What type of friend are you?

Hi there!

I am back on time (I think). In today’s people interaction news, I wanted to break down the type of friends or “friends” I’ve had thus far, which one are you or have you had to deal with? One thing I can say for sure, some of these are better lost than found!

So here we go!!

THE “YOUR COUCH IS MY COUCH”

I am so lucky to have a handful of this kind of friends. These are the people that gifts you books to help you plan your future finances, you create vision boards with and share dreams and future plans and trust they will either support you or shoot you down if objectively needed. Whatever secret you tell them you know they will carry it to their grave. These are the type of friends you go to networking events with, have pre-Christmas and Thanksgiving meals with, travel the world and that you actually care what they think about your significant other. ( They don’t like you? We got a problem boo!)  Basically, these friends are your family, your partners in anything that carries some type of real weight in your life and we all need one or two!

THE “HEY CAN YOU…”

Oh but how fun is this one tho. This is the friend that is your best friend just as long as you can provide whatever it is that they are trying to get out of you. It can be time, love, a shoulder to cry on and of course money. This is an opportunistic “friend”, that will disappear ( if you are ever so lucky) and be nowhere to be heard from. They might stick their head out once in a while, but please believe, it will be for some type of favor. This friend will have the audacity to get an attitude with you, if you were oh so “bold” to ask for something or even better to ask for something back! I think we all need one of these in our life, and just call it:”the lesson learned” friend.

THE “IM SO SAD…ALWAYS”

Got to love these friends, mainly because to be loved is all they really want. This friend is the person that in a text conversation will never answer your questions because they are totally absorbed in their messages being sent and responded. They are the friend that genuinely loves you, and needs your support in pretty much anything they are trying to accomplish in life, they just have a more negative way of seeing things. I think this one is a tough one to have if you do not have a strong personality. They say misery loves company, but if you are able to bring that friend up to a positive place without being dragged in the theme of self-pity, then I think this friend will show you how to care for someone without any expectations in return.

THE “WE DIDNT WORK OUT AS A COUPLE”

You meet a person and you think you are going to date and be the best thing ever since Ellen and Portia, come to find out you were more like Kim Kardashian and the Kris dude. But don’t fret that is because you were meant to simply be great friends. I mean once you have seen someone naked there really isn’t much else left to be uncovered. As long as no one’s feelings were truly hurt this can be a really nice friendship, (I like mine) and a complete judgement free zone!

THE “HAS IT BEEN THAT LONG?”

This is not for everyone, but I enjoy those friends that I can go for months without communicating with and the second we reconnect is almost like time as stopped and nothing has changed since the last time we had spoken. These friends are the opposite of “I’m so sad”. The time apart is so much that all you want to do is share all the great things that happened in that time span, this friend is like a much needed random boost of energy that always hits at the right time!

Well, guys, these are my top five! what do you think? Can you relate or do you have other examples!!!

Ciao for now!

Be art,

Aby

Networking…ugh!

Hi you guys!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend, and that your 2017 is off to a great start. I got to say so far mine has not disappointed. Next month I will finally officially start my new career as a consultant analyst for Accenture, move to my new place and even start looking around for studio space. Needless to say, I am extremely excited. All these good things would have not been possible if it weren’t for the so dreaded meeting people and networking activities.

So in today’s “human interaction” news I wanted to share what I have learned and has actually kind of been working for me as an introvert trying to network. I am still struggling with networking and learning how to effectively communicate with people I do not know, but these 5 points I think are a good start for anyone.

