After 3 months of travelling through the sweaty tropics of Indonesia, I was ready for a new adventure and excited to pair up with a good friend from high school. America was our destination and only one sixteen-hour flight separated us from our first stop on this crazy adventure around the world. Well, one sixteen hour flight after a nine and a half hour flight… It was a long journey. Travel tip? If you’re origin is anywhere in Australia or South East Asia and your destination is America, fly east over the Pacific Ocean instead of west over the middle east. You’ll save yourself 12 hours of travel time.
Nonetheless, it was my first big flight and I was excited to be flying to the other side of the world. First Doha, then LA, I was so keen to step foot in the USA. As I write this I am reliving the excitement I felt when I touched down in Los Angeles. I am only a seventeen-year-old boy from Adelaide, so lost yet so eager for what is to come. I’m on the other side of the world in the Northern Hemisphere for god’s sake! Never mind the fact that I only had an hours sleep in the past 32 hours, Los Angeles was calling and I couldn’t get my mind off the reality of where I was.
Three hours after smelling the sweet scent of California for the first time, we arrive at our hosts’ humble home in the mellow town of Pasadena. Meet Doretta. One of the finest human beings this world has to offer. Welcoming, kind and amiable, she invited us into her home and family whole-heartedly. Here, we would spend our first 2 days in America, get to know her kids and pack in all the highlights in The City of Angels. Of course, Jessie, my travelling companion’s, history with this family goes back to her childhood days so meeting them was no more of a reunion than anything, but nonetheless, we both had a genuinely awesome time in LA.
Day one saw us up no later than 10am, and after a quick breakfast at a Lebanese bakery we headed down to Hollywood. Here we hiked up to the Hollywood sign, took our photos, hiked back down then headed towards the Art’s District. Being the two art nerds that we are, we were both excited to see some LA street art here. Let’s just say it was no competitior for Melbourne’s street art, but there were a few galleries downtown which made up for it. The last planned stop for the day was Universal Studio’s. I know you’re all thinking, “How the heck did they pay for that on their $2 budget?” Settle down, we didn’t actually go into the theme park, rather window shopped down the City Walk and dined at the classic American Hard Rock Cafe.
I know I said this was our last stop for the day, but who goes to LA and doesn’t go to the Walk of Fame? What a surreal feeling it was, walking down the footpath I’ve only ever seen on TV. Perhaps the most famous part of LA, and we were there. After a high five with Robin William’s handprint we were finally done for the day and headed back home.
We put jetlag on hold once again for day 2, and while our train left at 3pm we weren’t going to miss out on an opportunity for a last minute tour around LA with our hosts. After a decent In’n’Out burger for breakfast we drove through Chinatown towards the city before checking out some of the festivities from Cinco de’ Mayo and then heading to Union Station. The time we had in Los Angeles was short and felt more like a tourist’s dream than a travellers, but I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction into our American adventure!