Tag Archives: Country Music

The Go Anywhere Girl never left, but she’s back.

HAPPY 2018!

Hi, it’s Rai. The Go Anywhere Girl. We meet again! It’s been too damn long. Maybe you’ve followed my posts I’ve been sharing on Instagram: @thegoanywheregirl and my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/goanywheregirl but I haven’t actually sat down and blogged. If you have been following, THANK YOU!!! It means a lot to me to share these adventures and connect with other travelers/lovers of travel along the way!

What a year it’s been! As much as you just want to travel the world and see it all, some years you have to stay put. 2017 was the year of  continuing to work towards one goal: getting a house in Nashville. Ever since my husband Eric and I moved here in 2014 we had been working our jobs and playing gigs. We finally started to discuss the idea and said, “Hey, let’s see if we can actually do this.” It was stressful. Most things you’ve never done before can feel stressful and daunting. Before actually embarking on this journey whenever someone said, “We just bought a house.” I would say WOW that’s awesome! Not having ANY clue the amount of work, planning and stress that goes into it.

After months of working, saving, stress, back and forth, calls, paperwork, contracts that were way over our heads, waiting with no answers for weeks, help from our realtor Tracee Perrin and a lot of red wine nights, we FINALLY closed on our HOUSE! It was a day later than our closing was supposed to be (so we were getting worried) but down to the last hours, it happened!!! We got OUR KEYS and headed over right away to move everything out of the shitty in between apartment that we hated. I won’t go into it, but for starters it was filled with brown recluses and hadn’t been updated since 1970something. And not in a cool vintage way. We began painting our bedroom, living room walls and making it our own. It was such a crazy feeling to pick out paint colors! That’s something I had never even thought of before. I’ve never painted a wall in any of the places that I lived in because I knew they were all temporary. My sweet in-laws came down all the way from Calgary, Alberta just to help us get settled in and get everything installed. So thankful for them, all their hard work and help during this whole process! We repaid them in good Nashville eats and a Jack Daniels Distillery Tour.

So now we are in our OWN HOME. We love it. We have space. Comfort. It’s very inspiring. Our two cats dig it. And we feel very happy and thankful in here everyday. Not a day passes that we don’t look around and say, “I can’t believe we are finally in a house!” And it’s ours. It has a lot of room for us to be creative and work on the dreams we have: MUSIC AND TRAVEL. And to just enjoy spending time with each other.

We moved here in November 2014 because we felt it was time for a change in our music careers. We knew some people through the music scene and from attending Musicians Institute in Los Angeles. We got jobs right away which was very lucky, worked a lot, tried to settle in, booked some shows and transitioned from California—>Tennessee. I decided to start this blog in 2015 because I love travel, writing, taking videos, taking pictures, editing, going to new places and sharing those experiences. It’s something that was already fun for me. And I have SO many photos from past travels. In the transition I was thinking, “What else would I want to do in conjunction with or instead of music if I had to pick something?” Travel is always that answer! And Eric said to me, “Yes! That makes so much sense! Why don’t you have a travel blog already?!” So here it is. You can also check out Go Anywhere Girl on Facebook and on YouTube and  Instagram

I love watching other travelers for inspiration! We only have Netflix for TV so YouTube has been very entertaining for us. One of my newest favorites over the past year has been Mark Weins of Migrationology. If you love learning about new places and new foods, check out his YouTube videos! He’s great. Another couple that I’ve loved watching and seeing them grow as travel vloggers over the years is Jess and Stephen of: Flying the Nest. They’re so cute! And those drone shots that Stephen gets are incredible! It’s just a really fun community of people who love being on the move and sharing. And that’s ME!

I started this blog but then quickly realized how hard it was to find the motivation once I was working A LOT and chasing my dreams here in Music City as an independent country artist. It was the feeling that “something has to fall behind” and it was the blog. But I’m ready and have a lot of ideas to share. So thanks for reading!

I was focusing obviously on the house but also on my music this Fall. You can find any of my music on all platforms like Spotify & iTunes. I’m all over social media under: Raihanna Estrada.  I released two singles this year which are both travel inspired! A lot of my songs seem to have the travel theme in there from being on the go and having a lot of great memories of far off places.

1. Jump off the Train (inspired by Sweden)

2. Road Trippin’ – Nashville Dreamin’ Country Vol. 1 Album (my husband Eric Bickerstaffe and I wrote this one about our love for being gone, the open road & seeing as much as you can, while you can! Plus I mention a lot of things that I’ve actually never done)

“Jump off the Train” single cover photo

taken in Gothenburg, Sweden by @annaorneblad

I’m making this pact to myself here and now and with YOU that I’m going to post more! Whether it be VLOGS, BLOG, INSTAGRAM wherever, and share my travel experiences and travel tips with you!

Find me on my socials to stay up to date and see throwbacks of fun trips! Currently planning a big one for 2018.

So basically, the short version of this is:

HELLO OUT THERE FELLOW TRAVEL GUYS & GALS,

THE GO ANYWHERE GIRL IS BACK!!!

Venice, Italy 2016.

Home to California.

