Hi everyone! Today is a very special day for me: Exactly one year ago today, I moved to Alaska!
In case you missed our moving story, my husband and I were looking for a change and were throwing around some ideas on places we would like to move to – and then while on our honeymoon to Alaska we realized that we’d found the perfect place. While hiking in Denali I made the suggestion and we haven’t looked back since!
At first it sounded totally insane. Moving from Philly all the way to Alaska just for the pretty views and hiking trails? That’s silly. We had jobs and friends and family nearby, isn’t that enough? But it wasn’t. We were looking for something more, and Alaska had that for us. We really couldn’t think of a reason to stay in a city where we weren’t totally happy in jobs that weren’t what we really wanted to do, especially when we knew that there were amazing places out there where we could live instead. So after securing a summer job that at least would give us an income and a place to live in Seward for the summer, we packed up our belongings and set out on the craziest adventure ever.
Today marks the anniversary of the absolute hardest day of my life. I’ve never seen my parents cry that hard. I almost couldn’t make myself drive away from them and I literally spent the entire day crying as we drove across the midwest. I cry just thinking about it 😦 And the trip only got crazier from there! We spent 8 days driving through the US and Canada, crashing into snowbanks and blowing out tires, before reaching our new home. And since getting here, it’s been a pretty crazy adventure! We spent the summer in Seward trying to adjust to small town Alaska life while trying to take in as many new experiences as possible. I had more than a few moments were I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to find jobs and an apartment in Anchorage when the summer was over, but we made it happen. We survived the long dark (and non-snowy) winter, and now that we’ve made it to the one year mark I’m feeling so incredibly happy that this is my home. Although to be honest, there hasn’t been a single day this year where I didn’t get a little bit homesick. It’s been hard sometimes, but I’ve done so many amazing things since becoming an Alaskan:
-I saw more orca, fin, humpback, and beluga whales than I can count
-I hiked giant mountains
-I became semi-comfortable with seeing moose everywhere
-I saw the aurora borealis!
-I bought my first gun
-I kayaked next to sea otters
-I went dogsledding on a glacier
-I saw some insane rainbows
-I hung out under the midnight sun
-I stood on glaciers
-I survived temps around zero and almost nonexistent sunlight…and it wasn’t so bad!
-I ran next to the ocean, under the midnight sun, through the mountains, and in more beautiful places than I could ever have imagined back in Philly!
It was so incredibly hard leaving Philly, but living in Alaska is worth it. We gave up a lot but got so many amazing things in return. I love my new job, my new friends, my gorgeous new running trails, and the fact that my weekend plans are things that most people won’t get to do in their lifetime. If you feel like you want to make a big move, DO IT. Most people won’t understand it but you only get one life to live and it might as well be in a kickass place!
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?