California Voices: My First Week as a Californian

California Voices: My First Week as a Californian

By Alexis Morgan
Guest Writer March 15, 2020

California Voices is where everyday Californians share their stories and unique perspectives on living in the Golden State. If you’re interested in contributing to our platform, email with a brief explanation of what you want to write about. First-time writer? Don’t worry, our editors will work with you to ensure your original piece hits the mark.  

My feet hit the pavement in Los Angeles on the hottest day of the year, and though I had never lived here before and the sun was blazing, the city somehow already felt like home. I have always loved the coast and the sunshine, and the time had finally come to shake things up and make the change I’d been waiting for: I had officially graduated college and was ready to move to Southern California. 

I grew up in California’s neighboring state of Arizona, and when I was a kid, my family would find any excuse to drive out there—even if it was for a 24-hour stint at Disneyland. My new home is in Woodland Hills, an intimate city compared to busy downtown L.A., but I love it already. There is a Westfield mall as well as tons of parks and great restaurants a short walk away.

Recomended businesses

Show me
Recommended Businesses near

Discover the best of California. Our recommended businesses are top-quality and are committed to their communities.

Real Estate


Professional Services

Fitness & Wellness


One of the first things I knew I had to do after arriving was head to the lively town of Santa Monica. From its iconic Ferris wheel to its sandy shores filled with people, the Santa Monica scene was bustling and exciting. I decided to grab some tacos from this local joint called Taco Libre (they were so delicious) before hitting the pier and checking out the action. From face painting and caricatures to fishing and surfing, there seriously is something for everyone at Santa Monica Pier—I think that’s what I love most about it. Sometimes it can be hard to fit in somewhere new, but Santa Monica is home to tourists and Californians alike, so everyone feels welcome here. 

The drive back to Woodland Hills is magical. I say goodbye to the ocean (for now) and take Topanga Canyon Boulevard home. The sun is setting, and with the windows rolled down, I really can’t name the last time I felt this free! Who knew heading home in traffic could be so relaxing? I will admit that not every L.A. commute is as pleasant, but the destinations around here are usually worth it.

Another quintessential stop I had to make during my first week in L.A. was at Malibu Seafood. Situated just off the famous Pacific Coast Highway, this Malibu hot spot is the place for lunch along one of America’s most prized highways that overlooks the ocean. The fish is fresh-caught and delicious, and the view is absolutely unbeatable. 

If you’re currently living in another state but wanting to move to California like I was, the best advice I can give is: Get out of your comfort zone and do it! L.A. can seem big and scary—and it is often overwhelming—but like I said before, there really is something for everyone in the City of Angels. You can also utilize the Internet to find different groups and meet-ups around the city, making it easier to get to know other people. One of my plans for the future is to go to a group skate with GRLSWIRL, which meets most Tuesdays in carefree Venice Beach.

Photo courtesy of grlswirl.

Moving to Los Angeles has changed my life forever. I get to do all the things I did before I lived here, but now the view is usually better. I think that it could feel like home to anyone; its diversity never ceases to amaze me—mainly because I’m finding something new and awesome to do every other day, and I can’t wait to try all of it!

Guest Writer
Alexis Morgan

Guest Writer Alexis Morgan

Alexis is a recent graduate of Northern Arizona University and a Los Angeles newbie. She loves to read and write about anything she can get her hands on. When she isn't focused on the written word, s…

See full bio

1 comment

author photo
Please enter text
  • Nalani | Mar, 18

    Great article Lex! Glad all is going great in Cali 💞 Reply

You may also like

California Voices

Why Is California The Ideal Place To Go Vegan?

Thinking of going vegan? California is definitely the place to try out the vegan lifestyle. Read on to discover more …...Read more

Professional Services

Top Branding Tips To Prepare Your California Business For The New Year

Here are three simple branding tips for California business owners looking to succeed in a competitive market....Read more

Health & Fitness

The Women Bringing More Diversity to California’s Surf Scene

Learn about the California women making waves in the sport of surfing and advocating for more diversity in the water....Read more


5 Dog-Friendly Weekend Getaways in California

Looking to go on an adventure with your furry best friend? Check out the best dog-friendly towns in California....Read more