Sam Wasserman is a friend of VP+C who recently headed west from his home in Chicago, IL to pursue a career in PR in Los Angeles. We’ve been following Sam’s adventures as he bravely ventures into the unknown, taking off on the road trip of a life time, and headed for a new city and, hopefully, a perfect position to get his career started. Check out what Sam’s been up to, and if you’d like to see more, follow him on Instagram at @sburt416! And if you happen to be looking for a smart, well-traveled publicist for your fabulous LA-based entertainment PR firm, let us know.
For someone who doesn’t love to drive, the thought of jumping in a car, heading across the country and moving to a city where driving is the only real way to get around seemed daunting. Yet on September 2, I did exactly that. With no real plan in mind, I gathered up three friends and moved from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California. Goodbye normal life, hello Hollywood.
Let me back up a little and explain why I decided to make such a big move. I was born in a Chicago suburb, lived there my entire life and then went to DePaul University in the city. For the past 21 years I have been a Chicago boy through and through. I met some great people while at DePaul, had some amazing internships, worked hard and graduated in three years with a double major. Here I was, freshly 21, newly graduated and unsure of what to do. So I did what any logical person would do – I traveled Europe for a month and used up a majority of my savings. When I got back from Europe in August, I still had no idea how I was getting out to Los Angeles, where I would stay when I got there or how I would even afford it. Again doing the logical thing, I shrugged and continued with the move as planned.
With the move quickly approaching, it was obvious that we needed to find a place to stay. Moving into an apartment was not feasible, so we did the next best thing – AirBnB. For anyone who has not tried out AirBnB, I will tell you now that it is a lifesaver and a money-saver. We found a fully furnished apartment in an amazing area for a price that didn’t break the bank. Sadly the apartment is only a two bedroom, but since we only plan on being here a month it was a sacrifice we were willing to make. (Side note: I also used AirBnB throughout Europe to make it an affordable trip).
Now knowing we had a place to stay, and accepting the fact that none of us were going to move out to LA with jobs, it was time for my friends and I to prepare the best road trip possible. While attempting to figure it out, I learned a few key things.
1) Before you start driving, choose a couple of key places you want to see and plan accordingly.
2) Google Maps will give you multiple route options so pick the most scenic one, otherwise you will be driving through endless fields of sadness.
3) Be prepared to not make it as far as you expected each day. I’ll tell you now, driving 14 hours in one day is not as easy as it sounds.
4) Make sure your car charger works. Please, please, please make sure your car charger works.
With that, we were off. Along the way we made a few stops. The first was in Colorado where we hoped to see some natural springs. We quickly learned, however, that the springs that were advertised were not natural at all but rather just a warm pool. It personally goes against my morals to pay $14 to sit in a pool, but that’s just me. We kept driving. Knowing we needed something to break up the drive from Denver to Arizona, we stopped at Arches National Park in Utah.
Arches was really beautiful, but it was nothing compared to what we were about to see next. Move over random rock formations, it was time for us to head to the Grand Canyon.
I knew that the Grand Canyon was supposed to be breathtaking, but I didn’t quite believe it until I was there. It was truly fantastic. Sure some may think it is just a big hole in the ground, but it is a beautiful hole in the ground. My only problem was that the weather was rainy and foggy, so the views weren’t as amazing. Plus it costs more money than I wanted to spend to get in, but I wouldn’t give up the experience. I can officially say I’ve been to the Grand Canyon… and I got some great pictures too.
The next day, we finally made it to our place in Los Angeles.
I’ve officially been here two weeks and it’s still weird to think that this is my new home. Moving is a lot more stressful and hectic than I ever thought (college doesn’t teach you that). Despite the stress, moving across the country was one of the most exciting things I have done. Living in a new city where you know no one forces you out of your comfort zone. It allows you to explore a new area and see what each place has to offer. Since being here, I have decided to go full Hollywood; I’ve gone to see celebrities speak at panels, had headshots taken for fun, served as an extra in a Zac Efron film, and next week I am seeing a taping of Conan O’Brien. I’m simply enjoying my unemployed time in Los Angeles. Although soon I will have to become a working professional, I learned that the best way to move across the country is to do so with no real responsibility. Life is more fun that way.