April 11, 2014
I am so happy to let you all know I am leaving for Los Angeles in less then two weeks.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you might know I have lived in Hollywood, California for half of my adult life. This is the reason why I'm calling LA "home" because to me it is. I thought why not share a little bit of history on how I made the move to the city of angels so many years ago. So I want to share just a tip of the iceberg of my story. Which is very personal and something I have never shared on this blog as of yet.
I moved to Los Angeles quite a few years ago to pursue my dream to work in the United States as a singer. Ever since I was a kid I was determined to move to -in my eyes- this magical place where all dreams could come true. Once settled in LA, I started making a very decent living working as a dancer. I had studied dance at the Lucia Marthas Dance Academy in Amsterdam since I was a child. A "six days a week" course of classes that has left me with the most wonderful memories, besides all the hard work it took. When I was seventeen I quit the academy when I chose to start singing and I joined my first band and started touring. Singing was something I started at a very young age too, signing my first record deal when I was seventeen years old. After my first signing I released a few cd's in Europe in countries like England and Germany. A few even made it into the dance charts, so moving to the United States was a very logical step for me. Still I have always been lucky enough to be able to get job opportunities in the dancing field. So studying at the dance academy all those years hadn't been a waist of time thankfully lol. For the years in Los Angeles to come I made tons of lifetime friends, went out to the most prestigious clubs and restaurants, partied with celebs in Hollywood, soaked up the California sun, worked super hard and took care of my son Lyon at the same time. It was a very busy, exciting and surreal life.
About the singing part, to be honest with you, I've always had a love-hate relationship when it comes to being a vocalist. There are times where I sing a lot, perform and write songs and there are times, even months where I can't even open my mouth and let any notes come out. When I moved to Los Angeles, I ended up doing quite a few singing projects, like getting booked doing back up vocals in recording studios or write tunes for other artists, performing with bands and even getting signed to a record label. Working as a dancer started taking all of my time, so pursuing my singing dream got kind of pushed to the side. At the time I was okay with that because I was doing great with what I was doing. Besides, singing is something that is always with me, so I am never really too worried when I go trough a phase where I don't feel or can be creative in it, but it totally changed the purpose of why I was in Los Angeles. I had my small son Lyon to take care of too as I mentioned before and he was and still is the most important priority in my life. As much as I loved LA and making a good living and having tons of amazing friends, life could be tough sometimes too. Missing my family and working non stop without ever being able to take a break, took it's toll after eight years. I started getting health problems, like stomach aches and catching flu's like every two weeks and being extremely tired up to a point I needed to be hospitalized for pancreatitus which is a infection of the pancreas and pretty serious. I decided I needed to recover and recharge my battery and needed my loving family for support. So I made one of the toughest decisions I had to make in my life. Uproot my son from his happy life in LA and move back to Amsterdam after not seeing it for years.
When I got back in Amsterdam, I experienced a huge culture shock. I was so used to the sunny and warm temperatures and American lifestyle, I forgot how different it was. For example I didn't even own a winter coat and the people in Amsterdam seemed strange and distant! It took me a full year to get used to it here again and I remember crying myself to sleep missing my best friends and my home, while I was loving all the new things in Amsterdam at the same time. The beautiful new little stores, restaurants and patisserie's and of course morning coffees with my mom, dad, sister and brother were just priceless. I felt like a tourist in my own town which was fun and very strange at the same time. After a year of recovery I found myself a beautiful apartment in the heart of Amsterdam in the area: The Pijp. It is actually the neighbourhood I grew up in and after returning from LA , I was pleasantly surprised this neighbourhood had turned in to one of the trendiest and "happening" areas of Amsterdam. Ever since I found and created myself a new home here, I've been a happy camper living in Amsterdam again. I don't miss LA all that much anymore and even prefer Europe at this point, especially now Paris being my new favorite place in the world, where I'm planning to live for a short time later this year!