  1. SMILE: Seems really silly, but smiling is contagious, by just smiling at someone you open up a door you might have never known was there. Would you want to communicate with a grumpy looking person? I know I wouldn’t and further more if I were in the position to refer said person to a job, or an opportunity, I probably wouldn’t care to share and associate myself with a  recommendation of someone who can’t even bother cracking a sincere smile.
  2. TELL YOUR STORY: We all come from somewhere and been through some things that someone might find absolutely amazing, interesting, inspiring heck maybe even sad, who knows; either way be authentic. My testimony to this is my future position. While driving for Uber I met a lovely lady who after talking with me on her way to the airport felt like that my story was so unique and interesting that she gave me the business card that would forever change and shape my future to exactly what I have envisioned it to be, a few months later here I am preparing to start my Accenture career.
  3. BE READY: you never know when the right person might be in front of you, be ready; Always. I kept a stack of cv’s in my car, which I gave out a few times while driving for Uber. Try to have a clear idea of what it is you want, if you can’t express it, then chances are it can’t be understood either.
  4. LISTEN: ok, granted, there are some people out there that really just love the sound of their voices, but if you are lucky enough you might find a person whose words could be the inspiration you needed at that moment or the “link” that was missing in your quest, whatever it may be.
  5. RESEARCH: As much as random networking encounters are a lot more fun and perhaps bearable, I found that making a list of upcoming networking events that were cohesive with my desired goals really did help. The presence of a bar didn’t hurt either ( as long as you know you are still trying to be professional and what not!)

Well guys that is all I got for now! Have a great week!

Ciao for now,

Be Art!

Aby.

COMFORT ZONES

Hey guys!

I know… just when you thought I had this blogging on time thing under control….here I go disappearing two weeks smh, I am trying to do better tho I swear!!!!!

So today I wanted to talk about that good ole comfort zone. As easy it is to stay in it, I’ve recently come to find out that stepping out, going with your gut, and just going for whatever it is you have your sight on, can actually be a really interesting and empowering experience.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not about to tell you it is all butterflies, rainbows and happy quotes, half the time it actually sucks big time.

I think by now you know I was a basketball player, and that has been my job for about 10 years. Now imagine trying to find a job you like after “playing” for pay.

And just like that, that was my first face to face with getting out the comfort zone, and man…it has been by far the hardest, loneliest and flat out most depressing experience ever in life. Settling for any job was not going to cut it, so me being me, I Ubered , Favored, work as a personal trainer, became an interpreter, sold art ( shout out to all the awesome art collectors out there, you are the real MVP) all the while searching for what I finally got 8 months later.

8 FREAKING MONTHS y’all, I was this close (picture thumb and index very close to each other), to quitting, and working for the sake of not starving, but didn’t feel it would have been fair to all the sacrifices I had made up until that point and today, 75 days away from starting my new career, I am very happy I stuck to my guns.

All this to say, is there anything you are willing to really sacrifice everything (or a whole lot) for? What’s holding you from doing that?

The out of comfort zone plunge hasn’t happened only in the “adulting” department though. If you read the Introvert entry, you know how I feel about human interactions, but sometimes I catch myself feeling vibes I am drawn to, and my curiosity adds to that pull. Well without any hidden agendas, I found out that a simple compliment, or as someone stated “sliding in the DMs” ( I was so not sliding) could build futurable friendships I would have never known about. “Nothing great ever happens in the comfort zone” might be the single most cliche yet, true statement I’ve heard in a while.

The new year is around the corner, I do not do resolutions, but I do make lists (lots of em), vision boards ( the current one is for a 6months time frame) and plans for things I need to work on with the new year, and I am planning on trying to keep open and step out of the comfort zone more often!

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What do you have planned for the year to come? What “fear” are you ready to let go off?

Ciao for now,

be art,

Aby

 

BEHIND THE ARTIST

Hey guys,

Yea I know, once again I missed a couple of entries, but let me tell you, that job search life was no joke!!But I am happy to report the big search is over and in a couple of months I will be starting a new journey and a new career. I am pretty excited about 2017, that’s for sure.

So about what we are going to be talking about today, a good friend of mine said this to me “Aby, when I scroll through your social media, yes I see your art and its great and all, but..I don’t see you, how are people supposed to connect with your art, if you don’t allow them to connect with you?”

I really never thought about it, but that got me thinking, and well I guess she is right!so today I figure I’d introduce myself and share a few things you might or might not know about me, and see how that goes!:)

Hi all, my name is Abiola, I go by Abi (Aby on paintings) and I am a visual artist…among a whole lot of other things!

