Compared to my previous years living in Europe, the US experience has been very different for me in so many ways. Growing up in a very small country in the heart of Europe surrounded by mountains, picturesque villages and farms, studying at a local university, working near my hometown, enjoying a pretty diverse climate ( hot summers and very cold winters ), living close to my family and friends. All of this has been a part of my life for a very long time. Until I decided to step out of my comfort zone and pursue my professional career abroad and across the ocean. As one of my favorite quotes says: “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door” ( by Milton Berle ), I contacted Architect-US and they helped me to make this come true. However, as I mentioned in the title of my blog post, this experience has been more special so far than I have ever imagined. There are three main reasons why:

  1. Location

Palm trees, beach, ocean, sun… all these elements still sound pretty surreal to me  because myself, I have never been craving living close to it. Even though it has not been on my bucket list to live by the beach or to enjoy the warm weather and sun most of the time throughout the year, but after more than a year I have to admit that it has been slowly growing on me. Although I would lie if I said that I don’t miss real snowy winter or my favorite cloudy grey sky and rain, but it has been pretty refreshing to experience a completely different climate and environment. The positive vibe of people enjoying the sun here in California is quite contagious as well.

  1. Work environment

This might sound very subjective and I’m sure that there’s so many hard working people anywhere in the world but I find Americans very determined and career-driven what has been pretty inspiring for me and motivating me to work hard as well. I feel like people here understand that the price of success is hard work, determination and dedication to the job. Being a part of company that encourages you to learn and grow both personally and professionally or to get licensed as an architect is truly amazing and I am very grateful for this opportunity. Who would have thought that one day I will be working for one of the top architecture firms in Los Angeles. At KFA Architecture the balance between work & free time is also very important and me and my colleagues are spending a lot of time together. There’s plenty of office events and gatherings, happy hours, hiking trips etc. Even though it’s not a small company they treat you like a member of a family so for me it’s definitely a work environment where people flourish.

  1. People

Americans in general are very social and nice people, at least from my personal experience so far. Especially in California where there’s a lot of sun people seem to be happier and have a very positive attitude. It’s very nice to see strangers smiling at me or saying good morning on the streets. It always makes my day and it’s really easy to get used to it. People in Los Angeles are also very creative, open-minded and it’s pretty inspiring.

Matej Strbka

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