© 2018 by Two Shades of Travel. Los Angeles, Ca 

  • cytarahryan


Updated: Feb 17, 2019


We were living in a studio in the middle of Hollywood! Both of us had never lived in Hollywood proper before, so we were very excited to move there. It was our first place together and we were able to really explore our city! We could walk to great restaurants and when people came to visit, we could just walk them down to the handprints in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater and show them around some of the coolest parts of the city. We were loving it until we realized we were going weeks at a time without exploring our neighborhood. We had moved to Hollywood to be able to explore more and yet we were always working and when we weren't, we were too tired to do or see anything. We love to create and build and work with wood. "We" built couches, tables, a bed frame, a huge closet but had so many unfinished projects because we kept running out of time. I know I said we, but honestly, it was mostly Ryan! haha He is a master craftsman and I am merely his apprentice. Why could we never explore or finish projects? Well, living in Hollywood or Los Angeles, in general, is not cheap. We were both working full time before we decided to take this trip. Ryan was working about 10 hours a day and felt he was becoming overworked. I was working over 60 hours a week between two jobs. With us both being in management positions, we were also working at home. It never stopped and we were so tired. Tired of our jobs, tired of having no time for ourselves, tired of working every day and having nothing to show for it and just plain tired. So I started researching my little heart out. I read numerous blogs and realized if we kept working the way we were, we would never be able to travel the way we wanted. I had to actually quit one job just to have time to plan for this trip and work on our own business ideas. We decided we would have to quit both of our jobs in order to leave and have the time off that we so desperately needed and wanted.


Most people will save and plan every detail for a move like this for about 1-2 years. We did not. We researched for about a year and talked about it during that time but when it was becoming a reality, we gave ourselves less than a year to leave. We worked and worked and worked and saved and budgeted for months. (well Ryan had to force me to budget because mama likes to spend some money) Whilst we worked, we put a plan together. No more working ourselves to death to make someone else's dream come true. No more seeing each other in passing because we worked so much, we were not able to even stay awake long enough to enjoy our time together. No more feeling underappreciated, underpaid and overwhelmed. This decision is not an easy one to make because it does come with its own set of sacrifices. Before we left, we had to keep working like crazy and every day was a reminder of how much we wanted a break. We missed birthdays, hangouts, premiers, and all that comes with having friends and living in Hollywood. We were either working or too tired or needed to save for this trip. Sacrifices were made again and again. We eventually moved out of our studio in Hollywood, back to the valley to save money (shout out to Zoe!) for the last few months. Why am I telling you this? Because I promise to never sugarcoat this life. What is the point of the blog, if I only show you pretty pictures? That's what our Instagram is for! @twoshadesoftravel #shamelessplug Honestly though, are you willing to say no to almost everything you get invited to? If so, here's a tip for you, it helps when saving, to think about what that specific amount of money could get you overseas and not what you're missing out on at home. Maybe where you live, a night out won't cost you as much, but in Los Angeles, a night out could be your two tickets from Lyon to Paris. So Ryan kept track of finances and we started buying tickets and budgeting out our trip. Now we just had to decide where in the world we would go!

Descano Gardens

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