Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A new beginning, a new blog!

Welcome to Sunflowers and Skyscrapers, Raymond and Rachel's new blog!

Five months ago, we took a chance and bought two plane tickets to London. It was the best risk we've ever taken! We had no idea what we were doing (buying tickets four weeks before we left), but we had faith that we could figure it out, and have the adventure of a lifetime. We were right.

Our semester abroad is four months of our life we will never regret. Not only did we visit some amazing cities and places, but we made some awesome international friends and spent hours in conversation about the differences in culture around the world.

We love to go home, but we hate to leave.

Our blog, "Rachel-Ray Across the Pond" was a fantastic avenue to showcase these differences and everything we learned in the UK. It served as a way for us to keep in touch with friends and family back home, and gave many of our English readers a new perspective on things they see and do every day.

Now that we are headed home, it's time to put "Across the Pond" to rest. Although we hope to take another visit to Europe soon, we're realistic to know we will probably never again live abroad for an extended amount of time. We're both ready to graduate and start building careers, and bills are calling to be paid.

However, just because "Across the Pond" is ending does not mean that we are done! Hence, "Sunflowers and Skyscrapers" was born.

We've learned so much about ourselves and the world while living in England. We know that it might be difficult to adjust back to life in Wichita, but we're ready to bring our new habits and mix them with the old ones. There are so many ways to mix "big-city life" with "small-town USA," and I'm excited to get home and start. It will also be a great way to keep in touch with our English base, and demonstrate what "normal" is for us back home!

So, what does the name "Sunflowers and Skyscrapers" mean? Raymond and I love to travel. We love big cities, urban areas, and new experiences. I love the metro, because of how easy it is to get from one side of London to the other. The local markets, high-rise buildings, constant movement--they all add to our love of cities and millions of people all in one place. The culture is rich with diversity and fresh ideas.

However, while living in England we realized how much we miss the mid-west, full of sunshine, fields, and beautiful sunsets. We've missed our family, and all the kind-hearted individuals who live in the heartland and have time to smile at strangers.

We're made up of both places, the Sunflowers and the Skyscrapers. Six lane highways and dirt roads. High-rise apartments and the Flint Hills.

We'll never be done traveling and exploring, and we'll never stop thinking about the city.
But the midwest is where we call home.