Alaska Ruined My Life
Yeah, that’s right, I’m ruined and Alaska is to blame
Now, I know what you’re thinking, you thought I loved it there? You’re not wrong, at all. I more than loved it. So, let me rephrase here a little: I am ruined in the most beautiful way possible and my life will never be the same. I will never be the same. Alaska is the greatest thing to have ever happened to me and I can safely admit that it is, without a single doubt, the best place I have ever been. I would say that is speaking quite boldly for someone who has lived on three continents, in three countries and now in three states. Alaska is my number one.
It’s this type of magic that draws you in and encompasses every ounce of your being and you would do anything to never be released. You forget about outside life, at least I know I did. I could go days without making a phone call, sending a text message or doing really anything to get in contact with the human race (sorry everyone). I was happiest when I was living in the moment and it seemed like that was the only thing I ever did; I lived for the moment. I disconnected myself from an iPhone screen and connected with my second favorite mother, Nature. I was worry free, carefree and completely free. I forgot about the things that brought sadness to my soul, or frustrations to my browline because I was happy. I was truly living and loving every minute of every. Single. Day.
I am not ruined because I have become this major hippie, mountain-loving lady ( only slightly) that could never be apart of civilization again. No. I am ruined because I can’t even look at a mountain without fantasizing about what it would be like to climb to the peak. Or when I look at the night sky now, I will forever wish that the Aurora Borealis are dancing above and that every star in the sky has been asked to dance along with them. I fell in love with smelling like campfire and not wearing make-up for days. Or with waking up early to drink coffee and spend my hours making friends with nature. I think it’s also REALLY important to note that while Tucson was suffering in oven heat I was learning to just bundle up on colder days
I lived in this little town that broke the mold of feeling unsafe, or alone. I forgot what it meant to lock the doors behind me as I left the house, or why leaving the keys in the car’s ignition just seemed normal because, in a town like Skagway, you didn’t need to worry. You also didn’t need to worry about walking home alone, in the middle of the night, because one, your town is Mr. Rogers safe and only twelve blocks by four blocks so getting lost is almost impossible…I say almost because there is a slight chance I did get lost my first time walking through town trying to find the infamous Red Onion Saloon… (Are we even surprised?) and number two, the sun never sets, so you always have that always alive and always energetic sun to walk you home.
Ok, Ok, so maybe I had to worry about bears trying to join me on hikes and yes, this caused multiple panic modes to be turned on in me, but once I learned to relax and just bebear (be aware.. get it, get it?) it became something so normal and something amazing. Getting the chance to watch mama bears walking up and down the Klondike Highway (as I safely watch from my protected Hummer) with their cubs, the same cubs you’ve watched grow all summer long, is something that your eyes will never get tired of seeing. It’s beary exciting, trust me.
Let’s also not forget about the beautiful moose (meese?) I watched galloping by or the bald eagles soaring through the skies. I was speechless, as my eyes filled with the happiest of tears, while I stuck my head out of a speedboat in Juneau watching whales live their best lives. Animals. Animals. Animals. I love you even more in your natural habitat and because I’ve been able to witness this beauty first hand I’m ruined because now more than ever I want to help save the planet. A place as beautiful as Alaska (and Canada) will do that to a person.
I’m ruined because I consider hiking multiple hours and miles up and down mountains to be the absolute best way to spend my free time. I say ruined because I stopped liking the idea of going out to bars, drinking and eating crappy food because, well, picking berries on top of those beautiful mountains, waking up early to go catch bears eating salmon in Dyea, swimming in freezing cold lakes and biking until my legs felt like falling off, just sounded so much better.
I spent my day creating some of the best moments of my life with some of the best people I will ever meet. I’d say that this place and this time spent conquering mountains, getting lost on our way to peaks, dancing to the flames of campfires and being uniquely lost and found together are the beautiful moments that ruined each of us in the best ways possible. I will be forever grateful and ruined.
On a final note, I’ll forever know the importance of not taking cheap groceries for granted or for the fact that I can’t go without noticing Hummers EVERYWHERE now!