Los Angeles is a city with its own charm. It inspires so many people and makes them feel like everything is possbile in the City of Angels aka Hollywood. I’ve only been there once and I had this incredible feeling that I’ve never felt before. It all happened back in 2011 when I stepped out of the plane and the taxi drove us to our hotel through this amazing city. LA had something magical and it instantly felt like home to me. It’s hard to describe that particular feeling but sometimes feelings surprise you and this one was definitely overwhelming! Some people travel just to check off their bucket list but travelling shouldn’t be about checking lists off it should be about travelling with your soul and your heart. It’s about dreams and burning ambitions, about new places and inspiring people and about broadening your horizon. LA is just like that to me so ever since June 2011 I always wanna go back and explore more of Los Angeles and get this feeling again.
I’ve talked to a lot of people who have been in Los Angeles and almost everyone who likes the city told me about the ‘positive vibes’ that you feel in LA. It’s that special feeling that is sooo difficult to describe but it makes your heart jump and beat faster. Do you understand what I’m trying to say? Have you ever had this feeling? Then hopefully you know what I’m talking about 🙂
I know three other lovely girls who know exactly what I’m talking about because they have experienced the same. They’ve left their life in Germany behind to pursue their dream in Los Angeles. I have asked them about their personal LA story for instance what made them move to LA and what they love most about the City of Angels. Now let’s find out more about the stories of Carina Bukowski, Denise Bouffier and Sarah Gordy.
Since when do you live in Los Angeles?
Carina: I moved to LA three months ago but been going back and forth for more than two years now. I received my working visa in 2017 so this is why I could finally move here for real without switching between two continents.
Denise: I live in Los Angeles since January 2017. I already moved to the US in October last year – stayed in Pittsburgh for 3 months (where my Dad is living) and then moved out to Cali.
Sarah: I moved to LA in May 2014.
Which neighborhood are you living in?
Carina: I live in Hollywood, close to West Hollywood and the Hollywood Hills.
Denise: My neighborhood is actually pretty nice. I am living close to the Griffith Park – so the area is called Los Feliz. It is quiet but not that far away from all the ‘Hotspots’.
Sarah: I live in beautiful Malibu.
What do you like most about your neighborhood?
Carina: I like that it’s very safe and beautiful. It’s just five minutes away from the craziness in Hollywood but still in a nice neighborhood. Everything is in walking distance. My office is right around the corner, Runyon Canyon is a few steps away as well as all kind of clubs, bars, restaurants and stores.
Denise: I am so glad that I moved into this neighborhood because I’ve met the best neighbors you could ever ask for. They are from Mexico and are just the sweetest. The girl is the same age as I am so I would say she is already one of my closest friends out here. I am so blessed that the universe brought us together so yeah that’s what I like the most about my neighborhood: the people!
Sarah: The beaches, cafés, and the laid-back lifestyle.
What is your profession?
Carina: I’m a music/artist manager.
Denise: I am a Photographer. I do Headshots, Family Pics, Engagement Shots, Wedding, Pets, behind the scene shots, Product pics, lifestyle and more! So if you ever are in LA and need pictures – just let me know 🙂
Sarah: I’m a life and business coach for creative, heart-centered visionaries that want to make a difference in this world.
What made you move to L.A.?
Carina: My job and the quality of life.
Denise: Well, what made me move to LA? As a photographer the light was one of the most important aspects. So I really want to let my Portfolio grow. I honestly can’t say what it was that made me wanna move to this beautiful city. I just fell in love and something in my mind told me: hey – you have to move to LA!
Sarah: I’ve had this dream of living in the US since I was about 15 years old but I never really thought it would be possible for me. So I did what I thought was the „right thing“. Study, and hopefully find a good, stable job. I was taught the importance of financial security and to never ask for ‚more‘. I followed this path because I didn’t know any better and I was wondering why I was never able to follow through with one thing. I quit law school after a couple terms, started and quit another degree and ended up graduating from journalism school just to realize that I didn’t want to work for a local newspaper, TV, or magazine.
When my long-term relationship broke down, I hit rock bottom. I felt miserable, empty, and lonely. I felt like a failure. I longed to feel inspired, motivated and confident, but I knew I needed a radical change in order to make that happen. So I made the decision to go after what I wanted and to leave everything that was holding me back behind.
In the following months, I reconnected to my heart, intuition and inner voice. I traveled all around the world, Cape Town, Seychelles, Paris, London, LA. And something magical happened. I realized that LA was my city. I realized that Los Angeles is where I belonged. I felt inspired and understood and for the first time ever – I felt like anything was possible. People from all around the world come to LA to pursue their dreams – and I wanted to be one of them. I applied for a working Visa, started my first blog, and just went for it.
What was your impression when you first visited Los Angeles? Maybe even before you moved there?
Carina: It was back in 2013 when I came here for vacation. Unlike a lot of people who move here I loved it from the very first start.
