I recently had the opportunity to travel to San Diego. This was for a conference so I knew I would have a great time. Being the maximizer that I am, I always want to get the most out of every trip I take. I recognized that San Diego was only about a two hour ride from Los Angeles, and because I had vowed to visit Hollywood again I knew I had to extend my trip. I had no idea what was pulling me back to Los Angeles, especially since I don’t know anyone there. I just remembered the calm feeling that I had when I visited in January and felt the need to experience that again. What I love about Los Angeles is that you can go from city, to mountains to beach in a matter of 20 minutes.
I wrapped up my trip in San Diego and headed to Los Angeles. I decided to stay in Hermosa Beach, California. It is a quaint city located in the South Bay region and is one of the three Beach Cities. I got the opportunity to stay at the Hermosa Beach House which is a 98 room beauty located directly on the water. Picture yourself entering into a beach house, fully equipped with fridge, stove, dishes, microwave, fireplace, bathtub, and that’s just to name a few of the amazing amenities. Beautiful white, light blue and light grey décor. You wake up in the morning to look through your open balcony door and not only are you looking directly at the Pacific Ocean that you are steps away from, but you can hear the sweet sound of the waves. You take yourself on a walk to Manhattan Beach while admiring the exquisite real estate and go to dinner at some of the finest restaurants all within walking distance (I went to The Spot where I got amazing vegan meals). You can go for a bike ride, wave watch from the gorgeous Hermosa Pier, play volleyball on the beach all day, or simply get a beach chair and lounge in the sun to work on your tan. (LOL, YES as a black person I too like to tan).
After staying in Hermosa and getting my dose of the beach life, I felt the need for a little more seclusion, I had the choice to stay in Hollywood to be around all the glitz and glamour, or in the mountains for some peace and quiet. I chose to stay in the mountains because I felt the need to feel ZEN, and that is exactly what I got. I stayed in a little hotel in Calabasas called Good Night Inn (it’s not your Ritz Carlton but very clean and affordable. I loved the fact that I walked outside and was faced with the Santa Monica Mountains). Calabasas is a city in Los Angeles located in the hills west of the San Fernando Valley and in the northwest Santa Monica Mountains between Woodland Hills, Agoura Hills, West Hills, Hidden Hills, and Malibu. As I drove for about 40 minutes from Hermosa I could feel the change in the air. I could no longer smell the salt of the water, I could smell the freshness of the open air. I could see how huge the mountains were and how calm they made me feel. While in Calabasas I took myself on a date in Malibu where I dined with stars (noticed that Mike Epps was at the same restaurant) by the ocean, went for a hike each morning and loved the fact that I was on my own time. I realized I was only about 10 minutes away from Malibu beach, where I visited the Pier. 35 minutes from Venice Beach and only 40 minutes from Hollywood. I visited the sites in Hollywood like Beverly Hills, Hollywood Walk of Fame, saw the Roosevelt hotel and Santa Monica Pier.
Now don’t get me wrong, solo travel isn’t for everyone. If you constantly feel like you need to have a familiar face around at all times, please get a travel buddy. If you are just in need of some peace, time to reset, while being surrounded by the amazing natural elements then take that solo trip. Travel by faith. Go where your gut is telling you to go by yourself. Be prepared to talk to strangers. Be prepared for the unexpected and be flexible. If you choose to travel to California I will be more than happy to be your guide. But the most important thing to consider when preparing to travel alone is to be ready to HAVE FUN!