I am Italian. I was born and raised in Parma ( the land or prosciutto and Parmesan cheese, for lack of better references). Italian is my first language simultaneously as English, but being my parents Nigerians I also understand one of their languages, which is Yoruba, I went to a scientific high school and I wanted to be a pediatrician.

I was a professional basketball player. After coming to Texas in 2002 with the intention of playing college ball, life was kind enough to grant me my wish. I played at Baylor, won a national championship and kept the ball rolling ( ah!! unintentional pun) by playing in Europe: Israel, Hungary, Spain, Italy and England. This went on right up until last March when my body kindly( or not!) let me know it was time to retire and move on to other life activities because well…my knees had enough, and I had no choice but to listen.

I like to learn. While playing in Israel I enrolled in an Ulpan class, that’s where Jewish people who are going through the process of aliyah usually go to learn Hebrew…I just had time to spare! While in England I went to grad school to get a master degree in International business management, but just in case that didn’t turn out to be a successful choice, I also took the LSAT and got accepted into law school as a backup plan. I was totally ready to sacrifice three more years of “adulting” to get what I wanted, but as you’ll have it, the master was enough for me to get what I actually wanted!

Languages. And cultures might be my most favorite thing ever in life  right along art! I speak Español, Italiano, English and I can get away with Hebrew (עברית)  and Yoruba. I also recently find out I can hold a whole convo in Portuguese by responding with the few words I do know and a mix of Spanish and English, lol but I do need to learn Brazilian Portuguese to a proficient level soon!

Shy. I am a very shy person, might not always translate as shyness but I promise I am not mean!lol  Being an artist was the easiest way for me to communicate with people without really having to say much, that was the case until I started taking part in art shows and painting live. It’s a work in progress and can be a bit scary at times, but I am getting better, especially in the “talking in front of a crowd” category.

Well, that’s it for now….I would hate to give too much away!:)

But will love it if you had anything you’d like to know and asked!!!

Ciao for now,

Be Art,

Aby

 

 

Not that into you?

Hey guys,

I know I’m like a whole week behind. I am sorry, to my defense I had a great bday month/week/weekend is that a good excuse?! 😉

 

So today I just wanted to have a brief convo with you guys in the “people interactions” category and specifically in the dating type of interactions.

I have been out of the game for a veeeerrryyy long time, no need to go into details about that…-_- But let’say it has been long enough to where certain things could use a bit of freshening up.

So here I have 5 questions/opinions I would like to share and hope to get some answers from you guys in return!!Alright, here goes nothing.

  1. What is the difference between a date and hanging out? See the way I see it a date, comes after a formal invite from the interested party, and it only involves the two individuals, but I mean double dates group dates, are those still actually a date?
  2. If you actually like the person you are dating  is it necessary to tell them “Hey person, I like you!” or you just kind of go with the flow and hope your actions speak loudly enough for themselves and don’t make you come off as some overly attentive creep?Let’s just say the check box days would come in kinda handy…fullsizerender-3
  3. How long until you start to have some sort of expectations? I personally never really have any, might be kind off cynical but hey… the whole no expectations no disappointments rule,  works pretty well for me. However, a lot of people, and in my experience  women in particular fall into what is their perception of reality, and that ends up clouding what is really happening in front of them in real life. What do you think?
  4. Why is it so hard to believe someone might not like you? Of course we are all the most awesome thing created since sliced bread in our eyes, but some people might be more into chips ( see what I did there?) but really, I was guilty of that at one point, but understanding that someone not liking you does not reflect on you as a person, but on simply what it is they are looking or not looking for, is a hard mental battle we all struggle with!
  5. So this whole “the right person for you”…who comes up with the qualifications?Like I am guessing in the initial stages of dating everyone seems pretty perfect”for you” I mean unless you are dating an openly proclaimed crazy person ( in which case you should know better) how do you even know when is time to figure out where it’s going, and if you should ride with it, or hitch-hike your way back to single town, and try this whole thing again?

