Gorgeous beaches. Beautiful architecture. Celebrity sightings. One of the best schools in the country. What isn’t to love about Los Angeles? Whether you’re a native Californian who is moving to the area or coming from across the country or world, you’ll almost certainly love Los Angeles. With restaurants, boutiques, and entertainment on practically every corner, there are always interesting places and unique faces for you to meet in the city. Still, it is important to keep some things in mind as you prepare for your move.
1. Narrow Down the Neighborhoods You’re Interested In
Los Angeles is home to nearly 500 distinct neighborhoods, and it is important that you find one that is close to both work or school and the activities you’re most interested in participating in. For example, if you go to UCLA or want to be close to some of the most popular nightclubs in the city, you’ll want to find an apartment in West LA. Some neighborhoods are right by the train stations while others require you to take a bus or even drive to reach the subway. Beach neighborhoods like Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica have you right by the water but expect to pay more, too. Consider your budget and goals in L.A. before determining which neighborhood is best for you.
2. Consider Purchasing a Car
People who don’t already live in Los Angeles often assume they won’t need a car. The truth is you probably will, at least some of the time. If you don’t mind walking and everything you want to do is close to the train routes, you may be able to get by without a car. Things get dicey when it comes to the buses though. They don’t stick to their schedules as reliably as the trains do and often don’t run as often. It’s also important to consider what you like to do. If you’re a night owl who wants to explore the clubs and late-night eateries, or if you work the graveyard shift, you may have to rely on a car. Most buses in Los Angeles do not run overnight and none of the trains do. Typically, you won’t find public transportation past 1:00 a.m. during the week and 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
3. Set Realistic Expectations
There is nothing wrong with having big dreams, but moving to Los Angeles successfully requires you to set realistic expectations. Chances are you won’t be able to afford to live alone unless you already have a high-paying job or a large savings account. If you hope to get into the entertainment industry, that probably won’t happen overnight. Start saving money long before you plan to move and begin searching for roommates you’ll get along with prior to your move as well. Remember, too, you’ll probably experience some culture shock. Even if you come from a large city like NYC, L.A. has its own pace, its own culture, and a lot of new people and things you’ll need to get used to.
Remember, everybody feels homesick from time to time. Give yourself time to adjust after you move and do what you can to attend local events. Doing so will help you make friends, find places you love, and better acclimate to your new environment.
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