Sunday, January 22, 2017

10 Year Blog Anniversary & Sabbatical in England

Radcliffe Camera, Oxford University

Ten years ago I started this blog before moving to England for a year long sabbatical. My kids' adventures at British schools inspired me to write a young adult novel, which I'm now revising on location. My husband has returned to Oxford University for a second research fellowship. Henry is writing an academic book on media & politics in Japan, the UK, and the USA. Given the political situation in the USA, we're almost wishing our four month sabbatical could be four years!

With blog buddy Beth@TRAC 9 years ago in Oxford
So much has changed in a decade online. Back in 2007 few people had heard of blogs or social media. I expected my blog to be an efficient way to update family and friends while abroad, but my followers soon grew beyond people I knew and spread across national borders.

We connected via our passions for reading, art, travel, and nature. Some of you became art clients too. Although our political views have sometimes differed, I appreciated getting to know people who were different from me.

The internet can be a hostile place, but I love how our community is respectful and open-minded. I have learned so much from my fellow bloggers. You kept me company in England, followed me back home to Maine, and more recently, to Japan. Thank you for posting and for commenting!

University Parks: a twenty minute walk from our sabbatical home.

My back-to-back sabbaticals abroad (including Japanese lessons!) left little time for blogging. Now that I'm settled in our temporary home with reliable wifi, I'll be updating more regularly. If you need a soothing distraction from the worries of the world, I'll be writing about books and life in Oxford. I'll post more about Japan when I return to writing that new novel. I'm looking forward to catching up with you too. Cheers!

Recovering from jet lag at the Catherine Wheel, my British husband's village pub.


cynthia newberry martin said...

Wow, what fun--Japan to England! I hear you on the four years. Great photos, by the way. And congratulations on 10 years of blogging--that is quite an accomplishment! I look forward to more from you in the coming months.

Sarah Laurence said...

Thanks, Cynthia! I'm so happy we connected through our blogs years ago. I hope your writing is going well too.

Rose said...

Congratulations on your blogaversary--10 years, wow! It sounds like your husband has chosen a very timely topic for his book; he should have a wealth of material to work with:) I'm looking forward to seeing all your images and reflections of life in Oxford!

Amy said...

I discovered your blog while my husband and I were enjoying a holiday vacation in England. You introduced me to the Oxford Covered Market. Thank you!
I enjoyed reading your posts on Oxford, and it was fun to discover we have some overlapping interests. My husband has an academic position, and I am carving out my own freelance writing life. We recently returned home to South Carolina from four month in California.

I love the fluidity of our lives and schedules, but, outside of the university community, we definitely run a bit outside of the mainstream where I live! It's nice to read how other families approach things.

You've gained a new reader!


troutbirder said...

As always looking forward to your new adventures, places and people. Ten years has been a great run for your followers...:)

Sarah Laurence said...

Rose, yes, lots of material on media and politics now. Thanks for following all these years!

Amy, welcome to my blog! I loved hearing the story of how you find me and the Covered Market. It's nice to connect with another academic spouse. California must have been fun. I'm delighted to have a new reader. Thank you!

troutbirder, I've enjoyed your blog over these years too, thanks!

thecuecard said...

Oh nice Sarah! Maybe you can stretch the sabbatical longer. I wouldn't go back to the States, though I know how you like Maine. Every day is agony with Trump in office, though I live in Canada -- I still care about the States. A friend of mine lives half the year in Oxford, & half the year here. Her name is Sarah too. I hope you will enjoy your time there and working on your book. Much luck! Happy 10 years with the blog too.

Donna said...

Happy 10-year "blogiversary"! I'm glad we've been blog friends over the last several years. You're one of my favorites. I love England and I'm sure I'll enjoy your posts from there during this sabbatical!

Sarah Laurence said...

Cue, thanks! If I were in the States I’d be calling and meeting with my senators. All I can do from here is email, tweet to them. I'm also donating to charities and NGOs and subscribing to newspapers online. As a Jew, I'm appalled that he closed the USA to Muslim immigrants on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. We can only hope that the other branches of government will check him. I’m sure it’s scary watching this unfold across the border. This blog isn't focused on politics but my tweets have been lately:

Donna, thank you! I’ve enjoyed your blog too. It is lovely to be back in England. I’m catching up on book reviews now but will be back to blogging about England soon. I need a peaceful distraction.

Petra Pavlátková said...

Sarah, happy blogging anniversary!
Your husband's sabbaticals must be a great opportunity for you to study other than American environment and find new (background) stories for your books.
That photo with the swan is wonderful, great capture... Have a good time in England!

khaki said...

10 years! Wow! Time flies. I love visiting your blog, seeing your updates, watching the pup grow and "visiting" New England (as well as your other travels). 10 years... here's to another 10!

Sarah Laurence said...

Petra, thanks! I enjoy living abroad and having the excuse and knowledge to set a book elsewhere. Also research makes me go out and explore.

Kacky, thank you! I enjoy warming up on your blog.