Well let’s get right down to it! I told you all to come here today because I have some really exciting news to share that I have been SO excited to fill you in on! So, without further adieu ….
In exactly two weeks from today, I’ll be touching down in London to LIVE THERE for three months!
Yep. You read that right.
Now here’s the back story:
Last year, during my trip to London & Paris, my friend Whitney [go say hi to her over on Blonde Atlas] and I dreamt up this idea of living abroad for a short period of time this year. We wanted to travel around throughout Europe, checking off all the cities that we have on our lust list, while keeping London as an intermittent home base. The dream really stemmed from our love of traveling but also our belief that, with God, these ‘unbelievable’ dreams can actually become a reality, that your life doesn’t have to be what everyone else’s life is or what everyone else deems your life should be because it’s ‘normal’ or ‘safe’. We really didn’t know how it would all transpire but we were just open to seeing what would happen and kept coming back to the idea during our conversations after we got home. There were a lot of unanswered questions at first, but the one thing we did decide on was that the Fall would likely be the best time to do it. It’s a beautiful time of year. It’s not as touristy as the summer. And, it would also give us plenty of time to plan.
Initially, we were going to go on this adventure together but, over time and through prayer and conversations, there were different circumstances and opportunities that led us away from that. For one, I am all about traveling, exploring and sharing that with you all here and there, but one of my biggest concerns was you all. If I’m being honest, I don’t want to force y’all to consume content that you might not be interested in. I’m a style blogger and, as much as I want to travel, I want to continue being a style blogger just as much. I want to keep things pretty normal around here with style inspiration, life updates, the Friday Five, etc. and I know that would be tough if I was constantly moving from one international city to another. So, after realizing all of this, my desire to hang tight at our home base in London [while going on mini-trips here and there] seemed way more appealing to me than constantly jumping around. On the other hand, Whitney is a travel blogger and wants to see as much as possible. I want that for her, too, because I know that’s when she feels the most alive, that’s when she feels closest to God, and that’s when she is in awe of His majesty and wonder. So, when we started having these real and honest conversations about what this would look like, we both just decided the only thing we can do is just keep our hands open to what God was going to do for each of those desires.
Now we can insert Ben, because I know that’s what y’all are waiting for, hah! At this point, most of y’all know my boyfriend, Ben, lives in London. This is a new [and unexpected] relationship that spurred out of Whitney & I’s trip there in December / January on, literally, the last day of our trip. [However, it didn’t completely gain traction until late, late February / early March after Whitney & I’s conversations about our dream had been well underway.] Ben and I communicate throughout the day via What’s App text and calls, and we also have nightly Skype dates. We’ve gone on a couple of trips together but have spent considerably more time apart, as you can imagine. If you’re familiar with long distance relationships, you know that it can’t be long distance forever without the relationship suffering. And while I certainly wouldn’t say our relationship is suffering, I would say that neither of us feel like we can fully experience what our relationship could really be if we maintain it in the way that we are now. Something has to give. Someone has to make a move. Hmmm. Remember that dream that had been stirring up? Remember how I wanted to be abroad, wanted to travel, but needed a home base?
God is good like that. There are no coincidences.
We need to keep our hands open. Our desires have a purpose.
Could what’s going to come of this relationship be why God has placed this desire in my heart? I guess that’s to be seen. I really want to know what life would be like in London as well as what a normal relationship in the same city as Ben would be like. We can’t do long distance forever. There’s no other way to know for sure. There’s only so much you can learn about a person via Skype dates so I, honestly, could not be more excited!
Now, before you go and think I’m completely ditching Whitney … I’m going to have you tap those breaks right in front of you there! Haha! Whitney took her blog full-time back in January and has been loving it. Her heart, contrary to mine, feels lead to travel around as opportunities find her and just make the most of being abroad. So, it’s definitely funny how it’s all come to fruition but, we’re both really excited for what we’ll be embarking on. We’re also excited to share it with each other even if we’re not together the whole time. I know she will definitely be sharing my flat in London with me from time to time and I will be joining her on some adventures, and we’re planning one exclusively together, as well!