I am a fanatic traveler and I've always been. Point is I can never éver stay in one place for too long, so I am super excited to return to the city of my heart. Of course I will post everything I will be doing on this blog during my visit. Being able to share this journey with you makes it all the more special of course.
I can't be more happy right now, I am going home!
Let me share a few images with you.
Let me share a few images with you.
A pool right at your appartment building?, Yes in LA it's the norm and of course me and Lyon loooooved it. Waking up and jumping right in and swimming a few laps before enjoying breakfast on the sundeck was my favorite time of the day.
Left: The Kodak theater on Hollywood Boulevard. I still can't believe I managed to find an apartment right next to this on Orange drive. Not being able to leave my place due to a red carpet event was a weekly thing. Yet it was so fun to see all the buzzing reporters, cameras and celebrities so upclose. After a year I got used to it. It was kinda like: Oh George Clooney is outside? Uuuugh can they get his car out of the way because I need to get to work lol. Talking about being spoiled right?
Right: Me and my bestie: thé fantastic Anna living it up clubbing in Hollywood. This picture is our last photo we took together so we nééd to produce some new ones this trip lol. I can't wait to see her.
I always loved the art in Venice Beach, hanging out here with my favorite Chai latté was more then a regular thing.
Laguna is by far my favorite beach in California, It is quite a drive from LA, but the atmosphere is so peaceful and relaxing, making it so worth the effort and time it takes! I remember the steak diners we would enjoy at T.G.I. Friday's at the end of a beach day. Not the healthiest food for me today, as I hardly ever eat red meat but back then I wasn't as health conscious as I am now, so I certainly loved it at the time and secretly still do.
I would go for a morning run on hiking trail Runyon Canyon in the Hollywood hills almost every day. I can't even count the number of times I've sat on this bench overlooking this gorgeous view. It's the most amazing place to rethink every day problems or worries and I can tell you, lots of decisions have been made on this bench and even a few tears have been shed. Although hundred times more smiles too I can asure you. If I was stressed, I couldn't stay stressed for too long by sitting here. Who can with this view? On a clear day when there is no smog you can see all way to the beach. It really was and still is my special place.
The prettiest decor at one my favorite restaurants and hot spots in LA is: The Ivy. One bite of their crab cakes and you are in seafood heaven. They are the absolute bést! One time my brother and cousin visited me in LA and I took them there to try them. They absolutely loved it. I can't wait to go back there.
I have missed this place soooo much, Get the best organic coffees and tea at Urth Caffé
Can you believe I bought my first ever Chanel bag right here at this Robertson Boulevard location and lost it a few years later while moving to another apartment? Having received this precious baby as a gift made it even ten times worse. I don't think I ever really got completely over the loss lol. Oh the memories!
One of my favorite walks is strolling along the shore starting from Pacific Palisades all the way to Santa Monica. Bare feet in the sand with the late afternoon sun on my face and a good convo with my mom and sister when they came to visit me from Amsterdam are such fond memories.
You can't beat Mel's Diner open 24 hours a day on Sunset Boulevard and having one of the most delicious chocolate milkshakes in town. After enjoying a night out, "the tuna melt" was one of my favorites to get. This place always has such a soft spot in my heart because it was one of the first places I ever went to eat when I first arrived in LA and just comes with such good memories. Me and my best friend Dennis would eat here all the time. The fact that my Dennis died of cancer just two years ago makes this place even more special to me. His favorite was drinking iced tea and having the cobb salad.
Seeing this street sign meant I was home. Like I mentioned before I lived right of of Hollywood boulevard. Pretty cool huh?
Isn't life all about making beautiful memories? Make sure you treasure yours by enjoying every minute you live to the fullest, so you can look back and smile without any regrets! I sure do, looking back at this amazing part of my life which is spending all this time in LA. The city that forced me to grow up and made me the person who I am today.
Bisous xx Tamara Chloé
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Most photo's were taken from pinterest.com