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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I Crossed Donald Trump’s Mexico Wall

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I walked across the California-Tijuana border weeks after Donald Trump’s administration rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

I always thought my first trip to Mexico would be a drunken, Spring Break blur. I imagined myself on an all-inclusive Cancun resort, ordering rounds of Piña Coladas while sitting at a swimming pool bar.

How I ended up walking to Mexico is beyond me. After booking my flight from Sacramento to San Diego, I decided to take an impromptu trip to Tijuana. When I have a stupid idea, it becomes engrained in my mind. I will go to any extent to fulfill my new-found goal, even if that means crossing the Mexico border, by foot, only weeks after the DACA controversy.

I was warned by my professors, new American friends, and roommates not to follow-through on this trip. “There are nicer and safer places in Mexico for a Canadian girl like you to travel to,”  said one of my profs.

But there I was, sitting in a trolley (like an actually trolley) with a bunch of Mexican workers heading to TJ. It was about a 30 minute ride from San Diego to the border. The landscape changed rapidly. What started off as mansions, turned into boarded trailers, tents, and abandoned areas.

Bienvenido a Tijuana

There I was, in Tijuana. What a contrast this city was from San Diego. I was intrigued by the colours and inspired by the culture. I felt safe; I felt curious. This was an aspect of Mexico I would not have experienced if I merely stayed on a resort. I felt brave for taking the plunge and following my dreams to cross a border by foot… Like What!? I’m still shocked I did that!

Day 1: The Drinking & The Partying

Disclaimer: I’m going to avoid filling my post with crappy-quality, nighttime iPhone photography. It will take away from the high-quality photos later in this post. 

I spent only two short days in TJ. They were filled with a lifetime of experiences and happiness though. I heard all the rumours about Tijuana being a party town. Those rumours are definitely true! Bars were bumping electronic music before dawn and club promoters were handing out guest-list cards while I still had my luggage in hand.

My hotel was on Agenda Revolucioń, the main street in Tijuana. A quick step outside my hotel lead me to an array of Mexican restaurants and bars. I LOVE Mexican food. It became a new-found obsession ever since I moved to California. For under $10 USD, I ate three tacos, drank 2 super-large margaritas, and devoured a bowl of chips and SPICY dips. This was one of the best and cheapest dinners I had ever had. As you can tell by my eyes in the first photo (see below), the drinks were pretty good too.

After the f&#%!@? delicious dinner, we found ourselves in-and-out of a selection of clubs, where we ordered the classic Corona and lime each time. When in Mexico, am I right? Instead of the usual greasy pizza and fries to end the night, I ordered this incredible Nutella and whipped cream crepe from a dessert place called 42 Sabores. My stomach was satisfied.

Day 2: The Exploration

My only full day in Tijuana consisted of exploring the area surrounding my hotel. Having limited time and being a new visitor to the area, I decided not too wander too far away from the other tourists.

Like most of my other photo-heavy blog posts, I want my pictures to do most of the talking. This is my photo journal of TJ. These photos will make any sceptic question their negative beliefs about this city. It is culturally rich – more than any other place I have ever been to. Be prepared to have your breathe taken away.

P.s. The locals are WONDERFUL! They are so dedicated to each one of their businesses, from playing instruments to selling food. The happiness in their daily lives is contagious. One business owner let me sit and take a picture with his donkey FOR FREE. He said he believes in good karma, and so do I. Those little moments of bliss and positivity mean the world to me.

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In Malibu

The skies were not so blue the day I visited Malibu.

I giggle whenever I reminisce on my Malibu adventure. A newbie traveller, completely unaware that Malibu is its own city. Wait Malibu isn’t a beach along the LA coast? My mind was blown learning the ever so basic Greater Los Angeles area geography.

I was staying at a Santa Monica hotel and Malibu was a bucket-list destination for me. I assumed putting “Malibu” into my GPS would be a suffice method to get to the beach. I later found out there are multiple beaches in the city of Malibu. Yikes!

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Pre-Malibu picture. I’m devouring a Nutella cannoli from Carlo’s bakery. Damn, that pastry was so freakin’ delicious.

Malibu Pier

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After a 30 minute Uber ride (I literally thought Malibu was a 5 minute drive away), I found myself at the Malibu Pier. I wish I filmed my reaction. The whole pier, and I mean the WHOLE pier was filled with fog.

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Thinking this smog would eventually clear out, I decided to fill my bikini body with some Mexican food – A new obsession I developed while in California. Finding the nearest restaurant – it was literally across the street – I ordered my favourite Mexican dish… Quesadillas!

Feeling stuffer than ever and not giving a damn, I was ready to hit a nearby beach for some sunlight, sand, and to consume those Malibu vibes. Having little knowledge about the Malibu beaches, I basically played Russian roulette with a list of beaches. The winner, El Matador beach.

El Matador

The fog did not clear up. In fact, I’m pretty sure it got worse. I knew I would despise myself if I didn’t at least glance at the beach. So, I gained the confidence (even with my super full stomach) to rip off my outfit and strut down the beach in my cheetah print bikini. Body positivity, no matter what shape, size, colour or ability is everything to me. I wanted to capture a few pictures of myself near the rock formations. They were absolutely breathtaking.


To reflect on my Malibu experience, yes the fog absolutely sucked. But, I wasn’t going to let something so insufficient to ruin my day. The skies weren’t blue, but the views were still as extraordinary as I anticipated. To be given the opportunity to travel to such a naturally beautiful destination was rewarding on its own. Fog, or no fog, I am grateful to have consumed such beauty in Malibu.

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