Landing in Los Angeles - A Designer's American Adventure-Part 1

This is the first in the series of my great American adventure. Before I had to report for a new job as a Graphic Designer in the USA, I decided to go on a little journey to find out how it is, to live and work, alone as a foreigner in a new country.

I felt this was an important step I must take before I came here for my job contract, which was several months later. I also did this so that I prepare my mind to make the shift, instead of getting into a situation when it would have been difficult to keep up or too late to regret not knowing what I was getting into. I am glad I made this move which helped me to take an informed decision which has actually helped me in my destiny today.

The winter of 2006 is when I decided to take this daring trip.Daring, I say because to me it was like the wilderness. A journey to the unknown. So here I go.

Copyright © Remy Francis 2009
Copyright © Remy Francis 2009 | Source

I hope you folks enjoy what I narrate with my illustrations in order to give you a complete picture of my trip.

It is about just a simple trip from the airport to my guest room. But every detail of what I observed adventurously, took me through a picture-book scenario, which I am pleased to share with you now.

My up-bringing and young adult-hood was very protected from the world of the unknown.

Copyright © Remy Francis 2009
Copyright © Remy Francis 2009 | Source

Perhaps this is why I drew up all the courage in the world andI decided to make a personal work tour to USA’s Capital of the Extravagant.

I landed in LAX airport on the morning of early Jan 2006. Having visited LA several years before that, the excitement was not any lesser than when I first went there, as this was my favourite city having grown up a fan of disney animation.

With huge expectations, but a little cautious of what lies ahead, I hopped into an airport shuttle which I had booked, prior to my arrival, to drive me to my host’s condo in Pasadena where a guestroom was waiting for me.

Copyright © Remy Francis 2009
Copyright © Remy Francis 2009 | Source
Copyright © Remy Francis 2009
Copyright © Remy Francis 2009 | Source

Overwhelmed by the great city, and the friendly faces everywhere, I was dropped off in front of the condo.

Copyright © Remy Francis 2009
Copyright © Remy Francis 2009 | Source

Bidding all the occupants goodbye, I made it through the gate on which I spotted Voila – the house number.

Copyright © Remy Francis 2009
Copyright © Remy Francis 2009 | Source

As the minutes passed by, my excitement was building up because this was my first ever travel, about 13000 miles away from home, alone without booking any assistance or escort service in the land of opportunities. I decided not to breath a word to any of my close friends or kith and kin of my arrival in the country. I did this because I wanted to study how it is to live and work as a single lady, before I actually pursued my career working full-time in the USA. I wanted to try everything that I possibly could to find out the tips and tricks, the hard way rather than being spoon-fed and at the end feel needy. I wanted to drive around and visit studios alone. See how it is to go for those evening freebie animation, art lectures, meetup sessions etc. All this comes as a package deal to an artist who works in LA.

Before this trip, as a tourist in USA, I enjoyed it so much. This was simply because I never had to sweat. I was constantly chauffeur-driven around and taken to the best tourist destinations. I just had to name it and I am taken there. That’s what friends do. They take their guests and give them the best of times.

Now, I set the scene to be completely on my own. My only companion was the voice inside of me saying “ What are you frightened about? You can do this and must do this alone for your own sake.” I remember that even during the most intimidating times, in this vast concrete expanse of LA, I heard the voice simply there as the driving force. Los Angeles, with its glitz and glamor, has its dark side of crimes and gangs on the streets. So a lone lady visitor had to stay extra vigilant of any dangers lurking behind. There is a price to pay for freedom, unfortunately. So fear was my shadow whether I liked it or not.

However, my moments of adventure was happening at every step, from the time I set foot in LAX airport, it was nothing but action for me. Little did people around me guess what heavy-duty Nintendo game was juggling inside of me. (wink...)

Copyright © Remy Francis 2009
Copyright © Remy Francis 2009 | Source

Making it through the side of McKay’s building to find her backdoor. (I recognized it from the picture she had sent me before I departed for this long journey).

I vividly remember being greeted by two freshly blooming lilies by the side. Every second was an adventure, starting from opening McKay’s door using the key she left for me at a secret spot at the house.

I was amused to see that even the direction in which the key turned in the key hole was in the opposite direction from where I came from.

However, it has all changed now with globalization.

After much of toiling, I did open the door. Yay! I was my own spectator, just left to getting embarrassed by my own actions. So that was fine. Now it is just fine to even share it with you. It is but natural that this could have happened to anyone of you eh?

Copyright © Remy Francis 2009
Copyright © Remy Francis 2009 | Source

Now to switch on the light in, McKay’s cute little kitchen.

That too was different to operate. It was in the opposite direction. it was from down to switch up?!

I figured that walking into the hallway was quite a noisy affair for the floor was all in wood.

This is how I walked into the house, tip-toeing as if I am a burglar who has just broken into the house. The creaking floor was confusing my brain.

Copyright © Remy Francis 2009
Copyright © Remy Francis 2009 | Source

Now I made my way creeping yet clambering up a stairway, as if it was my fault the floor was making so much of noise. At the end of the stair, I was told stood my guest room waiting to receive me.

Copyright © Remy Francis 2009
Copyright © Remy Francis 2009 | Source
Copyright © Remy Francis 2009
Copyright © Remy Francis 2009 | Source

The moment I stepped into my new room for the month, I was so taken aback by the sheer beauty of the setting and the gorgeous interiors, with everything in perfect order waiting to serve its guest.

I felt so humbled by McKay's thoughtfulness and hospitality.

This next moment, I could only think of myself hopping into that super comfortable warm bed, after ions of anxiety, jetlag and intimidation.

I was now so content that I finally reached my destination, safely.

Copyright © Remy Francis 2009
Copyright © Remy Francis 2009 | Source

Come back to listen to what adventure just came up the next morning, after my sound nights sleep.

Until then, goodbye to all and thanks for stopping by!

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