I really just couldn’t be more excited about the entire experience. It seems a little unbelievable to me that it’s all beginning in TWO weeks. I booked my flat about a month ago but, because I’m bringing Fish with me, it’s taken a little longer to gather all the necessary information about traveling with him abroad and book our flights. So, I literally did that on Monday! That’s another reason why I took so long to share it. I didn’t want to share it without everything being paid for, secured and lined up.
My hope is that you’ll want to experience all of this with me. Nothing on the blog will change. Just my location. So, please keep coming back to S&T for new content. I’ll be Snapchatting and sharing on Instagram from over there, as well. If you have any London recommendations that I MUST go to that might not be on a normal travel agenda, comment below! I’ll have plenty of time to check them out. I have a lot of side trips planned, especially with Ben, so I hope you’ll tune in and engage in content I share from our adventures. This blog started as a destination for style inspiration but it’s called Sequins “& Things” because I wanted to build into so much more than that. I want to share my life with you whether it’s life updates or travel recommendations, so please let me know if you want to see anything in particular while I’m there!
Whew! That was a lot but thank you SO MUCH for stopping by today! It means the world to me that you would want to know what’s going on and I hope you’re sharing in this exciting life change wth me. I don’t know what the future holds after this but that’s what makes life exciting right now! The control freak in me has had to learn to just embrace it and ENJOY THE RIDE!
Now, I can’t end today’s post without acknowledging the obvious … the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is FINALLY underway for EVERYONE! Congrats, friends! Be sure to head to any of the following posts for all my favorites, outfit inspiration and a complete purchase review and fit guide:
MORE #NSALE BLOG POSTS HERE:
NSALE FAVORITES + SNAPCHAT SHOPPING PRODUCT REVIEW | THE FRIDAY FIVE: NSALE EDITION | TRANSITIONAL OUTFIT FOR SUMMER TO FALL | #NSALE FAVORITES UNDER $50 | CASUAL SHIRTDRESS UNDER $40 | FALL OUTFIT ESSENTIALS UNDER $50 | BEAUTY PRODUCT REVIEW + MAKEUP ROUTINE
I’m slightly obsessed with all the items in today’s outfit but I think I’m even more obsessed with the prices! Don’t miss them! Head to yesterday’s post for all of the items I bought [well, most of them; there were some that I couldn’t squeeze in!], how I styled them and my thoughts on fit and quality!
Have a great Friday, ladies! I love you all so much! Happy Shopping! xo.
This is SO exciting!!! I’ve never been abroad, so I’m extremely jealous. Your life seems like a Nicholas Sparks novel at the moment which is amazing. Please share your journey with us and let us live vicariously through you!
Up shopping the NS as soon as it turned 3 a.m and got to read your post 1st thing! Very exciting news! I’ve studied abroad twice and lived in London and Wales! Cannot wait to follow your post throughout your experience! So happy for you!
Lead and we will follow!
Congratulations!!!!! What an exciting adventure. I moved to Europe a year ago for my husband’s job and we love taking quick weekend trips once or twice a month — it’s so easy once you’re here. I would love inspiration for a weekend trip to London! (PS – I also love when you style things from ASOS or Topshop since I can order those items here too 🙂 Looking forward to following along on your adventures!
How fun and exciting! I can’t wait to read all about your adventures! Good luck hun!
Ahhh so EXCITING! Don’t know you personally (aside from your blog), but truly and genuinely could not be happier for you. What an exciting amazing opportunity! Cannot wait to see what adventures you take is all on. Have fun, happy packing and planning and safe travels 🙂
SO excited for you!!! It seems like everything is falling into place as it should ???? I truly believe in the saying “that everything happens for a reason”. I wish you the absolute best on this new adventure and can’t wait to see all your new adventures!! I love your blog and how genuine & real you are with all of us!! Have fun & safe travels!!
My dream is to live abroad somewhere for as long as I can legally make it work. However, with a job that I’m unable to legally work abroad that I do WFH…it seems so impossible. ???? Congrats to you!!!!!
I am also interested in temporarily living abroad and have a dog. I would be interested to learn more about the process of moving with your dog, what you do with him when you’re traveling, etc! I know it’s probably just like the US but from the research I’ve done it seems overwhelming!
