In Travel and Adventures

Travel Confessions: Love / Hate Relationship with California

travel confessions

I'm actually quite surprised at how much I missed southern California given my love/hate relationship with the area. I've only been back for a few days (staying with the greatest friends for a couple of days while we find a place) but I'm already feeling mixed feelings about southern California.
travel confessions


  1. I kind of loved that during my first night back in South California I was woken up in the middle of the night by an earthquake.
  2. Freedom! It is so amazing to be able to drive / walk around anywhere I want. At any time.
  3. Friends! So happy to see our friends again.
  4. Familiarity. I now live in a place that I feel familiar with: I know where to go for my favorite meal, if I get injured, or just want some time to myself. I was so uncertain of everything while in South Africa so this is a very welcomed change.
  5. Glorious, glorious sunshine. Today = 86 degrees = heaven.
  6. High speed internet. Whoa, life is good!


  1. While I love the sunshine, the weather is actually a big problem right now. The state hasn't received enough rainfall and this is one of the driest Januarys on record. And the draught plus Santa Ana Winds have resulted in a few fires around the area. Yikes.
  2. Paying real bills again. This is more a product of moving back to the US, but moving to Southern California means paying more for rent, car insurance, etc, etc, yuck.
  3. Bros. Bros everywhere. See below:
  4. Two words: lifted trucks.

Okay it seems pretty clear that I love southern California a bit more than I dislike it. Do you have a love / hate relationship with where you live?

[link with Friday Confessions.]

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Nicole is a treasure hunter and pup mama located in Seattle, Washington. Loves travel, politics, lifestyle, TV, & wine. She's an unapologetic SJW & feminist AF.

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  • Familiarity must be great!
    I find myself constantly loving and disliking where I am right now, though trying to stay on the bright side :)

    • while I wasn’t looking forward to returning to Southern CA I realized that I love more things than dislike :)

  • I have a love/hate relationship with the Uk too, but if we moved to Italy it would probably be the same! : D

  • Chelsea

    “Bros. Bros everywhere.” Hahah totally my favorite part of this post.

  • YES. I love the big, open spaces and how nature is so close. But I hate how small the towns are and how far they are from ANYTHING. I both love and hate the Cowboy Culture that gets idolized here a bit, and the politics and close mindedness of so many people drives me nuts.

    • oh, the politics that go along with the cowboy culture would be a bit much for me to handle I think.

  • omg yes i do. i love toronto but i hate the long ass winters!!

    Vodka and Soda

  • Abso-tute-ly! I live in Northern VA (Nova) which is wayyy different from the small town I grew up in. This will TOTALLY be a good topic to post about next week, thanks for the inspiration!

  • Of course!! With Washington DC

  • Oh, the dude bros of CA! It’s a certain kind of race that can only be found there :) I also have similar love/hate feelings towards California. I grew up in LA County but could not wait to get out. Now that I live in a snowy climate, I love visiting (though I don’t think I could live there again, especially considering how pricey it is). Adjusting back to the routine of a home state is weird but I’m excited to hear more about it!

    • I’d love to ship all the bros out of here. :) that and the high price tags on everything!

  • Madi

    I have a huge love/hate relationship with where I live. We are in a very pretty part of the state, with lots of financial resouces (i.e. Walmart Home Office, Tyson Home Office, Carghill, Pam Trucking, J.B. Hunt Home Office) but the people here really suck. They’re all jerks, and their children are all spoiled brats. There’s no sense of hard work or dedication, it’s all “my daddy will call someone and I’ll get a job”. I would love to move farrr farrrr away, however Jake’s job makes us stationary.

    • ugh, I can’t stand people like that! sounds like a lot of the people out here in LA county! ;) but what a drag. hopefully there are a few gems in your city

  • my friend lives in LA so i’ve been to southern california quite a few times and can definitely understand your loves/hates.
    — jackie @ jade and oak

  • Well at least your cons aren’t so bad! I live in Los Angeles, and while there are plenty of negatives, I guess I don’t focus on the bad parts so much. At the end of the day, it really is not all so bad. :)

  • I love that you love earthquakes!

    I love where I live but sometimes want to rip my hair out too. Currently, we are living in a tiny town called Woodward. It’s in Western Oklahoma. The other day I went to a coffee shop and no one was there to greet me. ha! So, i went to another restaurant that sold coffee. I ordered a to go coffee. They made it and handed it over and said “Oh, we don’t have lids because the company sent us the wrong size of lids. Is that ok?”. um … well, I guess it’s ok but really no, no it’s not =). I sat in my car and drank it until I could drive with it. As silly as it was it made me laugh. That’s just how small towns roll. So I guess I’ll roll with it too for now.

    Whoah! I wrote a novel.

    • I love your novels :) small towns can be rough! I grew up in a fairly small town and that story sounds so familiar! But I’d rather deal with small neighborhood shops than big chains.

  • Most definitely. I think it’s quite natural actually. For me, I’ve been living in London for four years now, but have always treated the city as temporary. My focus this year is to enjoy my time here a bit more!!
    Claire xx
    somewhere… beyond the sea

    • the nice thing about temporary cities is that you get to focus on the good and wonderful things instead of the not-so-nice things :)

  • mary-katherine minnis

    oh man i feel you on this one!

    growing up in california almost my whole entire life, all i wanted was to leave when i was looking at colleges and i ended up in kansas where the people are so kind that i just love them all. and for a while i loved this state. but now i feel like i need to get out of kansas STAT. i didn’t realize how much i loved california until i left and now i just want to go back, but with a job, a husband, so many friends here, it is just hard to really consider moving.

    it can be tough to focus on positives (especially in these midwest winters, can you say polar vortex?) but really all our time everywhere is worthwhile so trying really hard!

    xo mk

    • gah, polar vortex?! I’m not sure that I could handle that. But then again this draught out here isn’t much better

  • I definitely feel that way about California but I might be leaning more towards the hate side the longer I’m here…haha. I LOVE the weather (well, I wish it would get a little cooler so I could wear some of my sweaters :-) ) I love being close to things to do ( I grew up in the country where Walmart was the only thing around), and I have a great group of friends here. BUT the traffic SUCKS, the taxes are ridiculous, it’s so expensive to live here, there are way to many people living here…the list goes on. But I’ve learned that no place is perfect. I’m just trying to figure out what place I can stand the best!

    • you don’t love the bros, Jessica?! ;)
      oh my goodness…. the traffic and taxes are ridiculous! but you’re right – no place is perfect.

  • I love/hate San Diego, I was born there so naturally I hate it. Yet it’s the most beautiful place in SoCal you’ll ever see.
    Welcome back to the real world.

    • oh I love SD! I hated the town that I grew up in until I left. And now I love it!

      and thank you :)

  • I have a love/love relationship with my city! I was born and raised about 45 minutes from where I live now and never want to live anywhere else. San Diego is perfect in my book.

  • feel the same way about our little home land. Once a month I am convinced I am going to move away, but never do.

    • you don’t love the bros, smoke, earthquakes, and smog? Weird, Erica ;)
      It is a nice little place, huh?

  • and as much as I dislike some of the parts of the area it is home :)

  • Angie

    My husband and I actually talk about this frequently, we go through these periods where we are SO fed up with Southern CA (your #3 & 4 have a lot to do with that) and other times, (like this past weekend, when we were at the beach in January) where we feel lucky to live here.

    • visiting the beach in January IS an added perk of living out here. Although I’m hoping for rain soon – we really need it!