Meet Nicola Bailey from St Ives, Cornwall, who moved to LA almost 11 years ago to pursue performing arts, sunshine and boys with American accents!
|Photo by Elma van der Ryst|
Was there a particular reason you chose LA?
After growing up as a kid who watched too much Saved By the Bell and Baywatch, I always wanted to live in the US for a period of time. Growing up by the beach in Cornwall and being a self-proclaimed beach bum, the California beaches and endless summers appealed to me. As soon as I arrived in Los Angeles, I felt instantly at home and found people here to be incredibly helpful and supportive.
What do you miss most from home?
Family and friends, without a shadow of a doubt. My one wish is that LA wasn't quite so far away. In fact, I often forget just how far til it's time to go on that big plane across the pond, followed by another long trek down to St Ives. I also miss the British humour a great deal; the American version just isn't the same. I also missed playing netball when I first arrived here as I had played throughout school and college. Seeing as no one in America seemed to know about the sport, I was very surprised to learn that there was in fact netball.
I play for the Santa Monica Spirits Netball Club, as well as organizing many of their social events, and have found through the club lifelong friends through the club.
What was your first impression of LA and has it changed since? If so why?
My very first impression of LA was that it was such a sunny and optimistic kind of lifestyle, and I loved it from the very beginning. A decade on, and I still love it as much as I did then, with the same crazy excitement I had when I first set foot here.
What do you find the biggest difference is living here versus St Ives?
Where do I start?! They're completely different planets, but I'm very lucky to be able to call both of them home. There's slightly more going on in LA, but I'm yet to find a half-decent pasty here!
Do you have a hidden gem in LA that you want to share with us?
I think that the best hidden gems in LA are found in places you are not familiar with, so merely exploring new areas is always fun! Going for hikes (walks) up in the mountains and exploring the diversity of Los Angeles is great to do. My own little hidden gem was finding the Santa Monica Spirits Netball Club and its founder, Maxine Lewis. To have such an amazing group of women, many from England as well as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, has really enabled me to explore LA sights with the best people, and provides such a sense of love and comfort when you're so far away from home.
What would you suggest to others who are thinking about making the move here?
Don't think too much. Go for it and have an adventure!!
Lots of our members join our group Brits in LA seeking out words of wisdom - what is the best piece of advice you've been given?
If you're in a classroom here and you make a mistake, don't shout out to everyone that you want a rubber. Words have different meanings here…
Lastly, how can we find out more about you? Are you working on anything at the moment?
I'm currently gearing up to play in the U.S. Open Netball Championships November 4-6, which are actually being held in LA for the first time this year!You can follow me and my fellow teammates through the Santa Monica Spirits Netball Club socials.