do afterwards, but mostly because my feet felt like they would voluntarily fall off if I tried to move again. 

Day 2
I woke up that Friday and wasn't whole-heartedly into the trip anymore. Upon walking down the street it was easy to tell the tourists from the residents of the city. I longed to be one of those residents. I longed to be waking up to a job in Hollywood, LA, or even just California that I loved. That may never happen or it could happen one day. But that day the emotions of it not already being real and the emotions of knowing I would soon return to an environment where my accomplishments and efforts went ignored, but my mistakes were always noticed haunted me. I tried to cheer myself up though. I went and added 75 more pictures to my camera's collection. Then later that day I was joined by another friend from college. 

This friend introduced me to the Red Velvet Pancake. You must try it one day, because it is the second best thing ever invented. I couldn't even eat it all because it was huge and there was no microwave in my hotel room. I also saw that friend's studio apartment. Am I the only one that sees what others have created and start decorating my pretend place in my head? Anyway, this friend suggested that I visit the beach before I leave, so that was Saturday's plan. 

Day 3
This is going to be short. Saturday was the trip to Malibu Beach. Before the trip I did come into a realization. That fact was that I was and still am alone. There's no longer anyone around who can think for me. They can't make plans to make Lashuntrice happy. They can't direct Lashuntrice's life and still manage to put a smile on her face. Only she, I, can do that. I cried a little just to empty all the emotions out of my system. I cried a little so later I could be strong and direct myself down the right path. Then I proceeded to get dress and find my way to the beach. 

FYI: Malibu Beach is beautiful. I'm in love. 

So I learned that next time I need to rent a car and I should definitely not ask negative people if they think the trip will be a good idea. I should also get a credit card just in case of last minute emergencies. On the bright side, I realized I actually like this city, have the potential to fall in love with it, and Malibu Beach is my new best friend. 

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