This has been one hell of a week with the attacks happening in the world. It’s hard to find the words really. You can’t help but be glued to the news, articles, to the stories of the lives that were taken. The whole world is on edge right now. And as you sit on your couch watching it all unfold, cuddled up with your husband and cat you think, “That could be me. It could be any of us. Our last day on earth without knowing it when we got out of bed that morning.” Then you reach over and hug a little tighter.

In a world gone crazy, let’s remember to be kind to each other. To embrace differences, and spread love. There are so many innocent people being killed and it breaks my heart. I may not be able to change things over night but what I can do is stay informed and be a good person. Please, let’s all do that for each other.

Sending love to you wherever you are! ♥

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No matter how long you are gone from the place you call home as soon as you go back to visit it’s like you never left. I finally got to go back home to California. It was a whirlwind of a trip but really really fun and so great to see the people that I love. Because after all, the people make the place what it is. I hadn’t been back for that long of a trip since we moved to Nashville a year ago. The longest I’ve EVER been away from California.

The Nashville airport is the most chill airport you’ll ever go in. It always takes no time at all to check your bags and get through security. This past time it took about 11 minutes. No joke. And you’ll see tons of people walking around with guitars either heading off for a gig, returning home or passing through Music City. My husband Eric and I were those people on this trip. IMG_3543We landed into LAX and we were thrown back into the chaos. After you’re out of living in a crazy fast paced city you almost forget how loud it is, how many people are everywhere, the traffic, the honking,  tons of cars and how much longer it takes to get around. But for some reason we still felt at home. It’s a love hate thing. And maybe a little bit of you likes the chaos you complain about.

The whole trip was based around us playing a gig in San Francisco at The Hotel Utah Saloon. San Francisco is in between the two places I grew up: Napa and Fremont, California. The heartbeat of the Bay Area. I’d been wanting to play a hometown show for awhile now so that everyone at home can see what I’m really up to while I’ve been away. To know that I’m chasing this dream of mine everyday. I’m a Country singer-songwriter in case I didn’t mention that in my previous entry and my husband Eric is a guitarist (click his name to visit his YouTube Channel.) The show was so fun! One of the best I’ve played. So many people came from different areas in NorCal. Which I really appreciated! Fremont family, Ranch family, cousin RJ, my first guitar player ever J Mattingly! It was happiness overload. It meant a lot to me to look out and see you all there. I’ve missed you guys! Thanks so much to my best friends Mina Doulabi (click on her name to learn about “Posture Guru” / her personal training website) and Melissa Reyna for hanging out all night long! And to Mel for letting us all crash at your place in San Fran. Backstreet was back, alright. Best slumber party ever!!!

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Once we landed and picked up our rental car, we headed to my old neighborhood in Hollywood to drop off our stuff.  Our friend Nate, one of the nicest dudes you’ll ever meet, let us use his apartment since he wasn’t in town. In my first blog entry I talked about going to Musicians Institute and having some of the most memorable times in my life and we lived on Fuller and Franklin right below Runyon Canyon (a very popular hiking spot: See photos below) So needless to say, I was flooded with memories just being a block away from there on Hollywood and Fuller. It’s the best area in Hollywood to live in in my opinion and I always felt safe there.

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We grabbed some food at Urth Caffe on Melrose. I’ve missed the cafes in LA! Organic food, super good coffees (Honey Vanilla Lattes there rock my world!) and just the vibe there. There is another location in Pasadena as well. And of course we grabbed In-N-Out because it’s the best fast food chain there is! You have to get it whenever you can. For those of you who don’t know there is also a secret menu where you can order things like French Fries Animal Style which means they’ll put melted cheese, grilled onions and thousand island on them. The milkshakes are crazy good too!

We had rehearsal the night we arrived with my band mates Kevin Campos (singer/songwriter/guitar player) Darren Augustus (drummer/producer/songwriter) and my husband Eric Bickerstaffe was on guitar. It was awesome! Just like old times. I’m thankful to work with people that are talented, professional, a blast to be around AND always play great. It’s fun to play music with your friends.

Take Me Back - on iTunes and Spotify

I’m trying to keep this more on the travel side and not as much music, but music is my life so it’s going to cross into here from time to time. If you’re interested to hear what I do, you can find my music and show dates here: www.raihannaestrada.com and can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and my EP’s are both on iTunes & Spotify. Thanks for listening!

Now for the fun part…PICTURES! I want you guys to be able to follow along and feel like you can see pieces of these places through my eyes.  I’ve always been a picture/video/journal/memory freak LONG before social media came into existence. I get it from my Mom. She was ALWAYS taking photos, pack ratting bits and pieces from times gone by, narrating home videos and being the keeper of the memories. So I took on that same love for myself and the people around me. I’ll always be the one in the group to say, “Ok guys, let’s take a picture!”

It was a busy trip to California, but here are some of the places I went to and places that are must haves for me when visiting! This will give you some great places to try out when you visit Los Angeles. There are SO many options for places to eat, go for coffee and things to do there but being someone who lived there for six years here’s a few of my faves.

