Holly Phan Photography

Emma’s Edition x American Eagle Outfitters

I grew up the Pacific Northwest. I grew up in a place that’s
forever green and summer days stretched until 9pm. I grew up the South Sound –
where I ran through forest trails in high school cross country practices and
watched football games in the rain. I went to elementary school, middle school,
high school and college in Washington. Even though I knew my home state was
beautiful, I grew up with the intention
to leave
this place. So I did.


I graduated from UW and took a job offer that
relocated me to Southern California.
It was my dream. I was beyond ecstatic when I received my offer because
I had always dreamed of living in the Golden State. I craved eternal sunshine
and blue skies year round. I thought I was going to fall in love with Southern

So I went from hiking through evergreens to hiking through the
dry, rugged canyons of Orange County and Malibu. Instead of the seasons
changing for fall and winter, Southern California stayed steadily hot through
September-December. I brunched through Los Angeles, lay out on the beaches of
Laguna, and sat through the traffic on 405, the 5, the 10, and to LAX. Even
though I had so much fun exploring a new city, I realized what I had left
behind at home. 

I came home for thanksgiving and realized how much I
missed the autumn season colors and the crispness of the air. It was also 78
degrees in SoCal when I left on Christmas Eve. I came back to the long winter
nights but the comfort of my friends and family. Because of California’s dry, sometimes desert like landscape, 
 I came to realize how beautiful Washington’s evergreen landscape really is. Because of the normal traffic from Orange County to LA, I came to appreciate
Seattle’s distinct neighborhoods and how conveniently close everything was in
the city. 

Being away from my hometown gave me the space to
miss Washington and realized everything I loved about it. Ultimately, I came
back much earlier than I thought I would. I thought I would still be in California
or move to another big city, but right now I know I’m where I need to be. I
know I should be in Seattle and in the Northwest.

Leaving Seattle was one of the best decisions of my
life. I would have not fallen back in love if I never left. And I’m so happy
that where I love where grew up. 

Outfit details:

Oversized Cardigan – American Eagle Outfitters

Velvet Top (Hot trend for winter!) – American Eagle Outfitters

Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters

Over the Knee Boots – TJ Maxx

Purse – Kate Spade 

Thank you for reading!