If I could choose any place I have visited to live out the rest of my days, it would be Alaska. Somewhere around First or Second grade, I had a friend who had lived in Anchorage. He made it clear it wasn’t constantly covered in ice and snow. He painted quite a wonderful picture. From that day on, I was always wanting to visit that distant land.
While I was beginning my college career, there was talk of hopping in a car and driving north. I even got some friendly advice from a few people about preparing to cross into Canada. It sounded like such an adventure. For me, it was a sort of rebellion. To that point, my world travels were limited to five or six states.
It wasn’t until the twenty-first century that this childhood dream finally came true. It coincided perfectly with that dream of finding true love. A few years later, I would return with my son, taking him as far north as I had traveled myself. He was too young to recall just how majestic the landscape is, so I am sure we will return before too long.
I love my home state of Oklahoma, but Alaska is crowded by wild things, not people. Therein lies much of the siren song. In the small fragment of that enormous landscape, I have failed to find something new to photograph. The terrain is captivating as is the native artwork. To watch the harbor seals play and a grizzly bear fish for salmon is to live.
I often reassure my coworkers that, yes, I have been keeping one eye out for work in the great wide north. It is a certainty that they underestimate just how quickly I would fly away given the chance.
Where is your paradise? Will you visit me in Alaska or is your heart set on the South Pacific or Caribbean?