21:59

I am back! On the 31st May I flew out to Los Angeles and for two weeks I toured around Southern and Northern California. In SoCal I visited Disneyland, Griffith Observatory, Getty Center, Laguna Beach and other spots. Up in NorCal I went to San Francisco city centre, Fisherman’s Wharf, Exploratorium, Twin Peaks, Coit Tower, Union Square, the Great Mall in San Jose and many other places.

My trips abroad are always jam packed so I often come home feeling like I need a holiday after my holiday! Whilst physically and mentally draining, the whole experience was a lot of fun and it was amazing to travel around and explore new (and old) places.

It has taken me almost a whole week to get rid of my jet lag. I returned to work the day after I flew back from the US, and I struggled to keep my eyes open during work hours. I have been waking up in the middle of the night for the past week, and also took long naps in the evenings to compensate for the lack of sleep. I managed to sleep through the night yesterday so hopefully my jet lag has been curbed!

23:29

One of my major pet peeves is people not taking initiative.

Another of my pet peeves is people who are so set in their ways that they think all other methods are wrong.

In my own terms I think to take initiative means to take action of your own accord, to do something without having being told to do so, to initiate something. A lot of times people are so set on following the exact rules or plan that taking initiative is difficult (which relates to my second point). I also think that taking initiative means to put yourself out there a bit more. It involves acting of your own accord. It may mean that people question your actions but a spontaneous action or reaction can also be valued.

One case where I think using initiative is key is when an individual is new to an environment or a group of close-knit people. The group already has connections, they already know each other well, and they are comfortable around each other (this could be in work, studies, social groups). Often when an outsider is presented, they will find it difficult to enter into that group unless someone takes initiative to invite them in or to include them. I have noticed that around my twenty-something age group that this is something that is seldom done. Cliques and groups are sometimes not as welcoming as they believe. People tend to stick to their own, and keep to what they know. This is something that I want to work on personally for this year.

As one of my pet peeves I am very aware that I may, on occasion, be a hypocrite. I am comfortable with my own circle of friends and I have a close relationship with these individuals. When an opportunity arises to include a new person into a conversation or a group, I do not always take it. However, I do try to include people and go out of my way to make someone feel welcome. 2015 is a big year for me and I will need to take initiative in many different contexts so I hope that I can work on that and push myself a little further out of my comfort zone.

My second pet peeve is related to the first in that some people are afraid to try new things, and just stick to what they know. Personally I like to try new things whether it be food, experiences or something really out there. With the example of food I always remember that my mum would tell both my brothers and myself that if we did not try something, then how did we know we did not like it? That mentality has stuck with me till this day.

Another point I ask myself when I am faced with something I have not done/eaten/seen before is, ‘Is this a once in a lifetime opportunity?’ and, ‘Will I regret not doing this in the future?’ For some people that can seem really reckless and not a good way of making decisions. Of course I do not justify doing dangerous things with such a concept! One of the most recent times I used this was when I was on holiday in Los Angeles. I was hiking in the Hollywood Hills with my friends from the UK and we had the aim of getting as close to the Hollywood sign as possible. At the half an hour mark we were pretty tired, sweating and being baked in the blazing sun. We stopped in the shade and tried to decide whether to carry on or not. The group was split in deciding with half wanting to carry on, and half wanting to turn back. Eventually a decision was made that we would carry on because it really was a once in a lifetime opportunity. When we could see the Hollywood sign in all its glory, we were all so glad we made this decision. If we had turned back then we would not have been able to experience this.

Anyway, I digress… So there you have it, two of my major pet peeves and a little insight into my life.

00:25

  • I miss driving along the LA highways with my friends.
  • I miss driving towards the magnificent blue sky as the blazing sun filtered in through the windscreen.
  • I miss blasting the air conditioning to cool down the car as the black leather was intensely hot.
  • I miss rifling through radio stations and listening to catchy pop songs of the 90s.
  • I miss driving a full car in the car pool lane and speeding past the other traffic.
  • I miss being on the right side of the road and being able to turn right even if the traffic light was red.

I miss LA; I really do.

23:55

I have serious holiday blues. After 8 years of not going on holiday due to various family commitments I was fortunate enough to go on two holidays this year. I went to Hong Kong and Osaka back in June, and recently came back from a trip to Los Angeles.

It is that feeling of being in a new environment and that sense of exploration that I love so much. A highlight from my trips is meeting new people from all over the world and also the amazing views and scenery that the UK simply cannot compare to.

I just got back from the US and I have already looked at flights for 2015 back out to the States. LA is beautiful and I will definitely be back one day, hopefully sooner rather than later.

08:51

So far; LA has been a dream.

A few things I am still not used to:

  • Looking left before right when crossing the road.
  • US water (also tea made with US water – we British know our good tea).
  • Driving on the right side of the road.
  • The sheer amount of palm trees lining every single freeway/road/plaza.
  • The size of all the shopping malls.
  • Crazy sun and heat!