So long 2015, Hello 2016!
This past year has been my most evolving and changing year. The first two months of the year were spent preparing to move to London. We were scared, nervous, anxious, and excited. We were about to begin the next chapter of our lives and we weren't sure if we were going to like it or not, if we could handle being away, if my business would survive the move or not, maybe we would get too homesick. There was so many wonders and what-ifs. Making the decision to move was the biggest decision we've ever had to make and I am so proud of us for taking the risk. It was not easy to say goodbye to our families, friends, and pets but we knew that this was a once in a lifetime type of deal and we couldn't say no.
The end of February came and our Boston loft was all packed up. We spent the last night sleeping in the empty space on an air mattress wondering what we had gotten ourselves into. The next day we said our final goodbyes and boarded our plane. I remember crying on the flight—one because of the worst turbulence I've ever experienced but mostly because all my fears were releasing as I sat there for hours trying to get what sleep I could. We got to London and found our way to our temporary housing in which we soon found out we had to wait a few hours to actually get in. I was so tired and emotional that if someone had said "here's a plane ticket back home right now and you can pretend this never happened" I would have grabbed it and ran straight for the airport. I look back on this time and I am so thankful for Rico and his patience with me. I'm definitely not someone that can hide their emotions and he knows how to stay calm and figure things out when I'm a mess like that. I couldn't even bare to move my legs anymore so I sat down under the doorway to the building away from the pouring rain (what a scene) while Rico ran to grab us sandwiches so we could at least tame our hunger while we waited.
The next month brought more stress as we search high and low (or literally in every location possible) in London for the flat we could permanently call home during our years in London. Due to the crazy prices here this was not an easy task and we found ourselves longing to return to the Boston loft we felt so comfortable in. Soon enough though, we found our home and finally started to really settle in. Our first weekend after moving we began our first travel season abroad by hopping the train to Paris. The next month we were in Copenhagen and then road tripping through Slovenia and Croatia. In June we went to Belgium and the Greek Islands. Later in the summer we drove up to England's Lake District and in September we met up with my in-laws in the South of France.
Then, the end of September arrived and it was time to make our first trip back to the States. I was nervous about what it would feel like. Would it still feel like home? Would it make us homesick after we returned? Could we leave again? We stayed home for two weeks, splitting the time between our families and taking trips to see some friends. The time home gave us just what we needed. We were refreshed from being with our loved ones and being able to spend time in our favorite spots in New England. Returning here felt like we were returning to our other home and gave us some more clarity and security in our decision to be here. While we don't see this as a forever place, we know this is the right place for us to be at this time in our lives.
Thanksgiving soon rolled around and we spent time celebrating with fellow American expats in the city and then the holiday season began. We spent a weekend up in Edinburgh roaming the streets and drinking hot chocolate. We found ourselves enjoying London's holiday traditions—markets, christmas lights, theater. Everything was feeling right and whole. At the end of December we took our second trip back home so we could be with our families during Christmas. It was the perfect way to spend the week and to refresh, refocus, and get ready for the new year ahead of us.
Our move shifted our whole lives. We were completely forced outside of our comfort zones to start over and find new meaning to our journey. It affected and changed all aspects of our lives. One being our relationship. When we arrived over here, all we had was each other. We quickly realized that meant we were each others only family here which meant we both had to take on some new roles for one another. We had to learn to navigate through each others new emotions and needs. There definitely were some fights as we adjusted but at the end of the day we always comforted one another and showed love. The change brought something new to our relationship and made us stronger as a couple. He will forever and always be my best friend and my rock. I couldn't do this wild life without him.
The next thing our move brought us is the gift of easy European travel. Now our wallets would probably say curse, not gift, but I can not tell you enough that travel is one of the best things you can do. Having experiences over things is liberating and the memories will last much longer than the must-buy clothing item of the season. By living in other places or getting out to see the world (even if its just a town near by you haven't ever been to) it opens your eyes, mind, and heart. It teaches you to be kind and understanding, to be free and live wholeheartedly with love and compassion. I am so grateful for our past and present adventures.
Last thing I will touch upon here is the path which the studio and company as a whole has taken through the year and with the move. At the start of the year we were still under our original name, Light Rust Studio. The move brought clarity to what I wanted to do with the studio. Moving gave me the opportunity to sit down and really think about what makes me happy—creating. When we first moved, I overhauled our whole brand from the paper goods company to speak to becoming solely a creative studio. After that though, I was only content for so long before I lost my connection to my studio. I was having trouble putting my finger on what didn't feel right when it finally hit me—our name. We renamed to Sea of Atlas and everything started to fall into place again. I had a clear vision for what the studio meant and needed as a brand. While I have made so much progress, it was incredibly tough to start over again after the move and far from easy. I'm still getting my footing here as we come up on our one year mark in just a couple months.
Looking forward I want to continue to always evolve as a creative and what I can offer to the world. I hope that the next year beings even more clarity for that and what Sea of Atlas will be. We also have lots of new adventures planned for the 2016 travel season and each trip always gives me new meaning to my life. I'm excited to see where we are at this time next year but I am happy to go through these days and continue to build on who I am as a person one day at a time.
I feel so unbelievably lucky to be where I am and to have this experience with my husband. Living abroad has changed my life in ways I can't yet put into accurate words but I know one things for sure—it has made me a stronger person and I can't wait to see what 2016's adventures bring!