On my way to LAX this week, Larry told me I had to come back to Los Angeles soon.
Larry, who was driving me to the airport, had met me exactly five minutes earlier when he picked me up at The Westin.
“You know you’re welcome back, anytime,” he said, as he dropped me off.
“Welcome” was a word I got used to hearing while in LA, even for just a weekend. It was the first thing people said to me, and the last thing I heard as I left the city.
The warmth that LA is known for doesn’t simply reflect it’s never ending sunshine, it’s the people of Los Angeles. Truly, the City of Angels.
Over the weekend, Discover Los Angeles, the city’s official marketing organization, began a campaign encompassing love and inclusivity. And on May 6, we were part of history with hundreds of Angelenos helping create one of the world’s largest, human-powered welcome signs in a massive stadium-style show targeting incoming flights.The signs read “welcome” in four different languages: Spanish, Chinese, English and Arabic. And this, the #EveryoneisWelcome initiative, was echoed by LA natives throughout my visit on a personal level. Not by holding signs, but by their sincere warmth and welcoming vibes.
Not only is Los Angeles trend-setting, LA is a vibrant city with different neighbourhoods that are rich in culture. And while famous for their celebrities and being the entertainment capital of the world, LA is also home to inspiring communities and individuals who help create unforgettable experiences and lasting friendships.
While travelling solo, there was never a dull moment. In Hermosa Beach on a busy Saturday evening, patrons at Abigaile made me feel at home while seated at the bar. One told me the history of the area, another gave me a tour of the establishment, and my bartender Justin entertained with stories and drinks.
Sure, #EveryoneisWelcome is an initiative. But that sentiment is truly reflected by its residents, who really welcome with open arms (get ready for hugs). Because no matter the politics of a country, humans are inherently friendly. And this is an understatement for the people of Los Angeles.
‘Cause just like Larry, each person I encountered asked me to return for another visit soon. “You have to come back,” said Justin at Abigaile as we hugged goodbye.
And I plan to, LA. If only to visit this newfound family I’ve made in the City of Angels.
The author of this article was part of a press trip hosted by Discover Los Angeles