Though I typically try to keep up a weekly “word of the week” or “Word Woche,” this week I was hoping to learn something new when I traveled to Alaska (like a native Alaskan word or something of the sort.) However, I realized I need something first to even post and that would be internet. So in place of my weekly informative word post I thought I would dispense some interesting things I did learn this weekend.
To give you a fuller picture–YES, I did travel to Alaska in a weekend. And yes, I did not stay in the city nor in a major trendy metropolis. I actually stayed in a cabin with no running water (don’t worry–I had access. It was on property) and my source of heat was a propane tank and little electric heater set for 57 degrees. In NO way am I complaining… because honestly the heaters and blankets/pillows were all I needed. And I am thankful for the people who housed and shuttled me around to some interesting spots near Fairbanks, AK. It was truly a wonderful experience.
So here is some items I learned if you’re ever going to travel to Alaska:
1) Don’t stay in Anchorage. It’s not a representation of the state and I found out that because its the only “major” city they have subsidized utilities and in a way prevents other communities like Fairbanks and possible Juneau from having utilities at a reasonable cost. However, this doesn’t stop anyone—a wood stove heats a house just as good if not better than a furnace. It just sucks when you rely on a something we take for granted in the lower 48 states.
2) It’s cold–yeah, we get it. It’s Alaska. bring a sweatshirt and some layers and you’re fine. If you can’t deal, I would honestly say don’t come. Because though Alaska is absolutely beautiful in the way of mountains and snow and seeing nature–if you can’t experience it first hand (a.k.a. not from a boat) then don’t bothering coming.
3) I truly have learn to appreciate things because I live in a warmer climate because of this trip. At the same time, I want to emphasize that just because someone lives in a more remote portion of the world DOES NOT mean they are backwards, different or less technologically advanced. I was reminded of this by one of my friends in Alaska that people in Seattle often do this–ask if they need help when they just don’t understand it just works differently. Here’s a simple example. There are plugs hanging from the cars’ front grills. This is not because their electric but because when it gets 40 below, you need to keep your engine & battery going by plugging in & keeping it warm. Logical sense. And the community has plug-ins everywhere so its not an inconvenience. It’s not backwards, its practical.
I honestly think I had the best experience–being able to enjoy something very few people do–the real down to earth part of Alaska. And in turn I learn some things to be thankful for and might consider coming back in the future 🙂