Alaska, My Love

Woah, y’all. Life has been crazy. I am talking “can you believe?” crazy! The kind of crazy that makes you want to dance and smile and be all kinds of happy. The thing I find most interesting about this happy dance time of mine is that I find it more difficult to write when I am feeling good. I believe it is similar to the idea that ‘therapy is only necessary when you aren’t feeling good’. It is supposed to fix the problems and there can’t possibly be problems when you are happy, right? *Momentary pause as I try to control my laughter* So, my life is the good kind of crazy right now, complete with all emotions coursing through my body, but joy is leading the way. This shift in emotional leaders all started when I got to leave the island.

I am sure you all would like to hear a little bit more about my trip to Anchorage because I really left y’all hanging. IT WAS MAGICAL. Anchorage is absolutely beautiful. It is the type of city that is surrounded by mountains and water and so. many. stars. Which reminds me, I had my first Northern Lights spotting. I would like to beg anyone to go see the Northern Lights and then try to argue with me about how life isn’t just a big magic show. THEY ARE LIGHTS THAT DANCE ACROSS THE SKY. Need I say more? On top of that, there is food that is to die for, hiking that is out of this world, a mall with an ice skating rink and a bowling alley… and my favorite part, Target. Yes, I am basic and yes, I did go to Target twice in the five days I was there. Not sorry.

As always on my trips I got to meet some wonderful people. That is always my favorite part of traveling. I am revived by the stories l hear from the people I will probably never see again and they still manage leave this impression on me that lasts forever. In case you forgot from my previous post, I was in Anchorage for a work training. It really sets the tone for meeting a lot of people doing some pretty bad-ass work in Alaska. I met a woman from Wisconsin *represent* who vacationed in Alaska and her vacations would get longer and longer until she just decided to stay. Since moving here she has been dedicated to building strong families across Alaska. We also talked about the Packers making it to the Super Bowl this year and her desire to never birth her own children. She was fantastic. I also met a woman from the FBI who works on fighting sex-trafficking and we talked about what self-care looks like for her in her line of work. In case you are wondering, it involves a lot of talking. There was also our fantastic bartender at the hotel who whipped out a knife to demonstrate that ‘Lucy can take care of herself!’ Oh, and the ice cream shop owners that were both packing heat as we ate our ice cream. Plus, out of all these great people, I also got to know my coworkers better! Couldn’t have asked for a better trip.

However, the most interesting aspect of leaving was missing my small town of Craig. If you go and read some of my previous posts, never did I ever think I would say those words. I really did though. I missed not having so many options. I oddly enjoy knowing I have basically one store to get my groceries. I also enjoy not having a Dave and Busters because that really messed with my head. I will never re-enter that hell pit again. I missed no traffic. I missed the air in Craig. Anchorage is exceptionally dry. (That tundra life tho.) I missed my friends and my job and my views and my car. It has been a little less than 5 months since I have moved here and I finally feel like I am starting to put down some roots and this odd little island is starting to feel more and more like home.

The thing I truly love about Prince of Wales Island, is the rich history that seeps into the way of life here. I spent yesterday out in Kasaan which is the Tlingit word translating to beautiful town. Kasaan 100% lives up to it’s name. It was flush with deep green trees and water that extended out to kiss the base of mountains. I have a jacket pocket filled deep with seashells and stones. I helped harvest devils club which could potentially be one of my cool, new hobbies? Though jam making is still a top contender. I felt extremely calm as I peeled the bright green root from the branch which helped make devils club tea. In that moment I understood why people come to vacation here and sometimes never leave. This island can transport you to a different time. I got chills as I sat in the Chief Son-i-Hat Whale House after just listening to the history and recent restoration of the ‘house with no nails’. MAGIC. I learned so much yesterday that I feel like I could write a whole book. As a person that loves school it was my favorite thing to be able to sit quietly and inhale all the knowledge that people on this island not only know, but live and breath by.

As is evident by my previous blog posts, I have bad days… sometimes bad weeks. Heck, high school was like four bad years. Yet, the more I am here the less I find myself trapped in that negative space. As I referenced in the beginning I feel happy and it is not because I don’t feel those other emotions, but because those other emotions pale in comparison to a clear sky in Alaska. I talk to families day in and day out about trauma and when I come home I take just a moment to look up. It makes the pain and heartache feel manageable. Witnessing nature is the best medicine I have found thus far and Alaska is abundant in it. Alaska, slowly, but surely, I am falling for you.

