No matter where you come from, I think most people can agree that the one thing we all have in common is our undeniable love for food. Whether you’re a health nut or a junk food addict, everyone has certain foods that they cannot help but crave. Seeing that this a worldwide phenomenon, the City of Los Angeles has rewarded us with our own slice of food paradise. Enter in DineLA’s Restaurant Week!!!
At least twice a year, DineLA showcases LA dining at its best by offering unbelievably discounted prices for restaurants all over the city. From July 13th until July 26th, LA residents have the amazing opportunity to frequent the best and fanciest restaurants LA has to offer, and for sometimes half the price. The restaurants range from steakhouses, to Dim Sum, to Mediterranean cuisine, to so much more.
So there I was… three months away from the beginning of the fall semester at USC, with no money to travel, no apartment to live in, and quite honestly….no real acceptance letter from my dream graduate school. What I did have, however, was the power to think, see, believe, and manifest the things I wanted for my life, into my life. Though I’ve never gone too long without life’s necessities, I’m certainly no stranger to sacrifice. What keeps me resilient though, in those bleak times of struggle, is the sheer drive to be better, see more, and experience things people (at least from where I come) would have never even fathomed.
Before we fast forward this story and kick it into high gear, I want to explore just what it means to “think, see, believe and manifest.” No, these aren’t just cliche words people tattoo onto themselves in barely recognizable languages. Nope… actually they are mantra words, or sacred utterances believed to possess spiritual power when audible, regularly repeated, and present constantly in thought. The idea behind these mantras is that you can literally acquire all the things you want for your life by simply keeping positive.
Last summer, I took a family trip: The archetypal American Summer Road Trip, across the southwest. My brother stayed home, unattended, because he dislikes things like Going Anywhere At All. I started in San Marcos, CA; a logical decision, seeing as that’s where I live. Then I made my way to Tucson, El Paso, Albuquerque, Cortez, St. George, Las Vegas, and back home. 6 new cities in as many days.
Needless to say (probably), I quickly went from excited to exhausted, somewhere around the third multi-hour trip in a row. It was not entirely horrible, though. I had a lot of time to listen to podcasts (primarily Nerdist and You Made It Weird, both of which focus on T.V. shows getting made, careers getting started and continuing onward in LA), as well as marvel at how much of this country is a flat, uninhabited terrain.
The small towns we passed on the way to our destinations were often puzzlingly distant from things like bodies of water and supermarkets (the two things I require for survival). It seemed so bizarre that anyone lives in these tiny towns, where the closest thing to an “attraction” is a gift store full of mugs and other tchotchkes, regardless of how appealing the multiple garish billboard advertisements leading up to the shop made it seem. 138 miles to the Big Old Shop of Junk. 89 miles… 20 miles… Exit now for Junk.