IMG_3592IMG_3593The Alcove Cafe & Bakery in Los Feliz has always reminded me of walking into Alice In Wonderland. They have their garden seats, huge coffee/tea mugs and really delicious cakes and pastries. The seating looks on to Hillhurst street and it’s a nice place with really good food to catch up with a dear friend in the sunshine. Pictured below is my soul sister and singer-songwriter Jessica DePasquale. She’s originally from Worcester, MA but has been in Los Angeles for over ten years now so it’s home. She has always picked out great places for us to go to over the years throughout the city. (Click on her name to listen to her Alt-Indie-Rock EP “Unbound”) The food photos below are the Breakfast Quesadilla and cake display. GO there!

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Urth Caffe is another one of these organic, delicious places. And a must go to! Click on the link to view their locations and their menu. As I said above, their Honey Vanilla Latte is one of the best things I’ve ever had. Both locations are great but the Pasadena location is a bit bigger. Although, you just might see a paparazzi or two across the street trying to catch a celeb sighting at the Melrose location. If you’re into that stuff. You’re also a short drive from Beverly Hills.

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Aroma Coffee and Tea Company A favorite to many and very popular spot. I mean just look on YELP at the 4 stars and 1900 reviews it has! It’s located in Studio City and has a similar Alice In Wonderland vibe like the Alcove as you head back to the patio to find seating. It’s also dog friendly. And the staff is always SO nice here! Which really makes them stand out. The lines can get quite long especially on the weekend for brunch/lunch time but it’s worth the wait. Or just get there early. But you’ll always find people here. Even late at night people will be there grabbing a dessert and tea. Check out their menu online, just click on Aroma above.

This time while I was there my friend Nikki (Nicole Rochell) and I were in need of tea (the black tea Summer Peach is my fave) and Red Velvet Cake to catch up. It was so good! To sum up these places, I LOVE the cafes in Los Angeles! And that there are healthy options everywhere you go or you can enjoy cake like we did. HA! (PS. The Aroma on Sunset Blvd is not the same place)

I wish I took more pictures of everything to show you but Nikki and I were blabbing away as usual. Nicole Rochell is an actress in LA and was just recently on the show Masters of Sex on Showtime. You can add her on Facebook to keep updated with her career and say you knew her when. She’s hilarious!

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Crazy Rock’n Sushi One of the things that I miss most about LA is having GREAT sushi places EVERYWHERE! Not so much in Nashville. At least not that I’ve found yet. There is a great one here called Virago but it’s a little pricey so you can’t just swing in and grab some rolls all the time. I still need to venture out in Nashville to check out the few places that I’ve heard of.

ANYWAY! This place will always be one of my favorites. My friend Jacqueline Netteberg (amazing singer-songwriter who lives in Gothenburg, Sweden / check out her music & stay tuned for her debut EP) and I discovered this place in 2009 after having a day of Vintage shopping and thrifting. Treasure hunting days were our favorite! We ordered a bunch of things and it only came out to about $25 bucks! What?! So naturally we told all of our friends and it became our “Central Perk.” Birthdays, going aways, after graduation and of course just a regular old sushi craving, we came there. It got to the point that the waitresses would ask “Is Rai coming?” We all loved that place and when people came back to visit we would always go. The Philly Roll, Spicy Tuna Roll and the Sweet Love Roll are a couple of my favorites (Crazy Rock’n sushi menu.) This place is small but really good and it’s in the same structure as the Target on Santa Monica and La Brea. Which means, an hour of free parking in the garage! That counts for a lot in LA. Hope you get the chance to try it!

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Runyon Canyon I used to live a block away from Runyon Canyon. My window was right next to the street so early in the morning you could always here the chatter from people hiking up the hill. There are a lot of great places to hike in Los Angeles, but this one is definitely a must do when you’re traveling to Hollywood. You get the view of the Hollywood sign, downtown LA and the epic houses in the Hollywood hills. You might even spot a celebrity or two from your favorite TV show hiking. There are also different routes you can take if you want to have a more challenging hike. If you forget to bring water or a snack, no problem! Bring a few dollars with you and you can purchase a cold water for your way up and a granola bar for your way down. It’s an honor system, you just drop your money in and take what you’ve paid for.

IMG_4011Being in that neighborhood and going to Runyon brings up a lot of memories of first moving to LA and going on hiking dates with my now husband. Days running up solo with my favorite music on dreaming big at the top while I looked out over the city. I loved the dream catcher that I saw hanging up there. Catching the hopes of all the dreamers in the City of Angels. Make sure to bring your camera with you because you’ll want to take a picture standing on top of it all.

IMG_4005IMG_4074IMG_4068 IMG_4081IMG_4019IMG_4076If you’ve made it here to the end, thank you for reading! I’m really excited to be starting Go Anywhere Girl. Please comment below and let me know some of YOUR favorite places in Los Angeles or places that you hope to visit someday. After all, I want this to be about us all connecting through our love of travel. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram: @thegoanywheregirl and Twitter: @goanywheregirl for more updates! Until next time…

♥ Raihanna 

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Dress from: Beyond Retro Stockholm