Well, I for one am very curious to hear yall’s opinions! so comment away!

Ciao for now,

be art,

Aby

 

Nigerian…or not!

Hi guys! ready for the weekend? I am just really happy the weather is changing and going outside feels a whole less deadly than usual in these Houston streets.

So last week I wrote about the “joys” of being Italian, and the oh so silly questions and remarks that came with it. Well today, I am taking the “where are you from” rhetoric to Nigeria.

So, my parents are from there, and every summer as a kid we would go on vacation to Lagos, and hang with cousins and other family members, which is something I have always really enjoyed.

Just so happened that the older I got the least enjoyable people interactions became over time. Apparently being Nigerian but technically being Italian is something worth of ridicule or discussion. Oyinbo (which means white) was often time my nickname, oh the irony, I mean can a girl just live and actually belong somewhere??

So here is a list of the top 5 awesome Nigerian minds at work when talking to me or even better about me.

1.”My sistah what did you bring for me”: said every airport clerk as soon as I pulled out my Italian passport. Apparently being born elsewhere makes for some sort of innate wealth and generosity towards strangers. Boy, were they wrong on both accounts.

2.You don’t look Nigerian…so apparently being all the shades of chocolate put together isn’t a good enougI attribute to “looking Nigerian”, shows you what I know.

3.”You sound like the black people from the movies”…lol that actually cracked me up because it was my grandma’s way of telling me that she didn’t understand my Americanized accent! ( but how cute is she though?!)gma

4.”Obirin abi okurin ni elei” (spell check required) that is Yoruba for “is that a girl or a boy?” So this one is a double hitter; 1st they just really assumed that I did not speak and or at the very least understood Yoruba ( see point 2 to why that happened), then apparently being that I am an athletic, muscular 6 footer, I did not fit the aesthetic of the 5’5′ curvilishious average Nigerian girl, which of course meant my gender had to be questioned (really??!) –OKAY OKAY I am a lot bigger than everyone else (pictured proof) but COME ON!!!egiant

5. An unsolicited warning of the spiciness of every traditional dish. I get it, I eat pasta…A LOT…but sheesh give my taste buds some credit, if I want pepper soup, I am pretty sure I am aware of the meaning of the word pepper.

I got to say, I love it when I land in Lagos, and smell the tropical air, see the chaos, and feel the heat;

but that love turns into sheer annoyance pretty much a week later. I guess is a love hate relationship meant to go on only on yearly cycles of no longer than 10 days, that gives me time to get as “Nigerian” as possible in between trips. (I am joking!)

Ciao for now!

be art,

Aby

“I am Italian”…”No way?!”

Hey there guys!!

Hope your week has been a good one, and you are ready for the finally oh so close weekend. So today, I wanted to share with you all how fun (insert a big bowl of sarcasm) it was growing up in Italy as a black kid.

Let me give you a little background on Italy: it is one of the few countries (that I am aware of) that recognizes immediate citizenship exclusively by blood (Ius sanguinis) meaning that me being born there by Nigerian parents, I was not considered Italian by birth. At the age of 18 I would have had the option of choosing if I wanted the nationality of a country I never even lived in, or if I wanted to be Italian. Luckily for me, turned out that I was somewhat of a decent basketball player so I ended up getting my citizenship sooner to be able to play for the National Team, how ironic.(can you find me??lol ha!)

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Anyways, if I sat here and typed all the ways living in Italy was the most tiresome to the soul experience, I would literally have to write the sequel to the sequel to “The Never Ending Story”. So instead I will share with you the top 10 stupidest human interactions/questions “real” Italian felt entitled to asking. Hold on to your seats because it gets dumb!

1.So where are you from? No I mean where are you really from?

Needless to say, I truly despised that question, as if being born here was my choice. I am from Parma never seemed to be enough of an answer, the biological explanation to my darkness always had to be given, but they rarely got it.

