Road Trip to LA the Cheap Way!

Road Trip to LA
Road Trip to LA with your cat and all your stuff

Transportation to LA by Car

Mitchell and I chose to drive to Los Angeles from Indiana, partly because we knew we couldn’t fit all of our stuff into a compact space to fly. We also were freaking BROKE and needed a way to get there both cheaply and—honestly—still kind of in a fun way. I had never been out west, so I knew that driving to LA was going to be both exhausting and full of landscapes I had never seen before. So we decided to road trip our way there. In three days. With a cat. And a car full of everything we needed for the next two weeks.

Packing to Get to LA

Here’s the thing, we used a U-Pack system to pack all of us stuff from Indiana to LA. They basically drop off a cube on your driveway, and you have to pack your stuff. Then they drive it on a truck to wherever you’re moving. This was a great idea for us (it was cheap and we’re pretty strong and able to move large objects ourselves).

I was also super impressed with how much stuff we were able to fit in there. We had a sofa, desks, like ten boxes of books (mine). This is the video that made us believe that we could actually pack all our crap in a little cube.

The problem was they kind of…picked up the crate a day earlier than they were supposed to. So we had a lot of stuff we had to jam into the car and drive with. So not only did we have our cat Dany with us, but we also had to wrangle her out of the suitcases, blankets, and other various objects so she wouldn’t get smooshed. Eventually she found nice spots like in the space between the driver’s back and the chair.

Road trip to LA with your cat
Road trip with the cat (I swear she’s comfortable)
Road trip to LA with cat
Driving to LA isn’t the same without your cat

Camping During the Road Trip

We ended up using a service called Hip Camp ( which is basically like a Air B&B but with camping out in someone’s yard. I was a little nervous to be honest, because the idea sounded like some great start to a horror movie. But when we stopped in Colorado, the guy’s yard was basically a huge plot of land that he had turned into a campsite. Then in Utah, it was a big open field with a lot of space between campers. It was about thirty dollars each night, and they didn’t mind that we had a cat and a car full of everything you usually don’t bring camping with you. We pitched a tent and slept with our kitty dearest’s litter box just a few feet away.

Sights Along the Road Trip

Road trip through Colorado and Nevada
Somewhere between Colorado and Nevada

I’ve travelled to several places with gorgeous mountains before making this drive. I just loved how different the the mountains looked as you drove through each state. It was also very fun to drive straight downhill in Colorado in the pouring rain (not really, I don’t think I’ve clenched my entire body for that long). I had flown over these mountains before, but it’s really not the same. Even if you find a cheap flight, you won’t be able to experience this kind of view.

Road trip to LA through Colorado
Driving downhill in Colorado after the rain

Driving to LA Road Trip Style

One thing we did to break up the drive was stop every four hours. This may be too long of a time for some people, but we were able to map out our stops at gas stations (using and stretch our legs before switching who was driving. All in all it was over thirty hours of driving over three days. Let me tell you, I will not be doing another road trip for a very long time.

Short Story Press Release: “Bottlenecked”

Short story “Bottlenecked” available on Kindle
“Bottlenecked” available for Kindle

Nightmares Are the Gateway to Creativity

When I was in my senior year of college, I woke up from nightmares several times a week. After months of this, I decided to do something different than I had done before. Usually I might journal the nightmares. But instead, I sat down at my computer and wrote them like I would write a story.

The way I dream is not what I would call normal. I often dream that I am not myself but someone I don’t even know. So when I started writing these nightmares down as stories, they formed a more cohesive plot, filling in the cracks left from my sleeping mind, and created full-fleshed characters.

Now I am working on a collection of these short stories, releasing each of them with a cover of my own design. I hope that people are able to experience the disorientation and confusion nightmares often bring—but in a more enjoyable way!

