We are on day 10 of a Level 4 lockdown in Auckland because of the outbreak of the Delta variant. By now, a Covid-19 lockdown is a familiar routine. Huddle down, set up the home office and sort out things to do to keep the mind occupied.
Walking seems to be an activity that calms everyone down, and I was thinking back to my walk home from work in Los Angeles. Hardly anyone walks in LA – everyone drives, but I was wary of driving there. In fact, I was downright terrified. Negotiating the DMV to get my license, switching to Left Hand Drive, the traffic on the freeways, the crazy drivers and the drama and complications of insurance if you had an accident.
So I walked everywhere and took the Metro and buses. LA actually has a pretty good public transport system, although half the city doesn’t know about it. When I finally got a job, amazingly it was in nearby Burbank, only about 4kms from my home in North Hollywood. However, it was an awkward location as I lived in LA county, but Burbank is its own city, so the public transport didn’t link up.
I got the reminder the other day that this blog was up for renewal, and it has been so long since I have written anything for myself. The past year and a half has been so daunting, and somewhere along they way I lost the enthusiasm for writing. What did I have to say that was worthwhile in a world that seems determined to burn itself to the ground?
It was my sixth visit to Aitutaki, but it had been six years since my last one and I was feeling nervous that it wouldn’t be as I remembered it. But I needed a break – sometimes you just have to get out of Dodge to realign, restore, reboot, and Aitutaki beckoned with its white sandy beaches, turquoise lagoon and calm, peaceful atmosphere. More importantly, as a solo female traveler it is very safe destination to go to on my own.
I’ve undergone a lot of soul-searching since arriving in the USA four months ago. I left behind a great job, an easy lifestyle, universal healthcare and a beautiful country to move to California. I’m also middle-aged and trying to build a career in a city which values the young. The shootings over the past weeks in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton certainly have made me question why I came.
I’m on the fourth month of my Los Angeles adventure and I have to admit it has been a bit of a roller-coaster ride. Change is hard, no matter who you are. Our brains simply don’t like it and they tend to freak out as soon as we leave the safe and secure zone of “but I’ve always done it this way!”
The process so far has been: “Ooh, ahh this is amazing” followed by “Oh my God, this place is insane, what am I doing here? then on to “I guess it’s not so bad, and the Mexican food is great.”
Los Angeles is a town where everyone is always pitching –
their screenplay, tv show, movie, music – you name it, so here’s my pitch: a
middle-aged New Zealand woman wins a green card and moves to Los Angeles to
chase her dream of becoming a screenwriter.