Somewhere in Glacier View, Alaska

When I look at this photo it reminds me of how great this day was. It’s one of the many reasons I take photos everywhere I go. I like to reflect on things visually. Whether it be a picture, a list or journal entry. It’s the moments like these that make me one of the happiest girls in the world.

Whenever I look at this picture, what I think about was it’s spontaneity. Absolutely nothing was planned; no exact location, no time crunches, nothing. The best part about unplanned road trips is that we don’t have to be in a certain location by a certain time. It’s been awhile since we’ve had a day like this. Where we could stop whenever we wanted and just take everything around us all in. Just the two of us in the car listening to some playlist we created when we first started dating.

I remember Shawn waking me up with kisses and telling me to get ready to go because we were going on a drive. I remember the smile on his face when he knew he caught me off guard with this road trip. The day was warm enough for me to be out in only a sweater; there was no need for a winter coat. The skies were clear and bright. There wasn’t too much traffic getting out of the city it being a Sunday morning. It was the perfect day to get away without having to deal with speedy drivers trying to get to where they need to be as soon as possible. We got to go at our own pace. And that’s what I never want to forget. I don’t want to forget that it’s okay to do things at your own pace. The world is constantly moving, you don’t need to be another person rushing through life. I’m getting a little side tracked though.

I’ve seen pictures of Matanuska Glacier from friends and articles but never did I get to see it in person. I remember mentioning this to Shawn a few weeks before he surprised me with this trip. The glacier, even if we were far away from it was too beautiful to put into words. We knew that there were guided tours to the glacier and that you can literally stand beside and explore around it but we decided to plan that for another day.

I remember ending the day eating in a little diner in the middle of nowhere. The views from this diner were breathtaking. Mountains surrounding every area we looked. They had the best comfort food and to top it off, 50 cent coffee. Who could pass up 50 cent coffee?

This day in particular was one of the most simple yet amazing days we’ve had together. It’s all the little things that happened throughout the day that made it so memorable. It never ceases to put a smile on my face whenever I think about it. I can’t wait for all the other spontaneous trips that come our way!

Alaska Will Always be Home

As I get older I’ve come to realize how much I’ve taken this place for granted. All the missed opportunities; whether it be trying new things or exploring what’s out there. I remember hating this place when I was younger. Thinking there was absolutely nothing to do. Wishing I was some place else in the world. Never did I think to grow so deeply in love with Alaska and what it has to offer. The me two years ago would do absolutely anything to get out.

These last two years of my life have been one hell of a roller coaster. I almost lost my dad, my grandma moved out of country, the family I was closest to moved down to the lower 48. In a short amount of time, I lost everyone I cared about. I knew that I was still fortunate to have these people alive and breathing but the fact that they weren’t here physically and so many miles away hurt me. I’ve never felt so alone. I felt stuck and I was frustrated.

It wasn’t until I met my now fiancé where things started to look up. I’ve never met anyone so selfless and patient. Him just barely knowing me and what was going on with my life didn’t phase him. Whatever I was dealing with, he took and made it his own problems. He made it our problem. I’ve never had someone there for me 24/7. He made me realize that things happen and instead of sitting around feeling sorry for myself and not moving forward I have to learn how to accept things the way they are because I can’t change that.

This was the start of me loving Alaska. It was the start of loving what this beautiful state had and continues to offer. Never in a million years did I picture myself to be the outdoorsy type. Never in a million years did I think I’d climb a mountain or try something new, especially things that terrified me. But I found my escape beneath the trees and high on mountain tops. Hiking became a hobby, it became my way of life.

Being one with nature and driving out of the city every weekend makes me happy. It keeps me sane. My love for this state continues to grow as we travel new roads and hike new trails. I have a lot of ground to cover and in no way, shape or form am I a pro at hiking. There’s just so much to learn and explore for me to be a pro. And even then, I couldn’t imagine calling myself a pro.

Each time I’m out I am reminded how lucky I am to call this place home. Each time I go out it’s as if I’m seeing all the mountains for the first time because every time I’m out there I’m amazed to see massive mountains. Every road trip makes me appreciate life. It reminds me that even on my bad days there are still things to be happy about. Sure, the city life and things to do in the city are limited but being out and exploring the unknown makes me less and less of a city girl.

My time in Alaska is slowing coming to an end. In a little over a year  I’ll be trading my mountain views for beaches and historic sites. As much as I love Alaska I’ve also come to realize that there is so much more to see in this world besides where I reside. As much as Alaska makes me happy and never ceases to amaze me I know moving would be an amazing experience. I’ll miss it, without a doubt but the adventures are out there and I want to experience as much as I can.

Alaska is home. It will always be my home. There’s nothing in this world that would change that. Wherever I end up in this world will never compare to Alaska. I know I’ll experience things that I can’t here. They’ll be amazing, yes, but nothing beats home.