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What I didn't expect when moving to LA

Updated: Mar 28, 2022

I moved to Los Angeles in June of 2020 after graduating from the University of Arizona. Born and raised in Flagstaff, AZ I had only ever passed through LA on my way to vacations in smaller beach communities in Orange County. Now that it's been 6 months since my move, I wanted to share some things I didn't expect when I moved!

1) How different seasons look compared to AZ

In Arizona June & early July are usually your hottest months. Where as in Los Angles it’s usually foggy and around 65 degrees (my California local friends call this June Gloom). That being said, around August lasting till October is prime beach weather when back at home in Arizona fall is when things start cooling down during the nights.

2) Cost of living is not as bad as expected

Not to say that living in Los Angeles is cheap by any means, and maybe this only because I moved here during the pandemic, but I expected it to be much higher. What I have learned so far is that you will need to pay the higher price for rent and gas, but I expected food to be expensive and I have found it to be about the same if not cheaper if you do your research on where to shop. Additionally there are a plethora of free activities to do such as going to the beach that help you save in the entertainment category pretty effortlessly.

3) Smog is actually noticeable (Ew!)

Forget about washing your car unless you park in a garage! Every night the smog rolls in and puts a grey layer over my white car. Additionally, you will notice the smog in weird ways such as it weighing down your hair, or your lungs feeling a bit interesting if you sleep with the window open on a high smog night. Some new products have worked their way into my life particularly clarifying shampoo and face cleanser to get rid of any lingering smog residue.

4) Not everyone I've is trying to become a star

I'm not sure if I am the only one out their with the preconceived notion that everyone in LA is there trying to make their way to stardom... but I have found that is simply not the case. With social media giving the ability for anyone to get discovered, I think there is less need to up and move to LA if you are trying to "Make it". Most people I meet move to the area for a job or to live closer to the beach ( I was the same).

5) It get's dark at 4:30pm after daylight savings time begins

I assume this is really only a me problem because I moved from Arizona (where there is no daylight savings), but it was not something I was expecting and still haven't really adjusted.

6) The drivers are really not that bad

Drivers in LA have a reputation for being terrible drivers, however something I have noticed is that once you hit traffic there is this "we're all in this together" mentality that everyone seems to share that I have never experienced in any other city. I think everywhere has different social driving cues that differ from place to place and LA's no different.


Thank you for being here! If you like what you read today, please don't hesitate to subscribe and follow along on social! xoxo, Madison

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