Greetings from Edinburgh, Scotland! I wanted to take a minute to sit down and write to you to tell you what’s been going on over at The Briar house this holiday season.
About three months ago Cameron and I decided to take the jump and fulfill a bucket list item that we’ve always had of living in the UK for a month. This will be my fifth time visiting the UK now and it truly holds a very special place in my heart. For our honeymoon back in 2017, Cam and I backpacked Europe and did pop through London for about 4 days and that’s when Cameron got to experience England for the first time! He is just as much of a Harry Potter nerd as I am, so needless to say, he also fell in love. Two of the times that I have visited in the past were during the holidays and I remember being so blown away with how England does Christmas. A few words that come to mind are bold, festive, warm, historic, charming, and BIG Christmas! 🙂 I love that they get so into it and the towns really show off their color and fun during this time!
Thus began my Airbnb research for locating some locations for us to stay during our time there. The first week we decided to start with Edinburgh (this is my second time here and Cam’s first!), and then head to Bath, England and then London for the rest of the trip. I really wanted to feel immersed in it and get a good idea of what it would actually feel like to live in a foreign country for more than just a week or two.
Honestly, 2021 was the busiest work year I have yet to date. My photography business has been going and going and I am so incredibly grateful for my amazing clients who believe and trust in me! I love my job more than anything and I give me ALL when I work. One thing that Cameron has helped me really tap into, is learning when to take a break before I crash. Does anyone else relate to the workaholic thing? It’s so hard to shut my mind off and I find when I remove myself from the situation, I’m usually able to best relax and recover! So we have been very intentional on what we do during my “off-season” from my photography business.
Cameron was also able to take this time off. We are so so grateful for this and excited to just explore and try new things! I also want to note this trip is not a sponsored trip.:) We work hard play hard over here and we both have been saving up for it. You will see a few sponsored posts this month with a few brands I personally know and love (and that you’ve seen me share about before!). I took them along with me for this one and if I’m honest, I love having something creative to work on even when I’m traveling!
The next thing to consider was the dogs…as you guys know we have two pups Cadam and Kai! Initially, we thought we could bring both dogs but then after further research, we learned that there are breed restrictions in the UK. 🙁 Unfortunately, Cadam being a pitbull mix, was not able to come with us. So I did my research and found an amazing dog babysitter on rover.com. His name is Ryan and I can give you his info if you need it! 😉 He is Connecticut-based. We did an initial walk and meet and great with Ryan a few months before we left and after lots of questions and all the right answers, we felt safe and good about him taking care of our beloved girl. We dropped her off this past Thursday night and so far so good! He sends us pictures and updates us every few days. 🙂
Next up was Kai our little 10lb Cavapoo. I figured it would be easy! But like all things…it wasn’t that easy to bring a dog internationally (go figure – I’m such a newb!). This was actually such a process that I plan to write a whole designated blog post on this for you so that you can learn from my mistakes and save yourself the HOURS of research that I did leading up to this. So stay tuned my dog-loving friends! The main just of it was: visit the veterinarian for shots and pet passport, fly to a country that allows your dog to sit with you in the plane (I refuse to put her in cargo, she’s too small and I fear for her life down there!) like AirFrance and then hire a pet taxi service to get you across the English channel.
Guys…I know this sounds nuts…to me typing it, it sounds nuts. But I have to remind you, I don’t have children.lol, I have dogs and they are my joy! I couldn’t leave a little 1.5 year old puppy with someone else, so I made it work! Unfortunately, It wasn’t cheap… and once we started going down the rabbit hole, we committed to it and made it happen.
All that being said – having her here is incredible. It’s hard to believe we are experiencing this WITH Kai. She’s getting multiple walks a day around cool new spots to sniff while getting to meet other pups. Kai is living her best life.lol
So yesterday we arrived…after almost 24 hours of travel (ugh) to our little flat on Grass Market street in the heart of Old Town Edinburgh. I imagine it’s what New Yorkers feel like when they walk out of their apartments in the city…people, things happening, hustle and bustle, and omg the food and shopping. It’s a small space (per most of the flats in the UK) but it’s just right for two… and you know us..we lived in a RV for four months, so considering this, the flat is quite roomy! 🙂
I’ll be writing to you guys more this month as I need to write this stuff down and I love talking to you guys on social media. I always enjoy reading the personal stuff from the gals I love to follow online, so I hope you feel like this is a cozy space to come to and to look at pictures of faraway places you too will come visit one day (with puppy if you like). Or If you have been, I hope you enjoy the photos and that it takes you back to your sweet time in the area!
We are only on day 3 now, so stay tuned for an Edinburgh, Scotland post soon! I’ll be doing my best to post to my stories so you can follow along and grab ideas as well, If you would like to find my highlights you can click here!
I hope you are enjoying the holiday season wherever you are! I also hope you’re able to get some time to slow down and take it all in. Go for long walks..decorate a wreath…or simply grab some tea from your local coffee shop and write about what the holidays mean to you. I know for me I’ve had so many ups and downs in life and my feelings towards the holidays have been ALL over the map. If you’re feeling off, please know you’re not alone. There will be seasons in your life when this happens. If I’m completely honest – those two trips to England I took during the holidays in my twenties were because I couldn’t handle being in my own country due to LIFE struggles and broken relationships. Sometimes you just need to get away from it all and that’s okay.
Thankfully this year – all is well. After hard years, I realize just how precious those good years are. Cheers to new adventure my friends – thank you for being here with me!
More soon. xx