Oh! And public onsale has caused me so much loss of sleep. The Charles David Gunter boots have not restocked and I got cancelled twice in early access!!
So amazing!! And pretty inspiring as well…I hope I have the chance to do something similar one day. I’m sure my fellow followers would agree, we will definitely continue to follow your blog, so no worries. You’ll be just as stylish in London and Europe as you are in Florida 😉
Congratulations and can’t wait!
I am very excited for you! You got this girl! I could totally rely on your blog. My biggest dream was since 10 (living in Europe) to live in New York City… After 13 years later my dream came true and since I never regret I had to leave my “safe” environment. Also lived in London for a year so I can share some fun things to do there ????. Happy Friday!
I am SO excited for you, Haley, and super jealous! 😉 Love how you acknowledge how God works in your life and love your words about how your life doesn’t have to be what others believe is normal or safe, because that’s something I’m struggling with right now. Can’t wait to see pictures and snapchat stories! xoxo
It is truly amazing the paths our lives can take when we leave our trust in His hands! So happy for you that you get to live out a dream with your friend all the while further pursing your new relationship. Can’t wait to view your adventures through the blog.
That is so exciting! This will be such a great move for you and I can’t wait to follow along!
I am so thrilled for you! This is such an exciting time. I lived in London for 7 months with my husband and dog and it was one of the best times of my life. If I could give you three recommendations it would be these: walk Fish through Hyde Park as often as you can. The park is massive and there is so much to explore. Eat at Maggie Jones in Kensington at least once. Book the small, round table in the corner upstairs for a truly memorable date night – Kate frequents this place bc it’s a stones throw from Kensington Palace! And you must check out The Electric Diner and Theater in Notting Hill. Movie theaters in London are not on par with American cinemas but this theater is incredible!! Safe travels and I cannot wait to read about your time there!!!
So happy and excited for you!
Omg so jealous and excited for you! I lived in London for 3 months (Sept-Dec too!) a few years ago and LOVED it! It’s so easy to take mini trips to other destinations as well. Can’t wait to follow along 🙂
Your fall looks are literally my favorite style inspirations!
Congrats!!! So happy for you and can’t wait to see all of your adventures!!
I am massively looking forward to your take on London over the next couple of months. (in the fall too?! YESS) Let’s be real, you’re going to get some flack for moving across the pond becuase they will see it as “for a guy,” but I for one completely understand. My husband and I dated just a couple of weeks before I moved away. But we both knew that we were just meant to be and so he put a ring on it within the year, and I moved back. Despite everyone’s judgment about how fast we got engaged, we’re happily married with God at the center of our lives. As long as God is there, you will be just perfect. congrats!
As a a follower and fellow long distance relationship-er, I am SO incredibly excited for you!!! I have enjoyed your blog for as long as I can remember and even though I’m not the most style savvy person out there, what I enjoy most is your honesty and commitment to your blog, your family & friends, God and, of course, little Fish 🙂 I understand the distance (Florida-Wisconsin – which isn’t quite as far, but still…) and one of us will be moving (me) permanently, but I also understand the excitement that comes with a new opportunity about experiencing a new place, a new culture. While we all know that we are important to you as followers, you must also do what makes you happy. This is such a great post and, even though I don’t know you personally, inspires me to follow my heart as well – both personally and professionally. I cannot wait to see what life in London and the rest of Europe has in store for you!! You are beautiful, inside and out <3
So excited for you!!!
So excited for you girl!!!!!!!
I am so excited for you!! What an amazing opportunity! I can’t wait to see your blog posts around Londontown :).
Haley, I’ve read you for some time now. You don’t know me, of course, but I feel need to say. It’s your blog, it’s your “house” in Internet! So any themes which you are writing about are nice and appropriate. And, outfits and differant new cities and places are more inspiring than outfits only:)) I’m very glad for you and wish you all the best.
Hi Helen! Thank you so much!!! I totally agree but I definitely want to continue to maintain the style aspect of S&T while incorporating other areas, as well, and I just felt it would be a little easier with a home base. I’ve learned, from experience, it’s extremely stressful trying to keep up with posting blog content when you’re ‘on the go’. That’s all I meant by that 🙂 I will certainly be sharing all different things while I’m over there! xo.
