We had the good fortune of connecting with Ada Li and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ada, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Finding the right work-life balance between my brand, my full-time job, and my personal life has always been tough for me. This balance changed significantly over the past couple years, with a majority of my time focused on my full-time job when I first started, leaving less time to focus on my brand if I wanted more of a personal life. This year’s stay-at-home order actually gave me the time I needed to focus more on my brand and reassess my work-life balance. Part of it is due to the fact that (like many people) I’ve been having limited interactions with people outside of my household, so my personal life has been less busy. Another thing I realized is that my brand gives me a creative outlet for sharing my personal interests and skills in areas that my full-time job doesn’t allow. It took me awhile to figure out the right balance, but I’ve learned to not see my brand as work, but rather as a part of my personal life. The ideal work-life balance can change over time depending on my circumstances and what’s going on around me, and I’ve learned to be ready for and adapt to changes.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Food and travel have always been my passion, so I love sharing highlights from my food and travel adventures on Instagram. I even invested in a DSLR camera a couple years ago in my efforts to take higher resolution photos and improve my food photography skills. However, I have to admit that I’ve struggled with finding quality time for my passion projects. This was largely due to time constraints once I started my current full-time job, which is completely outside the realm of my brand and platform. And now, given recent events in 2020, I’ve also struggled a bit with figuring out how to continue sharing my passion when I can’t dine out or travel the way I used to. Over the last several months, I slowly transitioned into publishing more wellness-based content, because this is what my personal story has centered around. It took a bit of self-discovery and determination to get to where I am today, but now I have a clearer focus on which passion projects to dedicate the most time to, along with what I want to share on my platform—how to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle while indulging in food (and, hopefully, some travel) in a mindful way. The events of this past year have taught me that just as my personal life changes, so would my brand and the story I tell, and being able to share this with others excites and motivates me.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I tend to suggest itineraries that would center around food! What I love about LA food-wise is that you can essentially find any type of cuisine out here. Being from the East Coast, I never tasted authentic Mexican street food until I moved out to California, so I’d definitely take friends from out of town to several Mexican food joints during their visit! Since this is LA, there would be too many restaurants on a foodie’s list to be able to visit them all, but I suggest alternating between visiting hole-in-the-wall spots, casual and even fast food eateries (including In-N-Out since most people out of state wouldn’t find this back home), and fine dining at Michelin-starred restaurants. I suggest visiting Koreatown and Little Tokyo for some delicious food, and ending the night at a rooftop bar in DTLA. Since we are in LA, there are certain places I would always want to take friends and family to, no matter how touristy it may be. Start each day at one of the hottest brunch spots in the neighborhood! Afterwards, head off to the Getty (the Getty Center one day, and the Getty Villa the next), then visit a beach to relax in the afternoon. I recommend visiting Santa Monica Pier since it’s an iconic location, but then going up to Malibu to relax on the beach. This way, you’d also get a glimpse of the drive up and down the PCH. On another day, visit Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive for a bit of window shopping and people watching, LACMA to explore exhibitions, and then an outdoor shopping mall like The Grove. For any movie buffs, I’d take them on a hike to the Hollywood Sign and visit Universal Studios, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. If you and your friends have more time, I highly recommend taking day or weekend trips outside of LA. The best thing about living in LA is that it’s centrally located—the options are just endless!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout is dedicated to the group of people who have continued to follow my story and show support and encouragement along the way. This, of course, includes my husband, who has more recently played a large role in helping me capture content for social media. Since all of our social interactions have been limited during the current pandemic, he has essentially been the only person I could rely on to help me capture my story. I can be too much of a perfectionist, and he has been surprisingly patient in putting up with my nitpicking!