London Daily

Focus on the big picture.
Sunday, Feb 05, 2023

I quit my tech job in Seattle because I was miserable — here's how I moved to Los Angeles and started over as a freelancer and content creator

I quit my tech job in Seattle because I was miserable — here's how I moved to Los Angeles and started over as a freelancer and content creator

Dayana Sabatin came up with a strict savings plan to put away $10,000 before starting over in Los Angeles. She's now a full-time freelance writer.

Four years ago, I was a financial specialist at a tech company in Seattle — in a cubicle for eight to 10 hours a day, and beyond miserable. I decided I wanted to change my life. 

I always dreamed of living in a city like Los Angeles. So I made a plan and left my life in Seattle behind to move there.

Since then, I've made a life for myself in LA — I'm a writer, blogger and YouTuber — but getting here was a journey. I've heard the stories of people moving to LA with less than $200 in their bank account, and I applaud them — but I wasn't one of those people. I spent three months trying to pay off school debt and save at least $10,000 for my move.

I set a specific amount of money aside for rent, car payment, phone bill, gas, and groceries from every paycheck. Everything else went into savings. The goal was to move with enough money in my bank account to feel comfortable until I could get another job. I didn't give myself the option to spend money on unnecessary things. I'm not a saver — I'm strictly a spender, so it was challenging.

What helped was knowing I was moving towards something that would radically change my life. Mostly though, what got me through was knowing that I was doing this purely because I wanted to. It was exhilarating. 


I didn't like the path I was on


When I was young, my whole life revolved around the idea that I should go to college, get a degree in the tech field, secure a job that pays well, and sell my soul to the corporate world. I was homeschooled in high school, which allowed me to go to college during sophomore year, and it was decided that because my cousin made the most in our family as a software engineer, that I should become one too.

I wasn't the most confident growing up; I didn't have a "passion" for anything. It was incredibly easy for me to be influenced by my family and everyone around me, because there wasn't anything specific that I wanted to do with my life. 

I had interests. I've always loved the idea of becoming a writer — but those dreams felt unrealistic in the world I was raised in.


The change was difficult for the people around me, but I was determined


By moving to LA, I was leaving behind everything I'd ever known — my mom (who's also my best friend), my baby sisters, my cousin who was also my roommate, my dog, and the friends I'd made. I've always been a huge introvert and making friends was a challenge, so the idea of having to make new friendships was scary to think about. 

My family felt blindsided by the news that I was moving. When I told my cousin, she looked at me like I was crazy — my mom was worried I'd be kidnapped or that I'd be all alone because I didn't know anyone. She didn't like that I'd be so far away.

I told her that this was my one chance to do something different and exciting with my life. I had my mind made up — I was going to LA. I'm incredibly indecisive, so to feel so sure about something felt strange, but good. 


Some people in my life tried to stop me from going


My boss tried to stop me leaving my job, promising me a six-figure salary if I stayed and kept my financial specialist position — I said "no thanks" — and my friends also tried to stop me, telling me it would be extremely tough to survive in LA. My ex even tried to get me to stay and then tried to convince me to take him with me.

When people hear that you're chasing your dreams or doing something they don't understand, they get jealous. Usually, it's because they're unhappy with their own lives, and the idea of someone else escaping and thriving bothers them. 


When I saved enough, I found an apartment on Craigslist


I moved to LA before securing an apartment, with around $9,000 in my bank account after paying for a hotel. I still remember the drive from Seattle to Los Angeles. I woke up at 4 a.m., feeling elated. I was doing exactly what I was meant to be doing, and all those years before that moment had set me up to be where I was.

I doubt Craigslist is all that safe nowadays, but I lucked out when using it for my apartment search. The place I found was only 25 minutes from the beach and I had two great roommates — I loved it. 