Congrats! I cannot wait to see all your new posts from London (and hopefully some other awesome cities)!!!
How exciting, Haley! I totally wish I had enough courage to get up and move abroad for a few months! So inspiring! Can’t wait to follow your journey!
How exciting!! I’m looking forward to following your adventure : )
So excited for you and all the adventures God has in store for you. Can’t wait to follow along!
Congrats and have fun, this is truly exciting news! I’ve never commented on your blog before, but I grew up in Jacksonville and my parents still live there. I would love to read a post about your tips for getting ready to travel abroad with a pet – because I’m planning to move to Prague next summer to teach English and I have a dog who I will definitely not be leaving behind!
I’m so happy for you ! I always wanted to go to London so I’ll see it threw your eyes ! Can’t wait to see your posts from there.
So exciting!! I love London, and always thought it would be so fun to live there! I will have to live vicariously through your adventure! Have fun and so excited Fish is coming too!!
So exciting!! Seeing posts, snaps & photos from London will be fun!! SO happy you’re bringing lil Fishy stud man with you!!! He’s gonna need a raincoat! ????
Side note- do you if Nordstom will still restock if there still hasn’t been an item restocked as of this morning?
“God is good like that. There are no coincidences. We need to keep our hands open. Our desires have a purpose.”
I am in LOVE with this quote from this post. God is so good. All the time. In our dreams, in our trials, in our just-figuring-it-out. I am blown away by the how the Lord orchestrated this desire and season in your life. Thanks for letting us tag along because I am SO excited! 🙂
Thank you for your continual authenticity of your life through your blog and social media. Prayers and hugs from Colorado!! Xoxo
Congratulations!! This is such exciting news and I love hearing people go after what their hearts are telling them! You only live once and there are so many mediocre things in this life- relationships shouldn’t be one of them so Live It Up with Ben!! So happy for you and cant wait to follow along on all your new adventures 🙂
xox Tess | Sequins are the New Black
So exciting! I hope you travels bring you lots of joy and clarity! Life is one crazy adventure!
This is so awesome! Enjoy yourself and just have fun. It is great you and your boyfriend get to experience your relationship and grow in the same country.
This is so exciting! So happy for you, and will definitely be living vicariously through you haha. Can’t wait to see all of your beautiful content and adventures!
This is so exciting on so many levels!! I CANNOT WAIT to follow along!! London is the one place I would consider moving abroad so I’m excited to see how you like it and all that you are able to experience! Happy Friday!
How 2 Wear It  http://how2wearit.com
Haley, this is the first time I’ve left a comment and I just want to say I’m so happy + excited for you and what this means for you and your relationship with God and your life! This is so amazing! I’ll be honest, I skim through a lot of fashion blogs for the pictures and links but yours is the only one where I actually READ the posts and keep up with the blogger. You are such an inspiration and, as someone who’s done a long-distance relationship for years, I can totally understand what you mean. Mine didn’t work out, but it was for the better. I wish you all the best!
How exciting for you. My husband and I have the dream to move to Paris in two years so I can’t wait to hear your moving experiences. Carpe Diem!!!
Congratulations, Haley! I know how hard long distance can be and although it can teach you a lot about communication, it’s SO MUCH BETTER (and easier haha) to be in the same place. I loved the 3 months I lived in England and it was one of the best times of my life. Can’t wait to see your posts from over there! Also, the Nsale today was crazy…I logged on at 8:30 to order some things in a different size and there is nothing left. So worth having the card to shop early. Thanks for all your earlier posts, they were super helpful this past week!
I’ve never been to London but it sounds so exciting! I hope you have a wonderful time there. I bet it’ll be a great experience for you!
Oh, Haley… My heart is so happy for you! I can’t wait to continue following along on your adventures! I wish you nothing but the best, sweet girl!
I’m so happy for you! England is at the top of my list for travel someday. I’ve wanted to visit all the places Jane Austen lived and traveled to as well as Charles Dickens home and the Brontes parsonage. I’m looking forward to all the fun adventures you’ll be sharing with us from there!
