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Soleil is an award-winning creative, food and lifestyle photographer based in Austin, TX. 




Why would someone move from a place they call home and people they love? I’m not 100% sure, but I’ll tell you when I figure it out. So far, all I know is that I’m moving to Austin without a single plan of what I am doing and know only one single soul there.

When I made the decision a few months ago that it was time for me to move on to my next chapter, I could feel each root that I had grown here resisting a bit more. With each confirmation along the way, with every reassurance and excited conversation about what endless possibilities lie ahead in a new city, I told myself that once I made it official, I knew the remaining months would get progressively more bittersweet and Seattle harder to leave. I could have never thought it would be anything like this.

There’s only one other time I’ve been truly heartbroken and I can now feel the cracks beginning again. It sounds cliche, but it’s like walking around every day with the wind knocked out of you. I’m not sure when I’ll cry, but I know I will cherish this last month like it really is my last. My time here in Seattle has shown me so much about the world and taught me so much about life that I couldn’t forget even if I tried. From throwing stranger parties to competing in 24-hour scavenger hunts to maneuvering I-5 in a U-haul to playing laser tag at midnight in the parking lot of Seattle’s finest dining establishment, Seattle will always have a piece of my heart including the people in it.

People move all the time, and here I am just another person moving along in this world. I’ve built community in many places, but the majority of my core group of people are here. Some have stayed and some have left, but through it all, I continue to call Seattle home. To be honest, Seattle was a place I actually resented to start off with, but over time I have come to find the things I love about Seattle. And now that I have found the good parts here, I am ready to find the good parts of elsewhere.

This seems to be the easiest post to write, though it should be the hardest, no? I think because amidst all the emotions and anxiety I have, and the fact that I’m a post-griever i.e. I won’t cry until I am long gone from this little corner of my heart, I am unshakably calm about the unknown. And this would have never been my reaction six years ago when I moved here. So thank you Seattle for helping shape me into the person I have become thus far and to get me to the place where I can confidently take a step to a new place, personally and now geographically.

I told one of my best friends that because I have such a strong support system and close family and friends, I was moving. And when I was met with a confused look, I knew I needed to explain myself a bit more.

Growing up in Washington and having lived here all my life, I knew that one day I wanted to move. To challenge myself, to experience a new culture with new people, I’ve always been drawn to exploring and experiencing all kinds of places and people. And now, with nothing significant holding me here like a boyfriend, a husband, a kid or even a dog, there really is no better time than now. And if I’m being completely honest, I just want to be young. I’ve learned I don’t have to justify this statement though I have a dictionary-long explanation for why. But in short, I want to be young, to not try to be CEO at age 24, date around, take things slower and rest and sleep in, study and learn things I’ve always wanted to, incorporate more play into my life, dream big and maybe fail; a solo Soleil sabbatical if you will.

If I was in the opposite camp, in a place where I absolutely hated Seattle with no one who cared about me and vis vera, and I had decided to run away from the things I was unhappy about and around me, I have a feeling those same problems and issues would follow me no matter where I went. But that’s not the case. I have an overwhelmingly supportive, encouraging, motivating, and unconditionally loving foundation of people that I know will be there for me wherever I go, no matter what state I live in. It reminds me of that Winnie the Pooh quote “How lucky am I having something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” and this I can tell you, is a hard goodbye. So let’s not call it a goodbye.

Every so often I see people post on social media about moving and leaving their loved ones for another new adventure, and now that it’s happening to me, it feels somewhat surreal. As I step into this new chapter with nothing, there are a few things I will be needing:

  1. trust
  2. a lot of Facetime calls
  3. even more in-person visits
  4. help getting rid of my stuff (Sept. 1 I’m out!)
  5. mail and/or care packages- though nothing meltable
  6. PNW mountain dirt and ocean water
  7. recommendations on good eats and things to do down South
  8. prayers for health, community, connections, safety, and a whole lot of fun

It’s never a goodbye, but a see you later. It’s never permanent, only temporary. Washington will always be home to me, as its the place where my family and friends are. I’ve learned life is a lot of “yikes” moment mixed with “power moves only” moments, and I can’t wait for the moments that lie ahead in Austin. So this marks the countdown to enjoying every single day in the present, and let’s do this last month right Seattle.


© 2022 Soleil Roth, LLC. Soleil Roth Photography.