We had the good fortune of connecting with Courtney Locks and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Courtney, what role has risk played in your life or career?
To be honest I hate taking risks. I’m most comfortable in a safe space that yields reliable, consistent results. I have gotten very good at blending in, and not making noise. BUT, I’ve found that I’m not being true to myself unless I’m taking some risks.  I’m not truly living and experiencing what life has to offer. This doesn’t mean it is easy for me. It’s really a struggle everyday to put myself out there, and convince myself to take chances. Some days I am more successful than others. Somedays the fear takes over, and I stay in my safe space. I spent a long time staying safe and stagnant, and I found that comfort doesn’t equal happiness. For me comfort was the exact opposite of happiness, and I found myself lost and depressed most of the time. It was then that I realized I needed to make a change. I needed to show up for myself. Showing up meant risking failure. It meant risking putting myself out there for the world to see and getting rejected. It still means that. But I have felt more and more at peace with myself everyday I show up. I find myself leaning into the fear, and knowing that if it scares me then I need to do it. Even if I fail it’s worth the risk. The alternative is no life at all. So I have chosen to take the risk and pursue a career in things that I love and am passionate about. As opposed to a job that yields consistent money and security. Living a full life is always worth the risk.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Since moving to LA over a decade ago I have done two things; act and bartend. One is my passion the other is for survival. This year has turned everything on its head, but the change has allowed me to come to the realization that I don’t need to work a job I hate in order to pursue a career I love. I can be more that one thing. Over the summer I took a road trip down Hwy 1, starting in Monterey and ending in Los Angeles. There were no solid plans. No hotel or dining reservations. We discovered as we went along. I was in heaven. It was the first time in a long time that I felt truly present. I’ve lived in California my entire life and hadn’t let myself have these experiences that were mere hours away. I knew I was ready to make a change. When I got back home, I started looking up possibilities for a job in the travel industry and I came across Mystical Dream Travel Agency. They offered me the chance to work as an agent and help other people plan the vacations they’ve been dreaming of. It’s definitely scary starting your own business, but I learn something new everyday and I truly love helping others plan their vacations. I am also developing a new travel blog that will be launching in early 2021 called Wanderlocks. I want to help people who may be stuck like I was see that they can have the experiences they want. Specifically with travel. There is so much to see and do. I have lived in LA for so long now, and had blinders on when it comes to all there is to experience. Due to my training as a TA, I have been turned onto new experiences and places I hadn’t even thought of going to before. I want to turn others onto those places as well and help them plan the experience that will be the most meaningful for them. And it doesn’t always have to be some exotic far off location. It can be a travel up the Californian coast or even a staycation in an area in Los Angeles you haven’t experienced. It can be a relaxing week on a tropical beach or an African safari. Whatever your wanderlust is calling you to do the opportunities are endless, and the best part about working with a travel agent is it won’t add any cost to your vacation.  My services are free of charge, so if and when you’re ready to start planning email courtney@mysticaldreamtravel.com!  You can also follow my facebook page Courtney with Mystical Dream Travel where I post new vacation ideas and deals weekly!

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 feel like Downtown Los Angeles is an area that is totally underrated. DTLA has some of the most amazing restaurants, bars and theater experiences. I would plan a staycation near the arts district, and book us a room at the Hoxton Hotel. This has been one of my favorite hotel stays; the hotel takes its inspiration from the streets of LA and you get really the vibe of the arts district from the decor. They offer bikes to tour the city, and have their very own rooftop bar called the Pilot that I would recommend even if I wasn’t staying there. You must try the honey bear cocktail! We would have to have a night where we rode bikes from the Hoxton over to Wurstkuche to enjoy phenomenal german sausages and fries (best fries in the city). Next we’d hop over to Pie Hole across the street for dessert. Just around the corner is Lost Spirits Distillery where we would take a distillery tour. To anyone who lives in or is visiting LA I highly recommend this experience. I won’t give too much away, but they call it the Willy Wonka Factory of alcohol. One of the days would be spent taking a walking tour of LA’s forgotten underground tunnels. This tunnel network is right next to City Hall and during prohibition it was used as passageways to secret speakeasies. Seeing a show at the Mark Taper or Ahmenson one night is a must. We could have dinner at Bar Ama beforehand which has some phenomenal margaritas and Mexican food with vegan options. Speaking of food, we couldn’t end our trip before taking a food tour of downtown La. I booked my family an experience with Sidewalk Food Tours a year ago and it was amazing! They take you through spots like the Biltmore and Grand Central Market all the while giving you a detailed history about the origins of DTLA. Lastly some amazing bars; Library Bar has a fantastic French 75, and In Sheeps Clothing offers a curated Vinyl-playlist and delicious craft cocktails, on the way out the door don’t forget to grab a slice of margarita pizza at Lupetti Pizzeria. Honestly the list is endless, and DTLA is just the beginning. Don’t ever let anyone tell you there’s nothing to do in LA 😉

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Well, the first person that comes to mind is my boyfriend, Matt Rasku. He came into my life at a time when I was completely lost, and had basically given up on pursuing a creative career. Matt is the king of taking chances and putting himself out there. In the beginning of our relationship he would have an idea about a new script or short film, and I would be the one on the sidelines saying “are you sure?”, “that’s a lot of work”, or “what if no one watches it?”. But he would push through with passion and positivity. Over the years I have seen him grow immensely, and every opportunity and success that has come his way has been a direct result of believing in himself and taking risks. His example and subsequent belief in me, gave me the courage to reinvest in my acting career. He is also the reason I left the stable career of bartending to start manifesting a new career in my other passion, travel. He has taught me that there is no need to apologize for who you are or what you want, and he has shown me the benefits of taking a risk. Thank you Matt, for your love, patience and guiding me back into the light.

Website: www.wander-locks.com  
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Courtney-with-Mystical-Dream-Travel-102011698402472

Image Credits
Matt Rasku James DePietro

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