West Coast might be the epitome of glamour in the United States and Nanda Putri Fardhani helped us navigate San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and all the things those cities entail below!
Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi! I’m Nanda. A 27-year-old who survived her quarter life crisis! Formerly a reporter, and now a digital hustler (not an influencer). I worked as a client partner specialist for a multinational company in Jakarta. Basically, I’m the paper chaser. ;D
How did you end up in the West Coast?
Well, me and my other 12 colleagues went there for an annual incentive trip that our company held. We chose West Coast over East Coast because of the weather. But I’m also saving up for an East Coast trip next year, fingers crossed!
Which cities did you visit?
We visited San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles for our 7D6N trip. You cannot really skip those three if you’re a first timer, right? 😛
Tell us about the cities you visited?
–Golden Bridge: We went here right away to take touristy pictures. Lol. Rumor has it that The Bridge often hide even on a bright sunny day, and it was raining then so we didn’t expect anything. But, it was our lucky day since the red giant can be seen crystal clear. It was the highlight of the day.
–Silicon Valley: In our geeky little field going here is like a ‘pilgrimage’. We just strolled around in city square afterwards. Then visited SF Museum of Modern Art and had a quick pick up for boba tea at Asha, one of the longest queued café we saw in our trip.
My first thought, “What’s with the noiseeee?!?!” No it’s not only the sound of the crowd, it’s also the colors and the vibes. It was just too noisy to my eyes & ears. To be honest, I missed San Francisco already. However, I gotta say Vegas has a lot of fascinating things to offer. We had the chance to take a limo on the first day and it was fun! Just make sure you have your own playlist set up.
–Grand Canyon: My colleagues took a helicopter ride, except me who was sick in that particular day and can only wait for them with a sip of tea, all curled up in the souvenir store.
–Cirque du Soleil: We saw their show titled “O” at the Bellagio Hotel. And it was perfection! Now I know why they’re dubbed the best circus in the world. For $250 per ticket, it was totally worth it.
We took a road trip to Los Angeles the next morning. The most laid-back land in the USA, they say. Aaaaand it’s true. But in a way, LA is also so vibrant. You just feel it.
Any unforgettable moments during the trip?
When we flew to Las Vegas, the turbulence was awful and I kept praying “please God I’m getting married this year I cannot be dead. My money will all go to waste.” Lol seriously I was never that pale in my life. And I was reminded again how Americans handle things like it’s easy. They’ve always been that way, I guess. There were these father and daughter sitting next to me on the plane, who despite the ‘deadly’ turbulence were still able to decide on what meal they should have later when they landed in Vegas.
What was your most favorite moment?
Just walking around and taking coffee breaks once or twice while at it. I’m pretty easy to please. I love people-watching especially when I travel. Also, I cannot deny that getting into random bookstores was also a pleasure.
What kind of travelers should go to the West Coast?
If you’re into beaches, then go. If you love spectacular nature, go. If you dream of seeing topnotch celebrities, go (Maybe you’re luckier than me). And if you looove to eat in such big portions, Americans do it best. Never question it.
Any tips for fellow travelers who wished to go to the US?
-Spare some cash for tipping. They’re thirsty for that.
-Also, if you happen to have an international driving license, I suggest you rent a car, especially in LA. Because there are so many things to explore but it’d cost so much to ride an Uber there.
-Bring along your chili powder, bottled sambal bawang/matah, thank me later but seriously Americans failed in defining ‘spicy’.
What are the things you brought home from the trip?
A few little things like bookmarks, pins, and keychains that I found at some random bookstores. And absolutely some skincare goodies from Sephora. Girrrls 😉
If you have the chance to go back, what’s on the top of your spots-to-visit list?
San Francisco, definitely. I look forward to going back there and stay when the sun shines. I bet it’d be goddamn pretty. Since Vegas is not really my jam, I would just skip it. LA? Probably. But I’d definitely stay nearby Beverly Hills or Melrose since the downtown is too crowded to my liking. I’d spend hours at Alfred and maybe hop onto a long list of other coffee shops. Also, I wonder if I’d get lucky enough someday to bump into some superstars. Say, Justin Bieber? That would increase my numbers on Instagram. Lol, nah. But, seriously, I’d be super dead if could ever meet Oprah Winfrey (does she get coffee outside too? We never know.)
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