We had the good fortune of connecting with Trina Hendry and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Trina, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I am a firm believer in the notion “no risk, no reward” and I’ve always been a bit of risk taker, if I’m being truly honest. From taking a job that I felt I was slightly under-qualified for to moving to a new country (from Canada to the US) with no job, no place to live and no real plan. I’m the type of person where if I want something, I just go for it and figure it out along the way. That is what sparks my entrepreneurial spirit, and why I am always looking for new challenges.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Hello California started out as a lifestyle blog to share my California adventures with friends and family back home in Canada. It quickly evolved into more of a travel guide, offering hotel reviews, restaurants recommendations, tips and destinations guides for Californians and tourists looking to explore up and down the coast. Now, Hello California has transitioned into a a travel company, offering preset itineraries (coming soon) that travelers can purchase and use as guides to explore at their leisure. What sets us apart is that we focus 100% on California, and everything we recommend in the itineraries has been experienced first hand by us or our network of California ambassadors. So, you’re getting an experience that has been fully vetted and authentic to California.
The inspiration for turning Hello California into an actual business came from the dumpster fire that was 2020. When travel ground to a halt, finding content for a travel blog became challenging, and I had to pivot. I took the time to think about how people are really going to want to travel following the pandemic, at least in the short-term. The answer was regionally. Road tripping, primarily. A light bulb went off and I realized people are going to be looking for ideas on how to travel within the state when things open up again. So, I started dreaming of ways that I could make it easy for them.
Hello California is essentially a love letter to my favorite place in the world. I love creating California dreamy experiences for everyone to enjoy.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oooh, great question, and also a difficult one for Los Angeles, as memorable experiences are endless here. If someone were coming for a week, we’d leisurely explore a different neighborhood each day, starting in the west and working our way east.
The first place we’d go is Malibu, because my heart truly belongs there. We’d head up to Point Dume to pick up the famous breakfast burritos at Lily’s before parking ourselves on a beach to watch the dolphins frolicking in the waves. From there, we’d go on a hike to Escondido Falls, grab lunch at either The Sunset Restaurant or Malibu Farm, do some shopping at Malibu Country Mart and then finish the day with a cocktail at Nobu while watching the sunset and some famous people.
The following couple of days, we’d explore the westside of LA, including Santa Monica, Venice and Manhattan Beach. In Santa Monica, we’d head to the pier for a ride on the solar-powered ferris wheel (which everyone should do at least once), grab lunch at Cha Cha Chicken and then maybe take a surf lesson or rent bikes along the beach path. It’s all about the beach lifestyle in Santa Monica and that’s what I like to show out-of-town guests. We’d finish off the day with a happy hour at either Santa Monica Proper hotel or the rooftop at the Hotel Erwin in Venice Beach. Speaking of Venice, we would do some shopping along Abbot Kinney Blvd., grab a bite at Gjusta, a cool cafe tucked away just off of Rose Avenue, or enjoy gourmet sushi at Wabi on Rose. Manhattan Beach is all about the mansions along the strand, so we’d go for a walk toward Hermosa Beach, grab ice cream in town and then watch the sun set behind the pier. I would also suggest Sunday brunch at Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes with the hope of catching a glimpse of a whale fin or two in the sea. Favorite dinner spots include Little Fatty in Mar Vista, The Culver Hotel in Culver City (there’s live jazz every night when the hotel is open), and Forma, an Italian restaurant on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica.
After soaking up the beach vibes for a few days, we’d explore Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, and Hollywood. Favorite activities in these neighborhoods include lunch at The Beverly Hills Hotel overlooking the famous pool, shopping along Rodeo and Beverly Drives in 90210, a drive through the Hollywood Hills up to Mulholland Drive and over to the back of the Hollywood sign, dinner at Laurel Hardware, Gracias Madre or Fingers Crossed, a new Roman-style pizzeria in Hollywood and then a live concert at The Largo in WeHo, The Wiltern in Koreatown or the Greek Theatre in Griffith Park. And, no trip would be complete without a picnic and performance at The Hollywood Bowl.
I’d round out the week by grabbing views of the Hollywood Sign, either during a hike through Griffith Park or a visit to Barnsdall Art Park, which also has wine tastings, outdoor yoga, outdoor movies and art workshops on certain days, as well as a stroll around Echo Park Lake, a visit to Grand Central Market in DTLA, and dinner at Alimento in Silver Lake.
There are so many incredibly fun things to do in LA that I could write an itinerary for an entire year and not come close to covering everything. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to dedicate this shoutout to my mom. She has always been my biggest fan, supporter and inspiration. She has dedicated her life to being the best, most loving parent to her children and there is no way I’d be where I am today without her constant encouragement, positivity and belief in me. On many occasions, she has put her own wishes and even fears aside–like letting her daughter move to a new country with no plan–so that I can be happy and live my best possible life.