Friday Five · Living in Alaska

Friday Five: 5 Things About Me – Alaska Edition!

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!

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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!

20140626-211606.jpgA dog in a rain jacket on a float raft?  Basically the cutest thing ever!

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!

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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!

20140626-211651.jpgNorthwestern Glacier in the rain – proof that you can’t let rain spoil your plans!

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?

48 thoughts on “Friday Five: 5 Things About Me – Alaska Edition!

  1. Isn’t it funny how your mind and body acclimates to your surroundings? I love this -> mosquitoes are my homeboys! So true!

    1. I’m still not 100% happy with the rain here. When it rains it REALLY rains and you’re soaked instantly. Not fun when you’re walking to work. Long runs are pretty miserable too!

    1. Yes, they are massive and there are millions of them. I usually only have my face/hands exposed when hiking so I can do a good job of keeping them off me but I’ve got quite a few bites on my hands 😦 The good thing is that they are so big that you can see them coming before they can get you!

  2. You live in a beautiful. I got used to rain while living in England and also love to hike. In fact, after a half marathon in Dublin in early August, my husband and I will be hiking in the Lake District of England for a week!

    1. You should do it! A lot of cruises come to Seward and it’s so beautiful here. I recommend doing a shore excursion to Denali if you can because that mountain is mind blowing!

  3. Oh my gosh, you just made me want to move from Florida to Alaska (it doesn’t help that it was 76 degrees here at dawn yesterday). I adore hiking and I’m definitely a low maintenance girl so it’s sounding like a perfect fit for me (at least during the summer!). Guess I have a new place to put on my “places to go explore” list!

    1. I can’t believe it either! I never felt this comfortable back home. I had no idea how uptight the east coast was until I moved here and realized that there’s a totally different way of living life that doesn’t involve fashion, money, and tons of traffic jams every day. I don’t know how I could ever go back!

  4. Sounds like it’s going pretty well up there. I like to hike but dont really get a chance to do it too much. The boy scout in me always wants to get back out there. And i would still be taking pictures of every moose and eagle I see. In addition to yelling eagle, I’m sure my hands would go up into antlers every moose i see.

    1. You should get back into it! It’s so much fun being outside in the woods. It’s just scary up here with all the moose and bears! There is an eagle nest across from our parking lot and my coworkers and I will watch the eagles sometimes. They’re so awesome! Moose are harder to find but I’ll try to take a picture next time I see one!

  5. Stopping over from the link up. While I have never really had any reason to visit Alaska but you make it sound so appealing except for the mosquitoes. I am allergic and hate them with a passion. I do love BAMR Bands! They are my favorite! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Well…unfortunately they are everywhere up here so you might need to bring strong bug spray if you ever come up here 😦 But it’s worth it because everything is so pretty! And yay for BAMR Bands!

  6. Mosquitos are my enemy. My blood must taste really good to them, because I feel like a walking mosquito buffet in the evenings. Another blogger I know just moved to Alaska too! She’s extremely outdoorsy and is loving the weather too! The no snake part really appeals to me. I hate them and see them all over Florida.

    1. Wow that’s awesome! What is her blog, I’d love to check it out? And I used to feel like a mosquito buffet back home because so much skin would be exposed, but here all they can get are my hands and face so luckily I’ve had a limited amount of bites. They’re really slow and fast so I can see them coming!

  7. Sounds like you’re adjusting very nicely to life in Alaska! I would love to visit there somebody – all the pics I’ve seen of the scenery are absolutely gorgeous! You must be loving running there with the lower temperatures and gorgeous scenes to look at while you’re out and about.

  8. Geez, have i not been paying attention?? (possible, I’m behind!) I didn’t realize you moved to Alaska!!! That backdrop looks amazing!! Love, love, love hiking. do you miss Philly??

    1. Haha no worries! It happened very fast and sometimes I don’t talk about it in my posts. It’s beautiful here and I love it so far! I do miss Philly sometimes – but it’s more like I miss Chipotle and my parents, not the actual city! I was ready to get out of that kind of environment!

  9. That is awesome that Alaska people are so laid back- wearing sweats anytime I’m not at work pretty much sounds like a dream! Whenever people are surprised that I prefer Baltimore over DC (having lived near both), I explain that everyone in DC looks like they stepped out of a fashion magazine, while in Baltimore you’ll see people walking around in Ravens or Orioles t-shirts with jeans. T-shirt people are my kind of people 😉
    65 degrees sounds awesome to me right now (compared to 75 and humid), but I’d certainly never consider it hot. Silly Alaskans… 🙂

    1. Yeah I hear you on the fashion stuff. I love getting dressed up cute to go out for dinner or drinks, but I’m totally in love with just rolling out to the bar in whatever I’m wearing at the moment! And I swear the sun must be stronger up here or something because it is so hot in the sun!

  10. I will NEVER tire of your Alaskan pics!! Never.
    I would also be super obsessed with hiking and trail running if I lived there!
    And I love how happy you look in all your pics <3. That is all.

    1. You should come up here and teach me how to trail run! I’m scared to do it alone because of bears but no one else will run trails with me 😦

  11. Your post brought back so many memories, I love Alaska if I could I would spend every June there:) Are you running the Mt Marathon race I think its next weekend?
    I love Seward and the NW Fjords, I went there once and we were surrounded in the boat by over 60 wild Orca’s jumping and playing all around us, magical. I love bears and there are so many there, so beautiful! I have hopes to make it to Kodiak next time I visit Alaska:) Enjoy your life there, I am one of those people that could live there, it’s such beautiful country! There is so much hiking near Ankorage too, you’re going to have a blast there when you move too!

    1. Thanks! I am so excited for Anchorage! I am NOT running Mt. Marathon, I don’t have nearly enough strength to do that. It took me 5 hours just to hike the easy route up a few weeks ago!!! Let me know when you visit again!

  12. What an amazing place to live!! I think I would love all of the outdoor adventures. You’re pictures make me want to go there! I moved to Dallas 12 years ago from MN and yes, I think where you live changes and impacts you as a person. I have changed so much since moving here (I like to think for the better).

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