Here’s what’s happened since I moved to my new beach home in Redondo Beach, California.
I still find myself wondering why it took so long to move to the west side, or the South Bay as most people refer to it around here. I guess I knew that the commute to work would be much worse than the 30-minute drive, with traffic, from the Valley to Hollywood. I knew the rent would be higher. I knew it was going to cost me a few hundred dollars to make the move. But here below are some – expected and unexpected- things that happened or that I noticed since I moved to my beach home, located 1 block from the ocean and the sand.
People are much friendlier and happier. Over the course of the past 3 weeks, I’ve noticed how much more laid-back and happy people are around here. I will forever remember the two older men who wished me GOOD MORNING as I was sipping my cup of coffee overlooking the beach on my first morning here. I noticed it with waiters in restaurants, cashiers at grocery stores, bartenders and salespeople in the cute little shops. I also noticed it on runs along the beachfront, as most runners nodded or smiled at me. I even got a thumbs up from an elderly man just the other morning on my run! This rarely happened around Hollywood.
Fitness is part of the lifestyle. At all times of the day, you will see people running, walking, biking, skateboarding, rollerblading along the beachfront. You can watch or play volleyball, flag football, football and frisbee all day long. You can go paddleboarding, swimming, surfing, bodysurfing or boogie boarding. I’ve seen people do full workouts with battle ropes, slam balls, kettlebells, and resistance bands on the beach. There are just so many outdoor activities to do and they seem to be integrated into the peoples’ lifestyles, no matter the time of day or your age.
It is very hot and humid. I always expected the South Bay to be much cooler than Hollywood but apparently, this summer has been unusually hot and humid. It’s been a struggle for me since my apartment does not get much of a breeze! Random fact: It’s also a much longer process to dry clothes. In Hollywood, they would (air) dry overnight. Here it can take up to 2-3 days for them to be fully dried.
I wake up happier & more relaxed. My morning routines have consisted of waking up peacefully to the quiet mumble of a sleepy town, making a cup of coffee and walking to the beach front to sip on my coffee and watch the people on the beach, the dolphins in the water, and anything else beach-related. It’s very calming. At night I fall asleep with no earplugs (which I could never do in Hollywood!) and don’t get woken up by horns, music, sirens or helicopters! The days just go by so peacefully and my stress levels have been so much lower and for a prolonged amount of time ( it doesn’t end when I have to get into my car to drive back home to Hollywood in traffic).
I feel lazier. If my mom was here, I’m sure she’d say that it’s because I’m more relaxed. So I’m embracing that feeling, but trying not to give into it too much! I’m unsure if it’s the faster pace of living in Hollywood or the type of gym and workouts that I had up there, but it seemed easier to motivate myself to get into workout clothes. It could also be that I’ve been walking over 15,000 steps a day- thanks Fitbit-, with no effort since I moved here (and possibly asking more of my body on a daily routine). The plus side: I’m reading much more than I was in Hollywood!
I WANT to go home. On this last work trip, I found myself wanting to airline home instead of driving up to see my family in Montreal. It was always a no-brainer before: I’d drive up and see my family rather than having to take a commercial flight back to Hollywood. If I’m being fully honest, it doesn’t help that I hate flying commercial: in my opinion, it’s a waste of time and also my experiences lately have not been the best- mechanical issues, delays, rude staff, rude neighbors on flights, etc. The great friendships I made in Hollywood and the cute studio I had were the two reasons that kept me sane in that area. I LOVE my family and friends in Montreal and the decision will be hard from now on… I will probably have to alternate between driving to Montreal or airlining to the beach!
I’ve had a lot of ‘visitors’. I guess it’s still too early to tell if it’s just the novelty of me living out here and if they will keep coming back, but I have had friends visit me almost every other day. If you’re reading this and are not from LA, you should know that driving over 45 minutes to an hour (and that’s without traffic) to see someone is a huge commitment and sign that you love that person. I’ve really liked seeing my friends enjoy the area as much as I do! I’ve noticed how they look and feel more relaxed after just spending a few hours here with me.
I’ve been drinking and eating out more. I think part of me still thinks I’m on vacation here and I don’t realize that this life is permanent! I want to be out on patios enjoying the beach life, sipping on a fresh locally brewed beer and enjoying all the good food, including tacos, gelatos and pastries. Who can blame me?
I barely use my car. And what a luxury that is! I walk to the beach, Trader Joe’s, the farmers’ market, the gym, bank, nail salon, brewery, hair salon, cute shops, restaurants, gelaterias, coffee shops… you get the idea! I still need to buy a bike to be able to explore a little further & faster than walking.
So the bottom line is, if you’ve been thinking about moving to the west side, or the South Bay, because you like a slower pace of life, friendlier people, and the beach… MAKE THE MOVE. You will not regret it. I promise!