I used LinkedIn to find a job and I worked remotely for a tech startup for the first few months — I was making $2,000 a month and my rent was $1,200. My pay was enough to cover rent, food, and my coffee addiction, but the hours were infuriating. I felt like I was back in my cubicle in Seattle. After a few months, I quit and took a waitressing job at a hip restaurant in Venice, where I made around twice as much as I did before.

I was still pretty lost in terms of my career, but I was living a life I was genuinely enjoying and building on my own terms. I met celebrities — like Jillian Michaels, Paul Wesley, Emilia Clarke, and Kevin Garnett. I met my now-boyfriend who introduced me to all of his friends, and I went to the beach every single day and ate incredible food.

I started writing on Medium and identified my passion for writing about self-improvement and relationships. The first few months I made a few dollars, eventually those few dollars turned into a consistent few thousand. The monetization of my content came after a whole lot of grinding and hustling. I reached out to brands, did a lot of work for free, and eventually started getting paid here and there for sponsorships and writing articles. I stopped waitressing once I was making enough from writing. 

Now I'm growing my lifestyle blog, my YouTube channel, and working on my book about dating and relationships. Eventually, I want to publish more books — both fiction and nonfiction.


My goal is to be financially free


I want to be able to take care of myself and my family while doing what I love, every single day. I know what it's like to live a life dictated by outside pressure or family expectations, so I want to be an inspiration to other girls who also feel lost in their careers. 

I can confidently say I'm on the right path now, and I've never felt more excited about the direction my life is headed in. If you feel destined for something outside of what you currently have, then go for it. Don't be afraid to color outside of the lines.

Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
Close
0:00
0:00
Turkish photographer Ugur Gallenkus portrays two different worlds within a single image. Brilliant work
You're Beautiful - James Blunt (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Tennessee Bill Would Imprison People for 3 Years If They 'Lie' About Rape to Get an Abortion.
You Are So Beautiful
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
Postmodern Jukebox European Tour Version
Shell reports highest profits in 115 years
An old French tune (by Georges Brassens) Pomplamoose ft. John Schroeder
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
Sattahip Motor Show 20
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
SONATE AU CLAIR DE LUNE - Moonlight sonata
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
A kiss to build a dream on
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Wiz Khalifa - See You Again ft. Charlie Puth, Furious
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
What is ChatGPT?
Mean Blues
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
La Chansonnette
China is opening up for foreign investors.
Pattaya Addicts
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Franz Liszt - Liebestraum - Love Dream
Germany confirms it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks
Dream a little dream of me
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Tu Vuo' Fa' L'Americano - Hetty & the Jazzato Band
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Unchained Melody sung like you've NEVER heard!
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Dave Brubeck - Take Five
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Édith Piaf - Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (Sofie)
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
Rondo Alla Turca
China's first population drop in six decades
Kiss of fire
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Ed Sheeran - Perfect (Amadeus violin cover instrumental)
Israelis rally in three cities against Netanyahu legal reforms
Tom Jones - I´ll Never Fall In Love Again 1967, 1989, 2001
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Israel Cachao López - Guajira Clásica
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
Edward Maya - Stereo Love (feat. Vika Jigulina) (Extended Mix)
Japan prosecutors indict man for ex-PM Shinzo Abe murder
Strauss - Radetzky March - Karajan
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
La vie en rose
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Despacito (Piano Cover) - Peter Bence
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
The Temptations - My Girl (Smokey Robinson Tribute) 2006 Kennedy Cent
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Orlando Cachaito Lopez Redencion
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Edith Piaf - NON, JE NE REGRETTE RIEN
Dirty bomb fears as URANIUM is found in cargo at Heathrow
RADETZKY MARCH-2008-Wien, New Year Concert
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Only you (And you alone)
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Beautiful in White x Canon in D (Piano Cover by Riyandi Kusuma)
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
Strangers In The Night
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
Charles Aznavour - La Boheme
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
Summer time
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
Sting and Stevie Wonder - Fragile (from Sting's 60th birthday concert)
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Aux Champs Elysees
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Stand By Me - Ben E. King (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Saudi Arabia’s female ambassadors: Who are the five women representing the Kingdom?
La Mer (Beyond the Sea) – Avalon Jazz Band
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
She
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
Nathalie Song by Enzo Petrachi Stjepan Hauser Cello
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Shape of My Heart - Sting (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Radiohead - Creep
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
Quizás,Quizás,Quizás - Andrea Bocelli - Jennifer Lopez
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps - Multi-Couples
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Pentatonix Havana
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Paula Cole - Autumn Leaves
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
Oscar Benton Bensonhurst Blues
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
OH NANANA vs ABUSADAMENTE
Nina Simone - ”I Put A Spell On You”. Vezi aici cum cântă Jeremy Ragsd
NIGHTWISH - The Phantom Of The Opera
Motorshow 2016 Tanjay Negros Oriental
Monica Bellucci - Ti Amo
Michael Jackson - Billie Jean Milena The Voice France 2018
Michael Buble (Help Me Make It Through The Night) feat Loren Allred
Memories Canon In D - Maroon 5 (Boyce Avenue piano acoustic cover)
Matteo Simoni - Marina
Maroon 5 - One More Night
Maroon 5 - Memories
Mark Knopfler - Brothers In Arms (Berlin 2007 Live)
Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - Romeo And Juliet (Real Live Roadrunni
Marina, Marina - The LUCKY DUCKIES intimist live concert at Guimarães
