Spring break has come and gone, for most of us, at least. I myself went on a trip as well, to Los Angeles. There was no rhyme or specific reason for my choice, other than how I have always wanted to see the beaches of Southern California, and I desperately needed an opportunity to remove myself, even for a few days, from the familiar stressful situations, places, and people at home.
I am currently on a very long and arduous self-recovery phase in dealing with my past periods of depression and anxiety. I wouldn’t consider myself suffering from them in its entirety currently, but recently letting certain people in my life has cracked open the box I kept all that dark matter in, and sometimes it was hard to not listen to it a little bit. I know better consciously, but memories never really disappear, so I will always be living with these kind of feelings, even from the past.
But anyway, this trip for Spring Break was more to me than just an “I get a week off of school to party” kind of vacation. I was able to get away from a land-locked town full of things that remind me of the pain I am trying to overcome. I got to sit in front of the beautiful Pacific Ocean and feel connected to it, meditate away any negative feelings, and be in a new place.
So let the travel adventure begin!
After flying into L.A., I headed to my Airbnb host’s house in Santa Monica, unpacked, and let my friend in town know I had arrived. I changed clothes, asked for directions, and went right to the beach. I walked all the way from where Ocean Park meets the beach, up and past the Santa Monica Pier, just enjoying being by the ocean once again.
(I sorta went a little crazy taking photos of silhoette-d palm trees.)
A friend of mine lives nearby in Long Beach, so even though I was technically traveling alone, he came to hang out most of the time and accompany me on my adventures. He’s a pretty talented photographer and we had a lot of fun bumming around all week shopping, being beach bums, and taking too many photos.
I felt like a true beach model for pretty much the whole time. This bathing suit was so adorable too. I bought it on a whim while on a shopping therapy trip to TJMaxx with my mom. I love the cutouts on the sides and the tie in the back instead of a clip. ❤
I don’t know if it’s because I was born on the West Coast in Seattle, but I have always felt calm when looking out into western waters, in a way that is not the same on the East Coast, closer to my city. The Pacific Ocean, something about this body of water and seeing the sun set into it, fills me with a feeling of purpose, calm, and appreciation. While this photo was being taken, I remember thinking about all of the things I need to let go and accept about my life to continue onto a success and happiness.
I could definitely see myself living in Santa Monica, even if a small cozy house or apartment. Even after all that’s been going on in recent days and causing me stress, being able to walk, run, or sit in front of the ocean brings out the best in me.
(Getting a little excited about a sunset in Malibu.)
My second day I did take a walk down from my room in Santa Monica to Venice Beach. I bought a few trinkets for myself, very California like shell bracelets and bear claw necklace and such. I then had coffee at some really nice coffee shops on Main Street in Santa Monica, went shopping in the Promenade, and had some giant margaritas at one of my friend’s favorite after-work drink spots.
Stopped at Muji, a Japanese lifestyle store (in that it sells everything from clothes to skincare products to stationery), and bought myself some envelopes. What was coolest, though, is that they had a table full of stamps for me to use and personalize my new purchase! I had so much childish fun stamping envelopes to use for various occasions in the future.
(I really enjoyed how much mural artwork there was in Santa Monica!)
The next day was lunch in Beverly Hills, followed by a bus ride out to Malibu to hang out on the beach and see the sunset. I took a good look around Beverly Hills with my tour guide/best friend and we decided, “Yep, I can’t afford anything here, and everyone else knows it too. Let’s eat and then go to the beach.”
It was a little chillier than I had expected Malibu to be on that day, so I had to go out and buy some pants to wear, because I had worn my shorts earlier while lunching in Beverly Hills. But I wasn’t about to give up on some sunset beach photos, so I ended up getting all these lovely shots from my friend. The colors in the sunset that night were absolutely incredible. The sky turned from purple and blue to bright pink in a matter of minutes, and I could not stop snapping my own photos and videos.
How many times can I talk about how amazing the beaches and water of the Pacific Ocean is? I could look at it forever. This summer I’m definitely going to be visiting again.
(The water wasn’t that cold!)
I thought my last day in California would be boring, but I was totally wrong! My roommate from my Airbnb invited me to go hiking with him up in Calabasas, to a viewpoint in the Santa Monica Mountains to watch the sunrise. It was a chilly (and harder-than-I-expected) hike to the top, but the view was totally worth it!
It was so quiet and peaceful on top of that mountain. There was not a sound but that of birds and small animals rustling awake as the sun rose, and gentle fog breezing through the valleys below. The air was fresh, and being awake so early and exercising my body with a tough, winding, bike trail hike left me invigorated. So glad I decided to accompany my roommate on this excursion.
The final hours of my wonderful and relaxing Spring Break trip ended back on the beaches near the Santa Monica Pier. I went to one of the cafes I had found the earlier day, got a cappuccino and water to go, and headed over to the beach to sit in front of the water and reflect in my journal about my experiences and how my thoughts had changed in those few days. I sat there with a lot of things to think about moving forward, and even though I was sad to leave, I knew I’d be back, and I’d be back a better person.
So you want to know about all the cool clothes and stuff in my photos? Here we go! (from top to bottom)
- Swim Top #1: The Bikini Lab
- Medium Wash High Waist Denim Shorts: American Apparel
- Backpack: “Nomad” from Serengetee in the “Salvador” print
- Ribbed Pink Tank: Brandy Melville
- Black Bikini Bottoms: The Bikini Lab
- Grey Plaid Pants: Brandy Melville
- Swim Top #2: Pink by Victoria’s Secret
- High Waist Jeans: BDG at Urban Outfitters
- White “Travel More” Tee: Serengetee
- Sunglasses: Quay Australia
Thanks for checking out my post, it took a long time for me to organize and edit all these photos together. Thank you to my parents for helping me put this trip together and for always supporting me in my times of need. And thank you to the friend who showed me around L.A. and all its beaches, took a million photos of me, and who has also been a close friend of mine in a short period of time and has helped my attitude improve a lot in the past two months. I am ever grateful for all my friends, family, and the opportunities presented to me. I’m turning a new page in many parts of my life, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.
All photos that don’t have me in it were taken by me.
Photo at Hindu temple taken by: Jack Chaiyakhom
Photos of me on the beach and of me eating my expensive Beverly Hills lunch taken by: Menelik Rhoden.