What I Learned About Being a Digital Nomad in Los Angeles
Goodbye winter, hello, Los Angeles! I spent January through March in sunny LA on the first leg of my digital nomad journey with Landing. I definitely learned some things along the way, so here are my major takeaways for fellow digital nomads looking to make a trip to the City of Angels:
You’ll be driving everywhere, even if it’s only a few blocks
As a Chicago native, I’m used to hoofing it half a mile to an El stop or even from one bar to another, but Los Angeles isn’t built for walking. Even if something is under a mile away, it doesn’t mean there will be good sidewalks to get you there.
Although I have a car, I often tried walking to coffee shops just to enjoy the sunshine on the walk over—but once, I couldn’t even access the building by foot! Brace yourself for traffic, and if you’re hitting the highway during rush hour, tack an extra 30 to 60 minutes onto your drive.
Neighborhood note: I loved living in the Arts District because there was plenty happening around me that I could walk to. While I might not want to live in the center of the action year-round, I would definitely recommend this location for someone staying here for a few months.
Speaking of cars…
I’ve never seen so many expensive cars in my life. We called an ordinary Uber to get home from a concert and got picked up in a Tesla. I thought I had accidentally called a deluxe car!
Want to work from a coffee shop? Los Angeles is paradise.
No need for a coworking space! This city is packed with creatives, and the coffee shops have risen to the occasion. Every local spot I worked from had reliable Wi-Fi, plenty of room to spread out, and a community of people working on their laptops to motivate me to keep working (and not just go soak up the sun). Check out my coffee shop recommendations for when you’re scoping for your next workspace.
For the days that I needed a little bit more focus, my Landing apartment was in an amazing complex with a lot of incredible amenities, including a coworking space that was almost always empty and perfect for taking work calls while still getting out of the apartment. Sometimes you need a change of scenery!
But for coffee shop days, your latte budget is going to double
Going from Chicago to Los Angeles, I was braced for a cost-of-living increase. What I didn’t anticipate is the way that increase would affect everyday purchases like a cup of coffee. My usual $4.50 latte was suddenly $8, and don’t get me started on the cost of gas. If you’re a digital nomad planning a stay in Los Angeles, I recommend budgeting and cushioning it with some lower cost-of-living locations before and after.
We’re off to Seattle next (goodbye, sun! I’ll miss you!) and I can’t wait for our next adventure (and the long road trip there)!