I have arrived to Southern California with my adventures. I stay mostly in the area of Oxnard, Ventura, which is around 1 hour’s drive from Los Angeles City.
First week is soon over and it has offered me some exciting adventures. What is really interesting, it feels like I am an alien from another planet. Everything is so different here. Two years in Mexico have done their job. In Mexico everything is so chill, so life here feels so different.
Having a background in anthropology I know that I should not compare cultures and countries, especially when one does generalisations, but here I will summon up some observations, which may offer interest for those who have thought of both sides – Southern California and Mexico. Read my observations and share your thoughts!
Here is very peaceful and silent. In Mexico you have so many additional sounds – cars which have loudspeakers and selling different things, people who pass by and shouting loud what they are selling, neighbours who play loud Mexican music. Deep silence in the middle of the village or in the city is not possible to experience, unless you live in a five star gated community. The silence has been the first observation here. It is so silent, that even when I live in a big part of the city, and the big highway is just some meters away. It is still silent. It is interesting to experience how much more relaxed is my body because of that. I have still not understood why one culture needs to be so loud and how most Mexicans do not make any big number out of it, especially when a party is going on throughout the whole night and the whole village can not sleep.
It is very cool here. In Mexico the temperature got as high as to 90F or higher (32,3C), here the average is 70F (21.10C), in New York 85F (29.44C) and I checked that Estonia has 50F (10C). My arrival to Estonia would mean the 30 degrees temperature difference to my body right now. I went to swim here in the pool between the houses, where the water must have been like ca 64F (18C), comparison to Mexico and the ocean water 95F (35C). I managed to swim only 15 minutes and after getting out, ran like there was a fire in my butt to take the hot shower right away. The body was half way in a cramp. In Mexico the temperature was very high as well the humidity. From April till November you sweat crazily in Puerto Vallarta area in Mexico. Over here the humidity is not a problem, so the temperature is comfortable.
People wear very expensive and quality clothes and shoes and I swear also underwear. My main clothing in Mexico was summer dresses and most of the time no underwear, if so, only bikinis. I did not know anything about the shoes or socks, as my main shoes were flip flops. This was the way I lived for the past 2 years, if I was not surfing, as then I wore my surf water shoes. My host here said that one of the reasons why people wear high quality clothes is to show that you have a higher status even if that is not yet accomplished.
Nature here in the Southern California is very beautiful. Mountains, ocean front, different valleys and very powerful nature places – these are all very close-by. But I remember from 2010 that we had trouble to find a piece of grass around in the city where we could sit down on. The only little spot we found was in front of the gay church, where there were big signs – not do it, but we were invited to the church. We thought about the poor dogs in the area.
American – ‘how are you?’ and the smile is available everywhere where you go, does not matter whether it is a training studio or a usual food shop. Some ways it is really fun, but other ways it is sad, as most what is said or done, is fake. How many are living this American dream is a question. I saw so many more smiling faces in Mexico and more real people and more genuine there than here.
Many people here enjoy life. More than in New York for sure. They spend time in the nature with their kayak, paddle board, sailing or surfing or hiking. People really take care of their bodies, even though there are many who are overweight, there are also many who know how to take care of themselves and how to live completely healthy.
I went to one of the Alanon groups here and we had 24 people and most of their stories were full of humour. They all came as they managed, most of them 15- 20 minutes later. Everyone seemed to be okay with it.
Time here is so slow. Maybe it is because there is a time difference of two hours with Mexico and I wake up very early, usually 6 or 7 am or there is a different kind of time. It can be also because I do not have so many obligations here right now. In Mexico, the day passed very quickly and could not keep up with everything.
I was lucky to receive a TMZ tour as a gift from my host here. We drove through the whole Beverly Hills and Hollywood and saw many places where the celebrities eat, hang and walk around. There is so much abundance in this area, that just driving through you can feel how it radiates from all the details.
Many people have a lot of money, but their lives are also very messed up thanks to alcohol, drugs or other problems. Rich people’s life is full of excitement and possibilities, but it may also happen that things and businesses take all the time and attention so that there is no time for what has a real value and creates true balance. How many very rich people are actually happy, balanced and satisfied?
Traffic is a real experience of its own. People are more stressed. Distances are long and that is why long hours are spent in the car.
