Long Beach is so Underrated

I stumbled into Long Beach, California by fluke. And I’m glad I did.

I hopped off the plane at LAX (Miley Cyrus voice) to embark on another lengthy journey to Long Beach. Having my itinerary already set for my week-long trip to LA, I decided to be a little adventurous and explore the coastal city in Southern California. Driving along the coast left me in awe. Feelings of wonder, curiosity, and bliss inherited my body.

Long Beach is astonishing – it is also heavily underrated.

Alamitos Beach, Long Beach

A ten minute stroll from my Airbnb led me to Alamitos Beach. I stood on the trail, for what felt like eternity, taking in the purity of the air and the freshness of the trees. I have been to Malibu and Venice Beach before. To my surprise, I liked Alamitos Beach more.

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Some people were scattered around Alamitos – not many though. As an explorer and photographer, I prefer emptier beaches. I feel much more comfortable taking pictures and posing for photographs when fewer people are present. It’s a security thing. The empty space allowed me to roam free. I climbed stairs, laid in the sand, soaked in the sun, and dipped in the ocean.

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The City

Good vibes – That is all I need to say to describe Long Beach. A very hipster feel. Cute, little details surround the city. Positive signs hang from certain stores and cafes, bird houses rest on trees, and firefly lights brighten the city at night.

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It’s the little details that make this city so unique. These artistic and creative features seem to be overlooked by many tourists in the Great LA area. My, my… what an appreciation I now have for this city. My one day adventure there was way too short. Until next time Long Beach; I will be back!

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San Diego: Seaport Village

I spent days consuming the glistening sand of Coronado‘s beaches and hours in a trance glaring at the bright blue color illuminating from La Jolla’s skies. On my final day in San Diego, I decided to visit the sunny Seaport Village.

Window shopping by the waterfront, strolling on the boardwalk, and honouring veterans and current troops at the Maritime Museum. What a wonderful way to spend my last few hours in San Diego.

Again, let us just appreciate the beauty and history present in this environment. San Diego in general was life altering. I admire and value California’s culture at a much greater level because of my heart-stirring experiences in San Diego.

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The art; the music; and the animals. Just a few of my favourite things.

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Wave after wave.

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It wouldn’t be a Seaport Village without some ships.

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Veterans Day spent honouring our troops.

Yilei Xiao: From China to California

Yilei Xiao is an international, exchange student from Zhejiang in China. She is studying Interior Design at Sacramento State. Back home, at Nanjing Tech University she studies Landscape Design. 


Where in China are you from?

East of China… It’s called Zhejiang.

What do you miss most about China? 

My parents and my grandma. The hours are different by 15 hours. It’s kind of like they are in my tomorrow. I’m still in their yesterday. It’s more than half a day a part.

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Why did you decide to come to America for exchange?

Because I want to see different cultures and to learn English. As a transfer student, we only have transfer programs to America. There are over 50 universities I could choose in America. If I fly from China to America, California it’s the closest to my home. I also really like the weather here.

Can I talk about the weather in California. For the past 4 months, it has only rained once.

Why do you think it’s important to learn English?

I think it’s interesting to communicate with different people from different countries.

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Have you had culture shock here?

Nearly everything is different. For example, in class it’s so strange that people can leave before class is over. Back in China, teachers think it’s impolite to leave before class is done. Here, no one cares about what you do. And obviously the food here is really different.

Oh and people here have high enthusiasm to participate in parties and in sports. Everyone likes to assemble. Also, when I’m walking in the streets here I can say hi to anyone even if we don’t even know each other

What new experience do you want to have while you’re here in America?

I experienced my first sports game here in America. Back home we all know that Americans like sports and people are all really enthusiastic about sports. I just go to the games here and have different experiences because of how passionate these sports fans are.

How can you compare American students to Chinese students?

I never talk much with American students, so I don’t know much about them. During the classes that I have taken, I see nearly most of the students paying attention in lecture. Students in China are always writing their notes by hand. There is an old proverb that says ‘writing can help you memorize things.’ Here everyone writes their notes on their laptops.

There is always a misunderstanding with a lot of Chinese students. There are a lot of students who have a lot of wealth and their families will send them abroad to study and a lot of these students don’t like school. I don’t hang out with these students. I feel like their parents did not give them a proper education. But some of these students are very hard working because studying abroad is an opportunity to cherish. Money sometimes does not equal a good education.

Do you feel scared being an international student in America? 

I rarely go off campus, but when I’m on campus I feel very safe. There are so many people in China. Here sometimes when you walk on the street there are only cars passing by. This kind of situation scares me. I read the news everyday and there is so much bad news here in America of deaths and hate crimes always happening.

I don’t think about my race when I think of safety. I think  you should try your best to obey all the rules in the country you are staying in. Don’t do something that others would get mad at you for.

Are you ever going to come back to America once your exchange is done?

I’m not sure. Maybe for travelling. I want to go back to China. I miss everything about China. I grew up there. I miss my parents; my family. America is so far away from there.

What are your thoughts on the Yulin Dog Meat Festival?

We really hate it. We have a micro blog and we’ll expose the people who hurt animals. When people from different cultures mention that we all eat dogs, we feel a lot of shame about that.