2. Wow!! you speak so well, how come you don’t have an accent?

If you know me, you would also know I have a very low tolerance for annoyance and stupidity, so this question actually rarely got a response other than an eye roll and an 180-degree turn away from whoever asked it.

3. Is it really hot where you come from?

My usual response to this was to cross the street and yell out “yup!! Same temperature over here too!” and kept it moving very nonchalantly.

4. (while at the beach) beautiful water isn’t it? do you have it where you are from?

They get the same exact response as the above, I would swim (ok more like dog paddle) a few feet over, and just yell “SI!!”

5. Does your hair get wet?? (which was the dumbest question that consistently arose after I had just come up from diving in the water”

Does a fist to the face hurt? seemed like the logical response to that.

6. Do you know him/her? ( while pointing at some random African person.)

See at this point you would think I would be out of answers, but instead, I would just point to the next random Italian and say oh look is that your mom?

7. Hey HEY how much??

(BACKGROUND: Italy has a very high rate of prostitution, and yes many prostitutes are black women, just as many are white eastern European or Brazilian. However, a lot of Italian men feel as though being black and woman is the obvious combination for sexual solicitations…WRONG)

HA…so the actual response to this very rude and degrading question would require way too many of these $%##@ so I’ll let you figure that one out.

8. Do you have a tiger in the back of your hut in Africa?

I never knew if I should let them know tigers do not live in Africa but in Asia, or that Nigerians for the most part( hey some people are country out there too trailer/hut same difference) live in homes.

9.Can I touch your skin (if they even bother asking)

Can I punch you in the face? ( seems straight to the point)

10. Whats your name? Abiola. Fabiola??(an Italian name). NO ABIOLA (Nigerian name= born in grace)…I KNOW how to say my name.

P.S MENTION: Of course the “nigger” “monkey” and “go back where you came from” (my mother’s womb you mean???) were always ready waiting for me to received them.

Well guys, this was just the tip of the iceberg but you get the gist of it!!!Love the country and the friends I left there don’t get me wrong, I miss my morning croissant and cappuccino daily, but those things, I very gladly left behind me. “everywhere I go they ask me where I am from” and if I have a choice in the matter then I chose to actually be a foreigner wherever I reside!

Ciao for now,

be art,

Aby

 

 

 

UBER CHRONICLES PT.1

Hi guys!!Hope you enjoyed the extended weekend, did it make you even more tired as it made me?

So, as you may or may not know, while trying to make my way through the post basketball stage of my life, and searching for the RIGHT job for me, I have been driving Uber (being an artists is great, but not quite sustainable just yet!!soon though!*insert flexed arm emoji*).

Hmmm where should I start, let’s just say that for me, to actually get behind the wheel of my car to haul strangers around took some serious self-talks, and convincing, but then when that first bill showed up….”start the car!START THE CAAARRRR!!!!!”. It was not an easy task and is still isn’t ( refer to this to know why!). But two months in, I finally got a little rhythm going, maybe also because my career search even though long, is starting to shape up to something and I haven’t been feeling as down on my self as I used to, or maybe because I have met some really interesting people in the process.

So here I decided to introduce to you 5 people archetypes I had the pleasure (or not) to have in my car:

1. The “I ate a lemon this morning so my face looks like this”.

You know that person that is just mad for no real reason, and has that sour look? Well I caught me a few, the interesting part is they were more often men than women, and don’t get me wrong a rider that does not want to make conversation absolutely makes my day, but it’s all about the vibe, some people are happily quiet, some are just rudely quiet. The “I ate a lemon” person was the latter. The funniest thing is that while my Uber ratings are usually fives, ( as an athlete I do not care what I do, but please believe that I want to “win” at it just FYI!!lol) they magically drop to fours right after these oh so special individuals. One would wonder if they were actually just rating themselves!

2. The happy wife, happier mother and successful woman.

I must say, the high energy they usually presented themselves with was initially hard to match, especially early in the morning, but turned out it was always a very great conversation, a lot of things in common and more often than not exchanged information for networking purposes. I always left these riders with a smile, added knowledge and renewed hope for my future career. The mom side would come out once they started to ask me about myself, and the more I revealed the more they wanted to contribute to the “future success they just absolutely knew I would have”. Now if that is not a boost of energy I do not know what is!

