Truman Show Vibes in Catalina Island

Truman Show Vibes in Catalina Island

Have you seen the movie The Truman Show?

When I was a kid I would sometimes imagine I was “on the Truman Show,” and people of the public were actors for my whole artificial world of “The Alli Show,” aired to millions around the world, unbeknownst to me. “I feel like that person knew me,” I’d say, or “Do you see the way people keep looking at me funny?” I was also convinced I saw recurring people – likely actors on a set retracing their assigned coordinates, of course.

Either you know exactly what I’m talking about, or haven’t the slightest clue. But when I spent the day in Catalina Island, I had similar suspicious inklings.

The island is beautiful and pristine – postcard perfect. Maybe this postcard perfection has something to do with making it seem artificial. Or maybe it has something to do with golf carts being the main mode of transportation . . . a quirk that would bode well in an artificial world, don’t you think? *chuckle*

I also didn’t get any sense of history or culture during my time there – it felt like the town was brand new, featuring generic, cookie-cutter shops and restaurants. I remember sitting on the small family beach gazing out into the harbour and feeling simply perplexed. Even the boats seem fake, I thought. No boat was in use, no owner was tending to them – they were simply bobbing in perfect alignment.

When we went into the grocery store for some snacks, we asked the cashier what he suggested we do while visiting Avalon. He recommended we buy a bag of frozen peas and then throw the peas into the sea to watch “hundreds and hundreds” of vibrant fish instantly surface for a nibble. Well, maybe a handful of fish emerged. And were they really that vibrant? *shrug*


I would still recommend a visit to Catalina Island to anyone because I’m convinced my last minute planning wasn’t sufficient, and therefore was granted a lackluster visit. Or maybe the island really is just simply a unique and pretty getaway from the bustle of LA.

The views of the boats in the harbour atop the hill are scenic and the deep blue waters are lovely. You really do feel for a moment as though you are in the Mediterranean due to the colour of the harbour, the rugged seaside cliffs, and the countless boats dotting the harbour.

But from then on I only came across generic food, generic shops, and a peculiar – albeit popular – visitor trend of renting golf carts to drive around for the day. The steep price to rent a golf cart instantly turned us off, but now I’m wondering if perhaps the golf cart rental would have taken us to what we were ultimately looking for. Are the golf carts the answer? Is there some place on the island that you can only reach via golf cart and is that where we ought to have been?

Note the golf carts

In any circumstance, I am very eager to hear your thoughts and opinions of my experience and hear about your own! If you have traveled to Avalon on Catalina Island, please, inform me of what I missed. Because I certainly feel like I missed the mark on this one. Is there another town on Catalina Island that is more remote that provides a more engaging and fulfilling experience? And most importantly, do you need to travel via golf cart in order to visit there?


My passion for capturing memories through the lens of my camera, my love for food and the joy I find in reflecting on my travel memories using a pen and paper results in a series of blog entries filled with warmth, pure happiness and inspiration. I hope to share a little bit of myself and my adventure of life with you.


  • I have watched the Truman Show and I can’t imagine a soul-less place like that and I can’t say I’ve ever experienced it. I’ve also never been to Catalina Island but would probably visit if I am close by just to see what you experienced.

  • I love the Truman Show movie. When I was little, I had the same suspicions, that my life is watched by others, everything is a test and all the people around me are actors. I still have that feeling from time to time, even though it sounds silly. It’s so refreshing to know someone else feels the same way. I’ll keep this island in mind and visit it someday to see if it gives me the same vibes :)

  • Though I haven’t been to Catalina, I agree that some places in the world seem to be so ideal that it’s hard to believe they exist. From the other side, sometimes we don’t have enough time to experience them from inside to get into that routine part, but maybe we don’t need to do that. Everyone needs a personal spot to change the ambience once in a while)

  • Hmm interesting, I’ve never been to Catalina Island so I can’t add my two cents about that, but what I will say is that a day by the ocean is always a good day :-) (Says the girl who lives in a landlocked city haha)

  • As someone who lives in San Diego, I am surprised I still haven’t made it over to Catalina island- doesn’t seem like I’m missing too much though. Sorry your trip was a bit lackluster, though! Maybe next time there will be more fish to gobble up the peas!

  • The pictures do capture how pretty the island is but I cannot imagine what a place that doesn’t have any character feels like. When things seem like they’re all artificial and have been placed there just for show. I can only say, it sounds like an interesting experience !

  • I absolutely love how you interweave your very personal thoughts and feelings with the information on your trip to Catalina. Keep up your sharp observation skills and you ironic style – they are both clever and great fun!

  • I love that movie, but can’t imagine a bland place like that to actually visit! I suppose some places have become a little soul-less – anywhere that is too designed loses some of the ‘real’ feel I’m sure. I’ve never been here, perhaps next time a ride on the golf cart will show you new areas to explore!

  • I was just in Venice last week and saw Catalina from the beach. I’ve been meaning to visit the island for more than a decade, but still haven’t made it. Your post has showed me exactly what I’ve been missing. :-(


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