Being one my first travel blogs, I have to start from the very beginning. I was born on a hot afternoon in Caracas, Venezuela, (well, not that far back.) Since I can remember, it has been my dream to travel the world! I do have to say I have been blessed and I am grateful to have traveled a lot since I was a child. As exciting as it might sound, besides going to different beaches in Venezuela, I only got to visit my family in Florida.
Fast forward to 2016, I moved to the United States and got my first real job. I made a promise to myself to save enough money every month to be able to have at least one fun trip a year. After about 10 months of hard work I finally saved enough money to go visit my best friend in Los Angeles, California. You have NO clue how nerve-wraking it was to even book my flight! I was driving my family insane. I couldn't make up my mind on the date I wanted to go or how much I was willing to pay for my plane ticket. After finally making up my mind I came to the realization that I was going to spend two out of four days in LA by myself. WHAT!?
I was going to arrive on a Thursday and my friend had school until Friday. That meant I had to walk around an unknown city by myself for about 10 hours for two days. Hello anxiety, old friend! I went the easiest route possible and it's also the one I recommend if you want to get to know a city in a fast and cheap way: buy a Hop-On Hop-Off ticket.
In my head I thought it would be a piece of cake. I had a map, I would get up at the designated meeting point, get down, walk around, catch another bus and so on. Let me tell you... easier said than done. I missed about three buses, had to wait for 1+ hours at each stop for the next bus, and at some points I was hungry, thirsty and tired. Oh! And I felt lost so many times. Not a great combo if you ask me.
The one thing that saved me: research. I am a highly organized person and knowing I was going to a city for the first time and that I was going to be alone for periods of time, my inner organizer freak started researching everything I needed to know about the city and planned my days in a very detailed way. I didn't just rely on the Hop-On Hop-Off map, I actually searched each stop, if I was going to be interested in them and set an average time I would spend on each place. I pretty much tailored the whole trip to my liking. I wasn't going to be wasting time in what could end up being my favorite city in the US!
At the end of the day I had the best time in Los Angeles. Even though I got a bit lost and didn't make it on time for a few buses, I was able to do everything I set my mind on. I got to know the city, went to the Warner Brothers Studios, walked around Universal City Walk, went clubbing with my friend, drove all the way to Santa Monica Pier, hiked a mountain and took a picture with the Hollywood sign. I couldn't ask for more. Well... maybe a few more says there.
That only means one thing: I have an excuse to go back! That trip made me realize I was totally able to travel by myself, I just needed to plan ahead. This is how the adventure of Andrea, The Traveler begins. It's been a short but wild journey and I can't wait to tell you more.