Santa Monica

Los Liones Trail & Bursting the Plastic Fantastic Bubble of LA by hiking California – Hike #4

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Los Liones Canyon photography by Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet). https://hotndelicious.com/
Los Liones Canyon photography by Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet).
https://hotndelicious.com/

Los Liones Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles, California, is just the best!

One of the most important things when traveling the world over and learning about a new city or country is to hang out with people who actually live there and do what the locals do. Find your people and soak up the local culture. 

When deciding whether to spend most of my 90 days in the USA in New York or Los Angeles, the factors that I used to weigh up my decision were the culture (I felt like New York would be a better fit for me), weather/climate, opportunities and friends/networks.

Ultimately the weather and my friends/networks played a BIG factor in me deciding on Los Angeles as opposed to NYC, but one of my concerns was getting trapped up in the plastic fantastic lifestyle of Tinsel Town, like I did when based in Dubai whilst working with Emirates Airlines. I needn’t have worried.

Sure, if you’re keen to party all the time (and I had my moments), there’s something on every single night of the week in Los Angeles if you want it; a killer stand-up comedy scene at places like Nerdmelt Showroom, The Comedy Store or Hollywood Improv, world-renown live music venues like Sayers Club, Whisky A Go Go and Viper Room, a vast array of restaurants/bars and because a vast majority of the population work in the entertainment industry, there’s always launch parties, awards ceremonies or drinks and networking meetings to get to.

My focus for this trip was to enjoy LA, but it was also imperative that I knuckle down into my new freelance Australian social media contracts that I was working on remotely, to get a feel for California and start building some networks.

I also didn’t want to get trapped up in meaningless acquaintance-style friendships partying 5-7 days a week like some of those I made in my Dubai days, ’cause I’m at a stage in my life where things are really starting to take shape and I’d rather pour the majority of my time and money into something more tangible, that makes me truly happy.

As regular readers will know from my hiking articles so far on Griffith Observatory, Lake Hollywood and Hollywood Peak, I balanced my nights out in LA watching live comedy, catching up with friends or watching the NBA Finals at my local sports bar, with some of the best hikes all around Los Angeles.

And no, I’m not just talking Runyon Canyon, where all the beautiful people hang out and talk shop – I loved chatting with friends who live in LA about their favourites hikes or seeking out new ones to try together. It’s a wonderful way to strengthen friendships and get away from the bubble of Hollywood, that it could be so easy to get trapped up in.

One such trail I discovered recently with my friends Sam, Bec and Cat was Los Liones Canyon, a short drive past Santa Monica Pier to the start of the Santa Monica Mountains, a coastal mountain range in Southern California, parallel to the Pacific Ocean, with over 500 miles of trails offering the perfect escape from the urban jungle.

We hiked for a solid 2 and a quarter hours, with an array of wildlife in the area including a bunch of lizards & one solitary sleepy snake, who was struggling to get off the trail, and as the “May Gray” (yeah, that’s a thing) started to wash away from the SoCal skies about halfway through our hike, we were left with stunning, sweeping views of Santa Monica, the whole of greater Los Angeles and it’s seemingly endless beaches…

Ultimately it’s become abundantly clear to me through Californian experiences like these, that while LA is definitely Hollywood and Tinsel Town it is so much more. By trusting your gut instinct, doing a little research and approaching the exploration of cities that are brand new to you with the right mindset, you can choose your own adventure and it’ll change your life. This 90 days in Los Angeles, California was the right decision for me.

Happiness!

Article & travel photography by Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet!).

Want any suggestions for all the cool Cali hikes to check out next time you’re in Los Angeles? Check out my photography below, stayed tuned on the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet blog, hit me up on Twitter, check out more of our USA travel photography on Instagram or via email info@hotndelicious.com. I’m more than happy to share my faves. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet entrepreneur podcast!

Our recent Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet! podcast guests include Twitter Australia Managing Director, Karen Stocks, Australian comedian & TV presenter, Wil Anderson, Jules Lund, Gotye, Aussie actor Daniel McPherson, Nazeem Hussein & many more.

Hit Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet up on social media here:

Twitter@hotndelicious 
Instagram
@hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious

Hot & Delicious YouTube – Ballistyx Snowboard Show, interviews & more.
‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ entertainment, travel, photography & lifestyle blog:

For photography, blog & social media business enquiries contact: info@hotndelicious.com.

Dan Wilkinson is a social media professional who has driven social media for a range of international brands including Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate, Peroni Italian Beer, Philadelphia Cream Cheese & more and is the founder of entertainment, travel & lifestyle biz, Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.

Contact Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet! for all your business or brand social media needs.

Social media strategy, monthly content calendar creation, community management, specialised team/staff social media training, creation of social media systems/ways of working and speaking engagements for your business, brand, conference or event.

