Hi everyone! Believe it or not, tomorrow marks the 2 month anniversary of moving to Alaska. Time is flying, but I also feel like I’ve been here forever. I’m starting to see changes in myself that I never thought I’d see! So I decided to use this week’s Friday Five Linkup with You Signed Up For What?!, Eat Pray Run DC, and Mar on the Run to tell you 5 things about the new and improved Alaska Kristen!
1. I am seriously obsessed with hiking. I could literally hike all day and all night (literally, you saw this post) if I let myself. To be honest, I was a bit intimidated by Alaska hikes when I first got here because most of them are either super long or extremely vertical. After last week’s summit of Mt. Marathon however (which you should read about here if you haven’t read about the craziness yet!) I feel like I could hike anything! In the past few days I have done more hiking than running, and yesterday I found myself staring out the window and dreaming of hiking to The Bowl instead of running. But running won! Back in Philly hiking was something I could only do on the weekends and in the shoulder seasons if I wanted to be comfortable. Here in Alaska I can do it every day if I want to!
Hiking in The Bowl!
2. I don’t care what I look like anymore…for the most part. This is a huge deal coming from someone who used to straighten my hair every day and would match my nail color to my outfits. But here in Alaska things are different. First of all, I have to wear a uniform to work (and no bright nail polish colors allowed!). When I get home from work I throw on whatever sweatpants are clean and make myself dinner with the 40 other people that live in my building. After a few weeks they became my new friends, so I began to feel more comfortable around them and did the unthinkable: I started wearing no makeup around them! And the world didn’t end! The other day I realized that I was wearing baggy sweatpants, a tank top, no makeup, glasses, and frizzy wet hair around a group of people and didn’t care. That’s just not like me at all. Even when I go to the bar I only really “dress up” by wearing TOMS, jeans, and a sweater. If you wore a dress or high heels to The Yukon Bar I think people would think you were crazy! Alaskans like to dress down and I’m really starting to like it! And my hair likes not being straightened every day 🙂
3. Rain doesn’t bother me. This may come as a shock to you after reading #2, but I used to scream and run for cover when it started to rain. Do you know what rain does to my hair!? But here in Alaska you don’t cancel plans because of weather! So I find myself doing all sorts of crazy things in the rain and not minding too much. So far I’ve done some awesome kayaking, hiking, and float rafting in the rain and I’m pretty proud of how non-wimpy I was about it. Although I discovered the other day that I need a better waterproof coat!
4. Mosquitoes are my homeboys. There are so many of them up here that at first I was a paranoid mess every time I went outside. Now I don’t really notice them, and when I do I just smack them out of the air. The mosquitos up here are big but they’re slow! This is one thing that I noticed the other day that really surprised me since usually I’m such a baby about bugs! Fun fact: there are no snakes up here. I would much rather deal with mosquitoes on a hike than snakes!
5. I think it’s hot out when it’s 65 degrees. Everyone told me I would acclimate to the weather, but I didn’t expect it to be this fast! Yesterday it was in the mid 40s on my way to work and I wasn’t even cold. Meanwhile, I sweat like crazy in a tank top while running in 65 degree sunny weather! Alaska has ruined my lower 48 summers. I can never go back now…not that I want to!
Alaska is a crazy beautiful place. Every day I wake up and have the chance to see something amazing that I could never see back in Philly. Sometimes I feel like I’m almost adjusting to the beauty, but I’m definitely not – seeing Mt. Marathon out my window still gives me chills, and I still pause mid-sentence and scream, “EAGLE!” every time a bald eagle flies by (hint: that’s a lot in Seward!). While I may have stopped taking pictures of every whale, sea otter, and moose that I see I think I’m just learning to take in the beauty in a different way. Running here has been an amazing experience and has helped motivate me to get out the door more times than I’d like to admit! And just knowing that every day will bring a new adventure has me excited to wake up every morning. I’ve really fallen in love with Seward and I can’t wait to make the most of my next 3 months here before we move to Anchorage!
And before you go: make sure to hop on over to my giveaway for BAMR Bands! Because I know you’re jealous of that yellow chevron headband!
Tell me one thing about you that isn’t well known! Do you think your town has an impact on who you are as a person?