*Featured image was taken yesterday from the Kasaan beach. For more pictures from my Alaskan adventures follow me on Instagram: sarahlorrainerobinson *

Committing to Adventure

Alright folks, today is a big day. It may not seem like a big day you to you mainlanders, but to me it is huge! I am leaving the island for the first time in four months. ANCHORAGE HERE I COME. This has been the biggest struggle for me living here… knowing I can’t just get away. This I think is good for me in a lot of ways. I am a runner in all senses of the word. I like to physically run and I really enjoy mentally running. Dear future husband, Runaway Bride is a severe possibility. Here is your warning. I say that it is good for me though because it is teaching me to accept a lot of things about myself. Many of those things are the things I keep running from.

For instance, I have to accept this very fact I am writing about… Commitment. *shudders* Commitment is super scary to me. I don’t like feeling stuck and committing to something really feels like it means I am stuck. There are really beautiful things about being stuck though. Like maybe you are stuck because you are in a crowd in a concert that you love and their music is gracing your ear holes. Or maybe you are stuck because the person you love has glued you to their side and you are with that person for life and you know no matter how smelly your poop is they will still love you. And just perhaps you are stuck on a magical little island in Alaska figuring out that being stuck isn’t always a bad thing. No matter how much I am forced to look at the beauty of being stuck though, every part of my body will always yearn for travel. That bug will never die. I suppose you could say I am stuck with it…

So, the thing I really want to focus on today is why I love traveling so much. Because I really love traveling. ‘Can you believe?’ I mean I love all parts of traveling. That’s right, folks, I love being stinky and sitting next to weird strangers and having to continually lug around my bags around an airport and getting groped by TSA. There is something so incredibly intoxicating about an airport. Honestly, airplanes in general are pure magic and will never make sense to me. Little buses for the sky that just commute people at 500 mph. Now, that I really can’t believe. THE FUTURE IS NOW.

I think what I love so much about the adventure is the unpredictability. I am a very scheduled person. I get up, I make my breakfast, I go to work, I go for a run, I watch friends on M,W,F and Rise on Tuesday and Jersey Shore and my missed episode of Riverdale on Thursdays. On the weekends I am a little more flexible, but it’s generally the same. Of course, big things happen in between, but for my own anxiety levels it helps to have a general routine. When I am traveling though, some other Sarah takes over. All of the sudden my mindset of what I need goes out of the window. There are strangers to meet and new places to explore. “Did I just see a sign for the world’s best cup of coffee, I better check that out! Oh, according to yelp, the world’s largest shoe lives here. Oh Em Gee, Kesha has stood in this exact spot I am standing on. This pool is nice. I am never leaving this pool.” DO YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN? I just become this cool, calm, collected go with the flow type. I am not that type. I’m the type A, all dishes must be moved from the sink and all laundry folded immediately. You tell me I am on vacation though and all of the sudden something clicks in my brain. It’s fascinating really.

My favorite part though, is the feeling of freedom I get from jumping town to town, state to state, and country to country. I know I have an exorbitant amount of privilege for being able to do so. I feel so incredibly lucky to have such privilege and I wholeheartedly wish I could share it with everyone. That is why I love that I travel and have a blog (and an Instagram), I can share things with those that can’t necessarily get there. Even though I can’t go buying people plane, train, and automobile passes, I can take your imaginations and possibly give you an idea for your own adventures.

Which reminds me, that if you can’t travel there is always unpredictability outside of your door. Just because we have lived somewhere for some time, doesn’t mean there isn’t something new to discover. Each day is an adventure… that could lead to a magic bus in the sky.

Send me your new discoveries! I would love to get a glimpse of your adventures. & if you would like to see my travel to Anchorage this week follow me on Insta: sarahlorrainerobinson

PS: I am going for work, so it’s not exactly a vacation, but if a magic sky bus is involved that’s all my brain needs to make the switch to ‘go with the flow’ Sarah.