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The Sign

The Sign

USA | Thursday, 15 May 2014 | Views [132] | Scholarship Entry

My mind whispered positive affirmations of ‘It’s going to be fine’ and ‘You can do this’ but at the same time it snivels questions like ‘What are you doing here?’ and ‘How can you travel alone?’. Thankfully a friendly male voice interrupts my addled mind and says ‘So, what brings you here?’ A similar question to the one I was asking myself. Before I could formulate an answer he continued ‘Because usually people come here to ‘make it’ he raised his two hands to make the quotation sign with his fingers. I almost forgot he was driving until the car swerved a bit to the right. He then gripped the staring wheel and took control of the car once again. ‘Are you one of those?’ he asked. This time he waited for an answer ‘No, I don’t think so’. His eyes smiled as he looked at me through the rare view mirror. He then asked ‘Have you ever seen the Hollywood sign?’ I shook my head and he then pointed to the left. I slowly turned my head and there it was the infamous Hollywood sign.

‘Wow’ softly escaped from my mouth. The thing was this sign, which epitomises the dream of fame and fortune to many, was not very special to look at. In fact, it was quite plain and simple. No flashing lights, no special effects, no spectacular vision; instead there was this ‘feeling’ that came over me as I saw it. The sign had a hypnotising effect on me. It removed my idea of the superficial, unattainable glamour and notoriety that is attached to it. It was real, honest and in some way grounded me. An unexpected feeling of adventure overwhelmed me and I soon felt liberated. I was liberated from the fearful thoughts that raced through my mind and remembered why I decided to move to Los Angeles alone for three months: to explore. Tired of the controlled environment I was surrounded with in my day to day life, I yearned for spontaneity. No more mundane chattered trips that dictate your experience and how you experience it, no more living life in a shell, instead, it was time for me to be free.

Comfortably nestled on the hills of Hollywood this sign, which stayed resilient through war and dark tales, was now my saviour. As the taxi drove off from the hostel that I would now call my home, I stood staring at Hollywood. I was ready to embrace it, ready to feel again without fright. Three months of spirited escapades awaited me.

Tags: 2014 travel writing scholarship - euro roadtrip

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