Denise: My very first impression of this city was not good at all. I was really disappointed of the Walk of Fame, it’s completely different than they show it on German TV haha. I thought the whole city would be more glamourous but the ugly truth is that this city also has his dark spots as all of the cities do, a lot of homeless people and sometimes really dirty as well. But that was the first time I visited this city.
Sarah: It wasn’t love at first sight, but I knew there was something very special about this city.
What made you fall in love with L.A.? Why is the City of Angels so special to you?
Carina: It’s not a special thing or experience that made me fall in love with LA. It’s a feeling that you have or don’t have if you come here.
Denise: The second time I’ve been here I saw this city from a completely different angle because a friend of mine was living here and she showed me some insider spots which the tourist don’t know. Then it happened, I fell in love and just wanted to live there. It’s special for me as a photographer because you have so many opportunities: you have the desert which is really close, you also live close to the beach and have the abstract downtown and also you have the mountains – yes we have snow in Cali, only 2 hours from LA (Big Bear Ski Resort).
Sarah: The magical vibe, the dreamers and visionaries, and the beautiful weather all year around.
Carina: Hiking, dining, going out.
Denise: I like to just grab a coffee and watch all of the interesting people walking by & connect with new people, which is so much easier than in every other city. I love to go out for dinner to one of those fancy places and I’m taking my camera everywhere to capture the pretty sights of the City of Angels.
Sarah: Going out for dinner and try new restaurants, have a picnic on the beach, and attending fun events.
What are your three favorite places in Los Angeles?
Carina: Runyon Canyon, Hyde Sunset, Catch LA.
Denise: One of my favorite places in/around Los Angeles is the Santa Monica area. I really like the pier, the boardwalk and the shopping street 🙂 I also do like the Sunset Boulevard a lot, it’s just a nice feeling to drive there in-between all the palm trees and bars with great music in the car. This leads to another place I really like: Pearls Liquor Bar at Sunset – love to have lunch there!
Sarah: The Inn of the 7th Ray (one of LA’s most romantic restaurants), Erewhon (my favorite grocery store), and the beautiful beaches in Malibu.
What was your best L.A. moment/memory so far?
Carina: It would be very sad if I could only mention one moment or memory. It’s the daily life in general. Meeting new people, hanging with friends by the pool, going out, having a good time. You never know who you’ll cross paths with and that’s what makes it so exciting to live here.
Denise: A really big moment for me so far was the publishing of a behind the scenes shot I did for Jason Derulo for his fashion brand LVL XIII at the LA TIMES!
Sarah: I’ve had so many, honestly! Moving into my very first apartment, my beach wedding, and signing the papers for our first family home were definitely some of my favorite moments that made me realize that I’m really living my dream.
Can you share one photo that you have taken in Los Angeles that represents the city in the best way? And can you explain why do you think that this is the typical L.A. photo?
Carina: On this photo you can actually see how green LA is. It really annoys me that some people say that LA is nothing but a concrete jungle. This city is so green and has so much nature to offer. This is why I think this SHOULD be the typical LA photo. 🙂
Denise: I love the pic because it’s kinda nostalgic. For me LA is the city of dreams, a city blessed and cursed with a glorious dream and facade of hopes. It is a city without a center. LA is seemingly without borders, an area of pulsing and moving energy of the city’s rich and unique cultures so on that pic it seems there are no borders for a successful life full of hopes and dreams.
Sarah: I love this picture that was taken in Venice Beach just last week. Sky’s the limit – this is what the City of Angels is all about. The #whatliftsyou street art campaign was created by artist Kelsey Montague because she wanted to provide people with the opportunity to share more about what inspires them in their life. And this is one if the reasons I started my business Wings of a Visionary. It’s my mission to inspire and support women to live their happiest life, full of joy, potential, and fulfillment.
How long do you want to stay and live and work in L.A.? For forever or for a limited time?
Carina: I’m glad I could never answer that question. Who knows what happens next year, in five years, in ten years? I never plan for my whole life. All I know is that I’m happy with my job and my situation right now and would love to go on like this. But circumstances change and opportunities come and go so I’m excited for the future – hopefully in LA.
Denise: I think it’s hard to say for how long you wanna stay in a city. So far I’m totally in love with the city but I think you can’t predict the future. So let’s see how this city will treat us the next years and we can talk about it again 🙂
Sarah: I don’t ever want to leave 😉
Make sure to follow the girls on Instagram and check out their websites:
Website: LA BOUFFIER Photography
Website: Wings of a Visionary
I’m so happy about the outcome of the interview and I hope that you guys love it as much as I do 🙂
Thank you so much to my lovely ladies Carina, Denise and Sarah for your time to answer all my questions and for sharing your personal LA story. I admire you all for living your dreams and I hope that I get the chance to meet you in person in LA or Germany one day <3
I’ve also interviewed my friend Layla who was born and raised in Los Angeles. Read more about her LA story and her favorite spots in the City of Angels in my interview with her here.