As an award-winning, highly experienced social media professional, Dan Wilkinson has worked with a range of international brands, spoken at Social Media Week – Miami and has had two campaigns from the past year now featured as global case studies on both the Twitter Success Stories and Instagram Business Blog for his work at SapientNitro, working with brands such as Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Peroni Italian Beer and more.

Dan recently wrapped up his position as Social Media Lead for SapientNitro in Australiato pursue freelance social media contracts, influencer/public speaking opportunities and further build his own brand, Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.

Espree Devora. WeAreLATech creator. Connecting start-ups & entreprenuers in LA’s Silicon Beach community | Podcast

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Espree Devora (WeAreLATech) on the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast.
Espree Devora (WeAreLATech) on the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast.

DOWNLOAD PODCAST – #80 Espree Devora (founder of WeAreLaTech.com).

If you’re a tech/start-up buff and always wanted to work in San Francisco, then what you may not know about the USA is that while San Francisco is a hive of activity in the tech and start-up world, both Silicon Beach and Pasadena in Los Angeles are also key communities where a lot of the magic happens that comes out of the USA.
 
Espree Devora is the creator of WeAreLATech, a hub for start-ups/entrepreneurs and regular event series created to connect to resources in the Silicon Beach community, the region of the Los Angeles metropolitan area that is home to over 500 tech startup companies.
 
I first met Espree at LA Podcast Festival last year where she was hosting a panel on “Podcasting as a Business” panel with Paul R. Gilmartin of the “The Mental Illness Happy Hour” podcast and then bumped into her at the SXSW Official Podcasters Meet-up just a few months back in Austin.
 
A speaker & panel moderator, Espree has provided seminars in interactive content and social media to many corporations and universities including Disney, CBS, Georgetown MBA & more!
 
In today’s fascinating chat, we talk at length about the use artificial intelligence and robot virtual assistants, the LA tech scene and some of its thriving start-ups such as Nail Snaps, Cuddli dating app for geeks, Krue . TV, the Women In Tech Show (podcast) and inspiring women in the business world, outsourcing your online dating (yes, I’m serious) Espree’s top tips for making a start in the start-up world, WeAreLATech and SO much more!
 
This one’s an absolute gem! Let’s get into it!
 

CLICK HERE to listen to our podcast exclusive interview with 80 Espree Devora (founder of WeAreLaTech.com) in full via iTunes.

Android users – you’ll need to download the free Podcast Republic app then search Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.

 
Hit Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet up on social media here:

Twitter 
https://twitter.com/hotndelicious
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/hotndelicious/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/HotnDelicious
Hot & Delicious YouTube – Ballistyx Snowboard Show, interviews & more.
https://www.youtube.com/user/HotnDeliciousRecords
‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ entertainment, travel, photography & lifestyle blog:
 
For social media, photography & influencer business enquiries contact: info@hotndelicious.com.
 

CLICK HERE to listen to our podcast exclusive interview with 80 Espree Devora (founder of WeAreLaTech.com) in full via iTunes.

Dan Wilkinson is founder of travel, entertainment & lifestyle biz/brand, Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet and one of Australia’s most experienced social media professional who has driven social media for a range of international brands including Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate, Peroni Italian Beer, Philadelphia Cream Cheese & more.

 

The Dollop, LA’s untapped secrets & the #SeemsLegit of Tinsel Town – Gareth Reynolds gold ✨

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'Hot & Delicious Rocks The Planet' kicks it in LA with comedian and podcaster, Gareth Reynolds. https://hotndelicious.com/
‘Hot & Delicious Rocks The Planet’ kicks it in LA with comedian and podcaster, Gareth Reynolds. https://hotndelicious.com/

DOWNLOAD the PODCAST on iTunes – #168 Gareth Reynolds (comedian, podcaster and writer) – Original Recast from 2016. 

Android Users: Download Castbox Podcast App via Google Play, then Click here to Subscribe to Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet! podcast.

 
It’s a cool spring morning in Los Angeles as I head out to catch-up with American stand-up comedian, The Dollop and Point Vs Point podcaster, writer and actor, Gareth Reynolds.
 
Super hangs and we spend an hour or so kicking back on the couch at his joint riffing on the business & #SeemsLegit bullshit of Tinsel Town, LA’s untapped secrets (hikes, farmers markets and all the best vegetarian/vegan restaurants), a behind-the-scenes look at the highly popular The Dollop and Point Vs Point podcasts (this is definitely a podcast for the podcast fans including how Gareth Vs Gary came about), his favourite podcasts and story-telling in comedy, the inspiration of everyday people and what motivates Gareth Reynolds to keeping pushing forward, the hurdles involved creating a successful TV show or movie in Hollywood and much much more.
 
