Why did you leave Catalonia?
I left to start a new life with my then fiancé. He was from California and asked me to move there so he could finish college, and to be close to his family and friends.
How long have you lived there?
For 21 years.
Are you happy with the job opportunities you found in your adoptive country?
The job opportunities were fantastic. As soon as I got a work permit I was able to find a great full time job at a university doing technical work. Later, I quit that job to pursue other avenues. I have owned two businesses. The first one was catering, and I struggled with the long drives. The second one I still own, it is a small tutoring business that has provided me a lot of happiness.
What do you think is the best thing about living there?
The ability to get lost in the vastness of the US. And also being able to meet people from everywhere in the world. It has been very enriching. Also, for some reason, I find that I have been able to reinvent myself several times since living here. I didn’t feel cornered into being one thing.
What would you most like to change?
Homelessness and racism. After that, I would like to see the US have gun control, and perhaps be less obsessed about religion.
What do you miss most from home?
My family and friends. The food. The history and beautiful landscapes. My language and culture.
What do you take with you as a present from your new home when you go back to your own country?
Nothing. Maybe t-shirts.
What characterises your local neighbourhood?
I live in a suburb. It is mostly inhabited by college students. There is no neighbourhood life. We get wild donkeys from the mountain that come down to eat our grass. Life can be very quiet here, one has to find time to get together with friends at parties and other gatherings.
Where are the best places for visitors to stay?
Perhaps downtown LA or Santa Monica.
What do you consider the highlights for any brief visit for the first time?
Joshua Tree National Park, Yosemite, Death Valley, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Everything in LA, San Diego, Palm Springs, Mammoth.
And if visitors have more time or make a return visit?
The Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone, New York, New Orleans.
Are there any places to avoid at all costs?
Yes, there are many dangerous neighbourhoods in LA and the surrounding areas. One must use caution even driving through them.
What is the best experience you’ve had in your adoptive country?
Without mentioning my children and husband, I would say ultra distance cycling brought the most happiness.
Do you plan to go back to Catalonia?
Yes! Of course. The dream is alive! Some suggestions
Can you recommend a place to have lunch with friends?
LA has so much to offer, it’s hard to mention just one, perhaps having a true In’n’Out hamburger, mostly found only in California.
Where would you have a special dinner for two?
There are many places in Santa Monica, Laguna Beach, or Palm Springs.
When is the best time of year to plan a visit?
Anytime except the summer. It gets extremely hot.
What is the best kept secret about the area?
You can hike to the Hollywood sign. It is a six-mile hike there and back. Really a wonderful experience.
CATALANS ABROAD los angeles (US)