January 5, 2017

2016: Year Of Adventure

Oh, the places this Swedish guy and California girl went in 2016! It was honestly one of the craziest and most adventurous years of our lives thus far (and we thought visas and moving internationally was crazy enough!). FIND YOUR ADVENTURE was a theme that struck as at the start of the year but we could never have fathomed how much that would really mean to us until...
We started off the year facing homelessness because due to various reasons (as detailed in the video below) and decided to do something drastic and daring! We moved from the West coast to the East coast of America to see follow our dreams and see if we would find a place to call home there.

Spoiler alert: We still haven't found that place yet but we definitely are loving living on the East Coast even though it has it's challenges as well as anywhere else. This year has been all about trying things we always dreamed of and trying to find where we belong.
So, when we set out on a 1 week USA road trip we had no idea that it would start the most epic adventurous year for us of traveling 19 states and living in 5 of them!!! It was truly spectacular to experience some of "America The Beautiful" together as we took the most southern route!
We waved goodbye to Disneyland, and journeyed into the Old West, looked for the basement of The Alamo, held baby alligators in Louisiana, walked in the steps of Martin Luther King Jr, and finally arrived at our destination of the mountainss of Northern Georgia.
What took us to Georgia you say? Why, WORKAWAY! A volunteer cultural exchange program where hosts and Workawayers can sign up and find each other and help one another while learning new things and seeing new places!
Ever since we got married at a bed & breakfast we dreamed of having one of our own one day but thought it might be a good idea to try it out first. The Lothridge family opened their home and business to us at Mountain Laurel farm where we got to help get the historic farm wedding ready for the season! It was one of the best things we ever decided to do and seeing the Blue Ridge Mountains burst into spring wasn't half bad either.
We knew we couldn't keep volunteering forever so when the opportunity came for us to get a paid internship in Virginia as assist innkeepers we jumped and moved to the Shenandoah Valley.
We finally had a home of our own and a jobs where we could work together...it all seemed too good to be true...and it WAS!

We got taken advantage of by an old man innkeeper and his cohorts and got kicked to the curb. We learned a lot of hard lessons through this experience but were facing being homeless once again.
So we decided to go to Sweden for the summer since we hadn't seen Jonas' family in 1 year and we hoped to figure things out. Thanks so much to our friends in North Carolina we were able to store our things and car so we could take this trip!

Sweden was such an oasis for us in a time of such stress. We had a glorious midsummer celebration...

...explored lots of castles...
...had ALL THE FIKA...
...spent loads of time by the sea...
...visited with family and went to a medieval faire...
While our trip in Sweden was wonderful, we also had many panic moments when we didn't know how we would return to the USA or where to go! We turned to Workaway again and found another B&B in Connecticut looking for help and we knew it was a perfect fit! We enjoyed the south but wanted to see if New England would be somewhere we could really see ourselves settling down. So off we went on another USA road trip from NC to CT passing through Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York!
New England was exactly what we had dreamed of and Mystic was absolutely enchanting! As with all our adventures, there was a lot of stress going on behind all the fun with our "Workaway family". From the beginning we knew we only had August to stay at Brigadoon B&B since they already had promised another Workawayer the fall months.
We searched for somewhere else to live but we still didn't have quite enough finances or credit score to stand on, just nothing worked...but thanks to friends of Brigadoon we were able to stay at another B&B in CT called Roseledge!
It was there that we kept searching and had our sites set on New York and we finally found a place to rent!!!
 
We moved the week of our 4 year wedding anniversary and were able to go off on a few local adventures to explore the area and celebrate!
 
Why did we want to move to New York you say? Why, for the RISE OF THE JACK O' LANTERNS!!! Jonas worked for them in California the previous fall and we were so thrilled when he could once again be one of many talented artists who hand illustrated and carve 5,000 to bring this epic Halloween event to life!

We had an amazing autumn in New York...it was the fall of our dreams and of course we had to go to Sleepy Hollow in October...
 
 ...and SALEM FOR HALLOWEEN!!!
We had such a wonderful birthday trip to Connecticut and Massachusetts that we got to spend with our Workaway fam, friends, and most importantly...each other!!! Since we both started working full time we really missed being together all the time!

 After the magic of Halloween faded we wondered what would happen for us in November. A wonderful surprise was when Lindsay's mum came for a visit to CT so of course we had to show her our favorite spots of Mystic as well as the town we lived in New York!
The holidays started to creep on us and so did the darkness and cold of winter. Our living situation took a turn for the worst and we started to look for another place but with no such luck (yet) but at least now we had jobs, a growing credit score, and a little rental history.

Being "home" was something we wanted to avoid so it actually worked out in a weird way that we worked a ton and on every holiday from Thanksgiving-New Year's. It helped to distract us from our situation, we got a lot of free food, and even got to work together at Lindsay's job on the actual holidays!
However, we did get to do some really fun local holiday activities like the Frosty parade in Armonk, Sinterklaas festival in Rhinebeck, and got to see NYC at Christmas time with friends from California! Christmas day we actually got to spend house/cat sitting for Jonas' pal from The Rise.
Looking back on 2016, we can hardly believe how many miles we traveled. It had it's very scary moments but on the other hand we did more in 1 year than some may do for a lifetime! We learned so much about ourselves in our search for "home" and you know what? Even though we haven't found that place yet we did find through all our adventures that when you can share it with each other and others you hold dear...well that's the magic sweet spot right there! 
You know what else? It can be with friends that you just met too! This was our first year spent NOT living near any of our families but the people we met along the way became as dear to us a family and will forever be remembered so fondly in our memory book of adventures from 2016. Thank you for coming along on the adventures with us for you TOO are apart of the tales <3
-Tales of Sheaves
P.S. All the videos from 2016 can be seen in order HERE for your viewing pleasure.

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