You can buy a copy for yourself if you follow this link:

First Month in LA: Finding Jobs and Staying Alive

“The walls of your comfort zone are lovingly decorated with your lifelong collection of favorite excuses.”— Jen Sincero, You Are a Badass at Making Money

Living in Los Angeles without a Job
The view from our apartment hallway

Finding a Job in Los Angeles

After nearly a month of living in LA, Mitchell and I have yet to find work that will actually support us. You know, pay the rent (an amount you definitely don’t want to know) and generally stay alive. There’s a lot to be said for people who just up and leave a decent job to go somewhere completely different in the hopes of finding a career in what you actually love to do.

Here’s a list of what I would love to do:

  • Be a published author
  • Be a children’s book illustrator
  • Work with a company that feels like family
  • Write songs
  • Paint and take photos

And what was I currently doing in Indiana? Being a Technical Writer for the US Navy. An intimidating, yet satisfying job to tell people about. But it wasn’t what I wanted. Not really. Meanwhile Mitchell, who is a great film writer, was working at a golf course. With Indiana weather…let’s just say he wasn’t getting much hours.

Sites Used to Find a Job (and My Ratings)

  • Career Builder
  • LinkedIn
  • A Google Search (AKA “Jobs in Los Angeles Near Me”)
  • Neuvoo
  • Zip Recruiter

Indeed (4 out of 5)

So Indeed is how I’ve found most of my jobs in my life as of right now. It’s how I started as a Barista at Starbucks, and how my contractor hired me as a Tech Writer. They have a decent search engine, a really good variety of jobs, and a nice application process.

The downside…

Sometimes employers can set up a test on Indeed. A test that may or may not have anything to actually do with the position and has ridiculously short-timed, detailed questions. Some aren’t too bad. But if you mess one up, you can’t retake it for another 6 months. So yeah, that kind of sucks.

Also, there are some sketchy AF jobs posted on this site. I applied for a position that I thought was an architectural company. But when I showed up for an interview, it was a entirely different company that was doing some crazy telemarketing scam-like calls that were never listed on the website at all. So…just be careful.

Career Builder (2 out of 5)

I found a couple interesting jobs on here, but nothing actually applicable to me and where I wanted to go in my career right now (which is ironic and sad considering the name of the site). I also got super spammed by their emails, which is pretty normal for these kinds of websites, but this one was worse than most. Their site was also much more difficult to navigate.

LinkedIn (2 out of 5)

I think this is one is more of a joke than most. I have a lot of connections on LinkedIn. But most of them are, well, in Indiana. Also, their “easy apply” for jobs doesn’t usually let you put a cover letter for employers. And some employers won’t even look at your resume without a cover letter. Plus the jobs listed are not as extensive as Indeed or even a Google Search. So that’s not great either. It’s also SUPER fun to see all your connections posting about great things in their jobs when you’re trying to find one yourself. Very self-confident-boosting.

A Google Search (3 out of 5)

So this was actually how I ended up using so many different job sites. What Google does is lets you see a lot of different websites’ postings and will take you to those sites when you click on a job. The job listing is not very extensive though. And also I’m not really happy with any of the sites it took me to, so maybe it’s helpful for finding other things that might be helpful? Google did show me a lot different options than Indeed had posted, so that was a plus.

Neuvoo (1 out of 5)

Funny story, I don’t remember signing up for notifications for this site, but they literally text me everyday and say something along the lines of: “Postmates wants to hire you.”

One: they would hire anyone. That’s not what I’m LOOKING for.

Two: if you click on the link in the text, you’ll see that the employer doesn’t actually want YOU exactly. They’ve just posted, you know, a job opportunity. For anyone.

I could stop these texts, but I find them strangely reassuring and entertaining. I like to think of it as a game of “who wants me to work for them tonight?”

Zip Recruiter (1 out of 5)

This one’s kind of funny too. Because it literally didn’t and still won’t work for me. I don’t know what happened, but no matter how many times I reset my password and tell my email that emails from this company are okay (even though they’re really not to be honest) I couldn’t get on the site more than one time. I only gave it a one star because they actually had decent customer service who *tried* to help me. It didn’t work. Whoops.


I think I’ll stick with Indeed for now, even though I kind of hate it in several ways. Finding jobs is really tough, especially when you don’t want to work for a company that you don’t plan on sticking with in the long term. But we must persevere and keep our chins tilted towards the sky.