Congratulations, Haley!! That is so exciting! Love when the Lord so graciously gives us exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ask for. Excited for you and this new adventure.
That is so exciting! I can’t wait to see your London style! Best wishes and safe travels!
Awww…just read your post!! Can’t wait to see all the new stuff from abroad. Good luck, stay safe and we will all be right there following along :)♡
Such amazing news!!!! Could not be happier for you! Can’t wait to follow along☺️????????☺️????
Oh my goodness I couldn’t be more excited for you! What an amazing adventure!!
Wow!!! So excited for you to take this step. I admire your love for our Lord and glad you rest in the comfort of his Word. Cant wait for the adventure that awaits you!!!! Many Blessings…. Cari
Wow that is awesome news! I am so glad you are following God’s plan for your life. It will be amazing, I have no doubt! I would love to hear about your trips, and live vicariously through you while I am here finishing up college hah! I love your blog, and everything you stand for. Sending prayers for safe travels, and an amazing time in London!
YAYYAYAYAYYAYAYAYY Couldn’t be more excited for you!!! You deserve to see what God has planned for you and Ben. So happy for you…wow what an amazing experience! I studied abroad in London and lived in South Kenginston and it was beautiful! You are going to love it in the fall!! can’t wait for all the pics!! xo
Ah!!! This is such exciting news. There’s a place at one of the back corners of the borough market you MUST go to! They have the absolute BEST grilled cheese I’ve ever had in my life!! London is amazing and I am yearning to go back myself! I hope you have an amazing time and enjoy the path God is taking you on. ❤️
I’m so excited to read all about your (and Fish’s) adventures abroad! Best wishes for safe and happy travels!
You’re coming to England!!! Can’t wait to see what you do with British brands – Come and visit Manchester and Liverpool we have amazing shops here!!!!!!
SO excited for you, girl!!! Your stay in London will be amazing with Ben AND Whitney! Keep us updated!!
Go and live all those big dreams!! Life is such a great adventure and we need need to experience everything we can. I’m excited for you and, if I’m honest, a tad envious. I hope you have a wonderful 3 months. Looking forward to your London style blogging.
Such an inspiring post! It’s so impressive you have the courage to pick up and move. I got the same top from the NSale and love it. Love your style!
Congrats!! My husband and I have a very similar story to you and Ben! We met in the US and the next day he flew back to England. We talked daily through fb chat ???? That was before Skype and What’s App! After a year, he quit his job and moved to the US to see if our relationship could work and after 3 days together, we both knew we were meant for each other. I pray you have the same love story!! God is so good and when he writes our love story it’s better than we could ever imagine!
I am so excited for you! My bf and I have a similiar story with us being LD but ours is 2 hours away and I still struggle. Stay strong! This new adventure will be the best thing for you and your soul. I am so excited for you&Ben and You&Whitney’s adventures coming up!!!
Congrats on the big move!! If you love Italian food, Cicchetti’s is a must! Or Homeslice in Neal’s Yard for delicious pizza!
Hi Alyson. I have just stumbled upon your blog and am so inspired by everything you do and stand for. It’s so refreshing to see other young gals talk so passionately about Christ in your life. That’s awesome! You are so blessed to have this awesome experience to live abroad. I’m a European chic living in North Florida and all I do is dream about travel. Soak it all in and can’t wait to read all about it. Good luck with your new relationship. I may be a bit biased but British boys are the best (my husband is from England!) xoxoxo
Thank you, Yvette! You and your British hubby need to set out on some trips! I’m so happy you found my blog 🙂 Welcome! xo.
So excited for you!!! Can’t wait to follow along. Have a blast!1
Thank you, Cate! xo.
So my sister introduced me to your blog and I love it! But, I just wanted to say this particular post was a huge encouragement for me. I was trying to figure out what led you to make the big move and after reading this I 100% know the feeling. I’ve been struggling with the same desire to move to London, but for different reasons and it was really nice to hear your process and knowing that your desire to move was from the Lord. I’m still in the beginning stages of figuring things out and whether or not this is a God thing or a me thing. But regardless, your trust and faith gave me some hope. So thank you. I look forward to following your adventures in London, a city that I absolutely love.