Major Lazer & DJ Snake – Lean On Mauranne The Voice France 2016
Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet - Joslin - Henri Mancini, Nino Rota
LoLa & Hauser - Love Story
Linkin Park Jay-Z - Numb Encore (Live 8 2005)
Hallelujah Mennel Ibtissem, The Voice France Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen - Dance Me to the End of Love
Leonard Cohen & Natasha Rostova - Dance me to the end of love
La casa de papel - Bella Ciao
La Camisa Negra
L'italiano (Toto Cutugno) - The Gypsy Queens
Juanes - La Camisa Negra
Jonathan and Charlotte - Britain's Got Talent 2012 Live Semi Final - U
John Powell - Assassin's Tango
Joe Cocker - You Can Leave Your Hat On (LIVE in Dortmund)
Joe Cocker - Unchain My Heart 2002 Live
Joe Cocker - A Whiter Shade Of Pale
Jay Z & Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind LIVE
Jason Mraz - Im Yours (live)
Jarrod Radnich - Bohemian Rhapsody - Virtuosic Piano Solo
James Blunt - You're Beautiful
James Blunt - You're Beautiful & Bonfire Heart (Live at The Nobel Peac)
If You Go Away - Helen Merrill & Stan Getz (Tribute to Virna Lisi)
I'LL BE MISSING YOU
I Say a Little Prayer
Hotel California ( Eagles ) 1994 Live
Historia de un amor - Luz Casal. Vezi interpretarea Biancăi Sumanariu
Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover) on Spot
Heart - Stairway to Heaven Led Zeppelin - Kennedy Center Honors
HAVANA by Camila Cabello Zumba Pre Cooldown TML Crew Kramer Pastra
HAUSER and Señorita - I Will Always Love You
HAUSER - Waka Waka
HAUSER - Sway
HAUSER - Lambada
HAUSER - Historia de un Amor
HAUSER - Despacito
Great Pretender
Georgia May Foote & Giovanni Pernice Samba to 'Volare' - Strictly Come
Gary Moore - Still Got The Blues
GIPSY KINGS VOLARE Penelope Cruz
Fugees - Killing Me Softly With His Song
French Latino - Historia de un Amor
For A Few Dollars More The Danish National Symphony Orchestra (Live)
Flashdance • What a Feeling • Irene Cara
Filip Rudan - “Someone You Loved” Audicija 4 The Voice Hrvatska Sez
Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight
Enya - Only Time
Enrique Iglesias - Bailando (English Version) ft. Sean Paul
Enrique Iglesias - Bailamos
Elena Yerevan Historia de un amor
Ed Sheeran - Shape of You (Official Music Video)
Ed Sheeran - Perfect Symphony [with Andrea Bocelli]
Ed Sheeran - Perfect (Official Music Video)
Easy On Me - Adele (Boyce Avenue 90’s style piano acoustic cover) on S
ERA - Ameno
ELENA YEREVAN- Cancion Del Mariachi-IN STUDIO-2017 DPR
Dust In The Wind - Kansas (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Despacito x Shape Of You - Pentatonix
Deep Purple - Child In Time - Live (1970)
David Foster When A Man Loves A WomanIt's A Mans World (SealMichael Bo
Dance me to the end of Love ( Pi-Air Design )
Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise (feat. L.V.) [Official Music Video]
Conquest Of Paradise (Vangelis), played on Böhm Emporio organ
Cielito Lindo
Chico & The Gypsies - Bamboleo
Canción Del Mariachi - Antonio Banderas, Los Lobos • Desperado
Camila Cabello - Havana (Audio) ft. Young Thug
Camila Cabello - Havana ( cover by J.Fla )
California Dreamin' - The Mamas & The Papas José Feliciano (Boyce Ave
Buster Benton - Money Is The Name of The Game
Hallelujah Pentatonix
Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry Be Happy (Official Music Video)
Bob Dylan - Knockin' On Heaven's Door Emilia The Voice Kids France
Besame Mucho - Cesaria Evora
Ben E. King - Stand by Me Sax Cover Alexandra Ilieva Thomann
Bella Ciao
Bella Ciao - INSTRUMENTAL
Beautiful in White x Canon in D (Piano Cover by Riyandi Kusuma)
Bad Romance - Vintage 1920's Gatsby Style Lady Gaga Cover ft. Ariana Savalas & Sarah Reich(1)
BELLA CIAO 2020 - KARAOKE ITALIANO
BAMBOLEO - Gipsy Kings • Antonio Banderas, Katya Virshilas
BAILANDO (original)
Awesome Ukrainian yodeler - SOFIA SHKIDCHENKO (with English subtitles)
Avicii - The Nights
Atom - The Great Gig in the Sky
Aretha Franklin - (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (Official Ly
Antonio Banderas - Cancion del Mariachi (Desperado)
André Rieu - Zorba's Dance (Sirtaki)
André Rieu - Can't Help Falling In Love
André Rieu & Mirusia - Ave Maria
Andrew Reyes Elton John - Don't Let The Sun Go Down The Voice 2020 (
Andreas Kümmert Whiter Shade Of Pale The Voice of Germany 2013 Showd
And I Love You So
All About That Bass - Postmodern Jukebox European Tour Version
Alan Walker - Faded (Piano Cover)
Ain't No Sunshine -- Bill Withers (cover by Canen 12 y.o.)
African music
Adriana Vidović - “Creep” Audicija 4 The Voice Hrvatska Sezona 3
Adriana Vidović - “Believer” Nokaut 3 The Voice Hrvatska Sezona 3
A Fistful of Dollars - The Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Tuva
4 Beautiful Soundtracks Relaxing Piano [10min]
2CELLOS - Whole Lotta Love vs. Beethoven 5th Symphony [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
2CELLOS - Smooth Criminal (Live at Suntory Hall, Tokyo)
2CELLOS - Smells Like Teen Spirit [Live at Sydney Opera House]
2CELLOS - Despacito [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
13 Year Old Girl Playing Il Silenzio (The Silence) - André Rieu
094.All About That Bass
00 - SADNESS PART 1
(Ghost) Riders In the Sky (American Outlaws Live at Nassau Coliseum, 1
(Everything I Do) I Do It For You - Bryan Adams (Boyce Avenue ft. Conn
What a wonderful world
Moon river
×