Most highways consist of 5 lines and everyone is in the hurry. They will let you in, but you have to sometimes really push yourself in between with a certain assertiveness. Cars seem mostly to be completely new. Many lease cars.
Public transport is almost non existent. If you do not have a car, it is very hard to move around. In Puerto Vallarta area I could access everything with the bus. Most fees were around 5 pesos till 20 pesos one way (1,3 dollars). Petrol’s price here is around 3.50 dollars per gallon. In Mexico the petrol is actually a bit more expensive, as they bring it in from USA and add different taxes to it and it does not make any sense how can the bus ticket be so cheap? But that is probably the Mexican logic, which makes no sense.
Inside the houses you have no bugs here if you live in a nice neighbourhood. In Mexico you have aunts, sometimes scorpions, or other 4 legged friends. Sometimes geckos and some big iguanas pass by. Cats and dogs. No mosquitos here. Mosquitos were crazy wild in Mexico recently.
Driving around here, you can see signs pointing at big gyms here everywhere. The aerial silks studio here was also very different from my Mexican experience. In the big studio you have at least 3-4 classes at the same time. There are not enough silks and too many people, so at least 2 people sharing one silk.
What I experienced in Mexico, was almost like having private lessons with my teacher as most of the time I was the only student in the class. What a luxury.
Everything costs at least 10 times more than in Mexico. Silks class for one time drop in is 25 dollars (380 pesos per class). In Mexico it is 50 pesos, 3 dollars and 50 cents. In Mexico I took 6 classes for 250 pesos, which is like 16 dollars for a month’s classes. Over here, you can not become part of the class before you have signed the waiver that your injuries are your responsibility. One month’s pass costs here 276 dollars, ca 4200 pesos. Of course people have different incomes here and in Mexico. Most middle class people get around 3000 – 4000 dollars or a bit more per month in California while in Mexico most people earn from 3000 pesos to 5000 pesos per month (200 – 400 dollars per month).
Number wise everything is bigger here and more expensive. If you are really smart you can have a good life in Mexico with 200 – 800 dollars per month. Here under 2000 dollars is very hard, unless you rent a room at somebody’s house. You use more time and resources, to cover your usual costs (food, transport, housing, communication etc). In Mexico life is so much more chill and there is more time. Unless you are hunting for super luxury.
Mexico through Americans eyes
It is interesting how many people here are actually afraid of Mexico here. Media has done their job and many do not travel there any more. When I talked about my cool experiences in Mexico, they looked at me like some kind of alien, as I must talk about some other Mexico, not the one they had heard about.
Travelling is interesting as it gives us perspectives also how different countries and cultures function – it is not about what is better and what is not, but what works for every person. At the same time gives you a good possibility to look into yourself and ask questions.
What is the value for me to be in this particular culture?
What is important in my life and where would I love to move and what would I like to create?
What is the value for the locals and what is meaningful for them and what are they striving for?
What is needed? What can I create here? What are the possibilities?
In Mexico, the family is the core value. Everything circles around it. In America, number one value is the money and material wellness. Money is the central focus point for even those who are from another ethnic group here. When they earn money, they send it back to their family back home to where they are from.
Being in California is a good platform for the future New York and Europe trip for me. I walk around, with my camera in hand and I see things and details the locals would not notice at all any more. That is why I love to travel. You are like a little kid, who is ready to explore.
When you can not travel far away, check out if you could just take the bus to some new place nearby. Maybe you could step out of your routine like that and explore something completely new?
This will activate your air element, clear from the old and helps you to activate your curious spirit who loves to grow and expand.
The best way to do that is to go to new places and meet new people, as then you need to meet the unknown and you can not run away from it. Through this, you activate your courage to live from your heart. From there you create your dream life.
I am Crystal Ra Laksmi. Staying under the wings of the Angles City is a good grounding platform for me to prepare for my new adventures. I have several months full of adventures as the gipsy through New York as well Estonia waiting ahead for me.
This is one way how my spirit energy is sharing itself with different places. Sharing consciousness and presence and invites to live life fully and on all levels. Dream big and activate your true love in your heart and use all your talents and gifts, what the universe has offered to me or all the others who I meet on my journeys which most of us have not even discovered yet. I hope that my story inspires you to live life bigger than till now and make jumps which you did not manage to do before!
The video for this week inspiration is here: Live your dream before it is too late!
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