Looking back on my trip to Los Angeles.

Last weekend, I went to Los Angeles for the first time in 15 years.

I was really excited to see it again. I remembered enjoying it the first time, and I had some fun things on my to-do list.

I was mainly going to see John Mayer’s final stop on his SOLO tour, but I also planned to go to the Grammy Museum and hit up some pop culture spots.

While I had a great time at the concert and at the museum and thoroughly enjoyed stuffing my face at SUR, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t go home feeling a little disappointed.

A quick Google search reveals that even residents of LA County are dissatisfied with their quality of life due to the rising costs of living and growing fears of becoming houseless.

In fact, Los Angeles has the 4th highest rate of houseless people in the country, and it goes hand-in-hand with its unemployment rate.

While visiting L.A., I felt the drag of it all and also experienced the traffic everyone complains about. Going 11 miles took an hour, on top of having to wait 15 minutes for a rideshare driver.

When I travel, I usually walk from place to place and pack in many activities. That’s impossible in L.A.

It also just felt… a bit gross. And I had the misfortune of shopping while a security guard attacked someone leaving the store after the alarms went off. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.

Upon leaving the city, I asked a few friends if they’d been there, and if so, what did they think?

They all agreed — no one said otherwise — when I said it felt disappointing.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been to big cities: New York City, San Francisco, London, and Paris, and I live in Austin. They’ve all got problems.

But I think the only reason I didn’t hate it in 2007 was that I’d never traveled much on my own. I have a different perspective now.

Los Angeles will probably always be one of the most famous cities in the world — I still felt butterflies in my stomach when I saw the Hollywood sign — but that doesn’t mean I have to love it.

This is, of course, just my personal opinion. There are certainly gems about the place and things to see — especially if you are a TV and film fan.

When I went in 2007, I took the Hollywood Homes Tour and loved it, and I ran up the Academy steps! This time, I saw all sorts of cool pieces at the Grammy Museum, snapped photos of the statues outside of the Crypto.com stadium, and smiled the entire ride through Inglewood feeling like I was on an episode of”Insecure.”

Something was just missing about it… and that’s okay. I’m still grateful I was able to go and that I can even form an opinion about places at this point in my life.

Have you ever been to a city that just wasn’t what you thought it would be?

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