Fascinating insights by a super grounded, highly intelligent & hilarious comedian into the reality of making it in Hollywood’s entertainment industry.
 
Step inside our world… 
 

DOWNLOAD the PODCAST on iTunes – #168 Gareth Reynolds (comedian, podcaster and writer) – Original Recast from 2016. 

Android Users: Download Castbox Podcast App via Google Play, then Click here to Subscribe to Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet! podcast.

Connect with Gareth Reynolds online:

 
Hit Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet up on social media here:

Twitter 
https://twitter.com/hotndelicious
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/hotndelicious/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/HotnDelicious
Hot & Delicious YouTube – Ballistyx Snowboard Show, interviews & more.
https://www.youtube.com/user/HotnDeliciousRecords
‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ entertainment, travel, photography & lifestyle blog:
 
For social media, photography & influencer business enquiries contact: info@hotndelicious.com.
 

DOWNLOAD the PODCAST on iTunes – #168 Gareth Reynolds (comedian, podcaster and writer) – Original Recast from 2016. 

Android Users: Download Castbox Podcast App via Google Play, then Click here to Subscribe to Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet! podcast.

Dan Wilkinson is founder of travel, entertainment & lifestyle biz/brand, Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet and one of Australia’s most experienced social media professional who has driven social media for a range of international brands including Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate, Peroni Italian Beer, Philadelphia Cream Cheese & more.

 

Hilarious new podcast with US comedian Murray Valeriano on religion, Road Stories & Son of a Preacher Man.

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Hilarious & insightful chats with American stand-up comedian Murray Valeriano.
Hilarious & insightful chats with American stand-up comedian Murray Valeriano.

DOWNLOAD PODCAST – #77 Murray Valeriano (stand-up comedian, writer & podcaster).

 
I love that I’ve lived my life based on gut instinct, craving the desire to learn, evolve and constantly pursue new opportunities.
 
This attitude, born of a lust for life, happiness, a want to love myself and my life lead me to Los Angeles last year to run social media for LA Podcast Festival.
 
These days I rarely do stuff for cheap or for free, unless it’s for business development, a close friend or a cause that I believe in. In the case of LA Podfest, it’s a little of column A, but predominantly as I want to ensure that I do the right thing by the US government and only pursue work opportunities through legal channels, if & when I do have the legal right to work in the USA… but O1 Visas are a whole other story… 😃
 
Anyway, LA Podfest has forever changed my life – I’ve met so many wonderful people from around the world including my own podcast fans, my now producer and become friends with an array of talented, enigmatic, giving and hilarious comedians and one of those is American stand-up comedian & ‘Road Stories’ podcaster, Murray Valeriano.
 
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of an ex-military born again preacher, Murray Valeriano has travelled and live all over the USA and eventually followed up on his dreams of living in California.
 
In today’s chat at my West Hollywood pad, we chat about what it was like to grow up as the son of a preacher man, the ‘Road Stories’ podcast that Murray records with top comedians about their stories and life on the road as a stand-up comic, the challenges of writing a new hour on religion in a country like America, where even daring to raise the topic can turn a crowd in seconds, my own beliefs and thoughts on religion, the best ever heckles he’s ever had, balancing his life in Santa Monica with movie industry wife and young son, Frank, with his career, podcast and surfing and lots, lots more.
 
I love that at a young age that I opened up my mind up to meeting new people and not being afraid to take a leap of faith based purely on gut instinct. It’s lead me to so many mind-blowing and wonderful opportunities that I’ve never dreamed of and making inspiring new friends like Murray Valeriano.
 
Let’s jump into it…
 

CLICK HERE to listen to our podcast exclusive interview with Murray Valeriano (stand-up comedian & ‘Road Stories’) podcaster in full via iTunes.

Android users – you’ll need to download the free Podcast Republic app then search Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.

 
Connect with Murray Valeriano on social media:
Buy ‘Rusty Cow’:
Download the ‘Road Stories’ podcast: 
 
Hit Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet up on social media here:

Twitter 
https://twitter.com/hotndelicious
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/hotndelicious/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/HotnDelicious
Hot & Delicious YouTube – Ballistyx Snowboard Show, interviews & more.
https://www.youtube.com/user/HotnDeliciousRecords
‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ entertainment, travel, photography & lifestyle blog:
 
 For social media, photography & influencer business enquiries contact: info@hotndelicious.com.
 

CLICK HERE to listen to our podcast exclusive interview with Murray Valeriano (stand-up comedian & ‘Road Stories’) podcaster in full via iTunes.

Dan Wilkinson is founder of travel, entertainment & lifestyle biz/brand, Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet and one of Australia’s most experienced social media professional who has driven social media for a range of international brands including Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate, Peroni Italian Beer, Philadelphia Cream Cheese & more.