3. Can we make a stop on the way?Oh and I am late for work!

Okay, now this one I thought was really a funny one, because lo and behold  it was always a fellow black woman. ( I am still anxiously waiting for another ethnicity to help me break this stereotype). They would get in super grateful because apparently, two previous drivers had already canceled on them. They either have a month worth of groceries or they have kids with them, that need to be dropped off at school, then they need to make their way to work for which so far on average it has been with about 1 hour delay, but still needed to make a gas station store run. I loved seeing their interaction with their kids, who have been the cutest and most polite little humans thus far. As much as the tiredness of the beginning of the week, or the end of the week or the middle of the weeks, was all over these women’s smiles, their stregnth always transpired as well.

4. The “I am an artist” …”no way me too!!”

Obviously this is my absolute favorite ( ok top 2 favs along with the next topic). I met various types of artists: a couple of Broadway actors in town for a musical, one was also Simba in the Lion king, how cool is that?? A super eclectic lady who is a painter and plays the clarinette, a brazilian sculpturist with whom I had the pleasure to meet up again and converse while exploring the Menile collection. I am pretty sure I’ve exchanged information with each one of them. Who knew Ubering could be such a networking tool.

5. Me no speak English (but I’m trying to anyways)

Ok, you should know me well enough by now to know that this, was of course my second favorite type of rider!!Being that we are in Texas, the majority of the time this rider only spoke Spanish and couldn’t communicate with me. So it was awesome to see the big smile and surprise when I would start speaking in their language! Spanish is by far one of my favorite languages, so I get really excited anytime I get a chance to speak it. I had a couple of encounters with French and Portuguese ( artist from above) as well, even though I do not speak either, I could comprehend most of both, so that was a good practice run as well! Now properly learning Portuguese is definitely on my more immediate radar!

Any Uber drivers out there with fun rider encounters!Feel free to share! There will be more coming soon (if it does not happen, be happy for me it means I got my dream job!!!)

Ciao for now,

Be art

Aby

What a wonder!

Well, check me out being back on time!!

Today I’ll have a flashback Friday! One of my favorite human interactions ever in life happened to me in Petra, Jordan.

Two Christmases ago, some friends of mine and myself took a trip to Israel. That was about the 6th time going back for me but what can I say I really enjoy that place and made some great friendship during my years playing basketball there (that means no Hotel fees people!!!).

Well, this time around we decided to go on an adventure. One of my favorite humans on earth (arguably my best friend, we just don’t call each other that…you know, we are too “cool” for the mushy stuff) had the terrible idea of going to Petra without me, and that was not going to go down!!

So you guessed it, while in Israel this travel crew took the smiles to Petra.

 

Where can I start with this one? It was HUH-MAZING, truthfully an “awe” moment. As soon as that giant door carved in stone faces you (see the face?!lol) you are just taken over by this majestic view.

 

But let me start from the beginning!Once we left the Israeli border behind and after going through a very rigolous passport check, a driver from Jordan took over the second half of our trip to Petra.

When we finally arrive at our destination, we are presented with a couple of options. We were in the middle of the desert and surrounded by mountains that resembled the grand canyon (not that I ever saw it in person, but you know the internet helps) and the two option were: trek to the door (about 1-hour walk) or ride a horse. I, of course, thought the horse Idea would have been great until one of the Bedouin guides said “You fall not my problem”…why I’ll be, let me tie up this shoes a little tighter for this walk.

On the way, we met this really cool guy from Australia who was on a solo trip, and pretty much became our new best friend for the day, we were so close… I don’t remember his name lol but he was fun to talk to! My hair was a hit with the locals (I had giant Marley twists in at the time) and someone tried to sell us a mini tube of Pringles for $5 (insert side eye)

The walk, as it turns out was not as arduous as I expected it to be, the sun was out but the air was cool which definitely made it a lot more bareble. Between all the historical sights on the way, and the guide telling us about how these mountains formed through water erosion and the, of course, obligatory selfies before we knew it, we had arrived.

