Hi, my name is Raihanna. I can’t think of any other way to start this but to tell you a little bit about the girl behind the computer. I’m from Northern California in the Bay Area, Fremont to be exact and grew up in Napa county in Lake Berryessa at the R-Ranch at the Lake as a kid. I was living in San Diego for a brief period in 2008 with my best friend Melissa and going to community college (because that’s just what you do when you’re trying to figure it all out) and I was freaking out about studying for my Biology test because I just couldn’t bring myself to care about what I was studying. Science and math are NOT my thing. So she said, “Put the book away and let’s think of some other options. What do you love to do?” To which I replied, “Well, I’d love to be able to sing and do music…” “But, that’s not a possibility right? I mean, that’s why I’m going to school like everyone else to attend a University and get a degree? I’m going to major in Psychology.” Wrong. A few Google searches later, my whole life changed.
Later on down the road in March 2009 I made a big decision and moved to Los Angeles. I moved there to attend Musicians Institute in Hollywood and take their Vocal Program and Independent Artist Program. The photo above is my first day of school! Look at that excitement. It changed my life for the better in so many ways. I learned so much. And I look back on these times as some of the most memorable.
During the first few days I met some friends from all over the country and world. The country and people that had the biggest impact on my life were from Sweden. I had never met anyone from Sweden before, but then I ended up living with all Swedes who became my family and best friends. Over the course of living with them all, their friends and family came over to visit and I met even more amazing Swedish people and learned about their culture. I’m an honorary Swede now! We’ll visit that in another entry because there’s too much to say. I also made friends from Italy, Switzerland, Canada, Colombia, Panama, Australia, Ireland, Wales and all over the U.S. It truly opened up my eyes to the whole world, making music and I’m so thankful for that experience.
Moral of the story, if you feel like there is a place that is calling your name or you feel like you should be doing something else, LISTEN TO THAT VOICE! Go for it. Something great could be waiting for you if you just take that leap.
Los Angeles is a great place to live. It’s such a melting pot with so many opportunities. Really good food and you can get anything you want there at any time. Which definitely makes you spoiled when you move somewhere else. Sure, there’s traffic. And yes, at certain times in the day you want to avoid freeways at ALL costs. (Side note: always pee and make sure you have gas before chancing the freeway. I’ve made that mistake and my bladder wasn’t happy.) And yes, everyone you meet WILL BE an actress, model, dancer, singer, videographer, graphic designer, photographer, entrepreneur who knows someone, that knows someone, who knows someone BIG. But there is magic there. You’re surrounded by a lot of creativity, drive and sunny days. I was there for about six years, made unforgettable memories, friends and grew as an artist.
Remember those International friends I was talking about earlier? Well, one of them was a guitar player from Calgary, Alberta in Canada named Eric. He’s my husband. He’s the best. We got married in August 2013 in Camarillo, CA. We both lived in LA for awhile and then it started becoming the constant, “What’s the next step?” For me, that next step had been Nashville, Tennessee on my mind for many years to continue my career as a country singer-songwriter. And after visiting in February 2014 Eric was on board and we decided that in the Fall of 2014 we’d make the big move. So here we are. Residents of Nashville!
Now that we’re up to speed with where I am living currently, it brings me to starting Go Anywhere Girl. My Mom’s best friend Nodie would always call me the “Go Anywhere Girl” because whenever she’d talk to me on the phone I was either just coming back from somewhere or getting ready to go. “Where you off to now, Go Anywhere Girl?” I’ve made traveling a point and priority because I love it. The trips I’ve taken are some of the most vivid and meaningful memories I have.
Of course, when I was 18 years old my girlfriends and I drove down to San Diego and went to Tijuana, Mexico. A rite of passage if you will. As you’d imagine, we drank and danced the night away because you CAN there and at that age, you think it’s super cool. The first time I ever went to Europe was in 2005 with my best friend who I grew up with, Mina, to Spain! It was so awesome! We went again the following year to the same places, Barcelona (or as they say, Bar-TH-elona) and San Sebastian for Semana Grande, and my other best friend Melissa joined us. Exploring Gaudí’s work all over Barcelona, hitting the night clubs (which all stayed open until the early hours of the morning) and being on our first topless beach in San Sebastian. Then I went with my friend Oscar and his family on a trip to Costa Rica in 2008. We went to some beautiful beaches (Jaco Beach), ate good food like the common but always delicious gallo pinto but I also saw the poverty in some of the neighborhoods. It was an eye opening trip for me because I’d never seen anything like that before. His family was very welcoming. I also may or may not have had a few long islands with his Aunts and danced on chairs while singing Selena. It happens. We all rode around in our 11 passenger van with everyone singing songs in Spanish, they had things planned for us to do and made sure we had fun.
I’ve traveled a lot since those early trips, but I’m going to save those for other entries. My main point here is that I’ve always loved traveling! And on one lazy Sunday here in Nashville about a month ago I started thinking about “What do I want to do with my life?” Well, I’m already pursuing music. I work at a restaurant as a server for income. I thought, “Hey! I should start a travel blog! I love to write, travel, take photos and work on the computer.” Only one problem, I’d never had a blog before. I’ve kept personal journals since I was 13 years old, yet I’d never made one for the world to see. Eeeek!
So I googled “How To Start A Travel Blog” and this awesome girl named Liz who has a blog called “Young Adventuress” had an entry called “10 Tips For Starting a Kick Ass Travel Blog” Ding ding ding! The wheels started turning. I told my husband Eric about the idea and he was all for it! He said, “Oh my gosh, this makes so much sense. IT’S SO YOU. Why have we never thought of this before?” I guess I was too busy enjoying the trips (which is a good thing) to think of sharing them besides a few photos here and there on Facebook. But I’m ready to share now. I hope that you’re ready to Go Anywhere with me!
You can follow me on Instagram for more updates: @thegoanywheregirl