Right there around the corner comes the majestic door of Petra. It was absolutely breathtaking, I got to say the Transformers movie did it no justice (duh?!).

So the whole area used to be home to the locals. They  lived in the caves all around the mountains but somehow came to an agreement with the government to move to the outer areas, while still being able to come back and vend to tourists.

Well, this is where I met my little Bedouin friend and had my favorite human interaction of the day.

This little boy didn’t speak any English, but learned all the essentials” Hello! What’s your name?  Buy this! Give me money!”Let’s just say we got stuck on the “give me money” part of his vocabulary.  That had to be the most hilarious 15 minutes ever. I only had Shekels (Israeli currency) on me so I took out the coins I had and handed them to him, yeaaaa he didn’t quite appreciate that: “NO, give me Dollah”. At that point, I just started cracking up really. I truthfully didn’t have any on me and what I was handing was all I had, he followed me around while I was being an exploring tourist and pretty much just hung on the back of my jacket.

 

He was so cute It didn’t bother me one bit, but just had me smiling and laughing at his persistency, he knew he was safe and the Bedouins in the area were (see pirates of the carribean looking guys below) , of course, looking out for the little one. But at one point, I could tell he was just truly enjoying our little interaction, perhaps because he was so used to just being shushed away by most tourists.

The way I see it I was in his home, so the least I could do was to engage and not ignore him, plus I’m a sucker for kids!!

 

Until next time,

Be art

Aby

 

California Dreaming

To say I need a clone is an absolute understatement!! Woo wee.

But I made it even if a little late!!

A couple of weeks ago I traveled to the Los Angeles area to meet up a friend/sister of mine from back home in Italy. Let’s start by saying I’ve never been a fan of Los Angeles but this time around I ABSOLUTELY loved it!!

We started off in Long Beach, then we split ways and I made my rounds to Culver City, Santa Monica and finally Chino.

To sum up my trip I want to share with you 7 things that might just make me explore the idea of moving to the west coast in the near (or far) future!

1. Living in Houston it’s either hot or hotter or you are simply floating away. Being able to ride in a car with the windows down or just opening a window in the house for some cool air was absolutely fantastic!!

2. I hate running, jogging and everything in between. My friend Maddy made me fast walk for 6 miles!!!!!! Well the last 3 miles walked on the shore with my feet in the water might make me reconsider ( I repeat MIGHT)

3. I missed doing outdoors activities, and due to point 1, I have refrained in Houston. While in Long Beach I was able to just lay on the grass and enjoy staring at the sky,and once in Santa Monica, I attempted to play paddle tennis. Give it enough time and I might just have found my basketball substitute!!

4. Riding bikes!! I couldn’t tell you the last time I rode a bike, but I am glad I got to get a little taste of it again! Now… it helped that another friend of mine and fellow dimple owner runs Joy Ride which is an amazing bike rental and Long Beach tour !(if you are ever there tell her I sent you 😉 !!)

5. Vegetarian fast food! For the past 4 months, I’ve eliminated meat from my  diet. Now being that Texans are the ultimate carnivores being able to eat on the go and find “not sad” alternatives was love!

6. The people. I met the most random and interesting people, just to mention one: a producer of the Marvels movie series and cameo, on Grace Anatomy, and he was super humble, nonchalant and cool to talk to.

7. The scenery. Growing up in Italy my view from my bedroom balcony were the Alps. Just being able to see “non-flat” terrain all around me made me feel home for a little while, and of course the beautiful beach!

 

If only LA’s traffic could get it together, and the cost of living could perhaps magically drop, the city of Angeles might just gain a new resident!Until then I’ll keep visiting!

DISCLAIMER: My only affiliation to Joy Ride is that of a supportive and proud friend/ 1st hand witness and I was in no way, shape or form compensated for the endorsment.