At a recent family dinner, one of my family members asked me, “Do you miss Texas?” For those of you who do not know, I attended Sam Houston State University for my freshman year of college. Now, in the year away from home I learned many, many, MANY, many lessons. One of the greatest aspects of spending a prolonged time away from my home state was that I grew to appreciate parts I had always overlooked. Now, I am too busy appreciating all the things I missed about Alaska to miss Texas.
For those of you who have never been to Alaska, I am about to give you a very biased glimpse into Alaskan life.
The coffee is awesome. First and foremost, obviously meaning that it is the most important, Alaska has the best coffee shops I have ever been to. Alaska has been named the biggest coffee snob, and I knew that was true. But, I didn’t know until I spent months away from the decadent beverage; refusing to purchase anything that didn’t meet my standards, and feeling shocked not to see a coffee shop, hut, or stand every quarter mile. Let’s just say I am super happy to be back within a three-minute drive of my locally owned coffee shop.
The mountains are gorgeous. I did not realize how much I loved the mountainous views until I was unable to see them for months. I love that mountain are juxtaposed next to the ocean, which brings the Earth and the Ocean together. I love the watch the sun rise and sink into the mountains. I love the colors that mountains bring to the Alaska landscape! Looking back at photos from last year, I realize that most of my wardrobe was earth and tree-tones…I assume I was unconsciously inspired by the mountains. Alaskan views are really no comparison to any others.
Snow. Yes, I missed the snow. I am not a huge fan of the cold weather and darkness that comes with Alaskan winters, but I do love how snow brightens up the atmosphere. I always connect snow with magic, Christmas, and fun (snow days, anyone?). Last year when I was home for Christmas break, due to some sort of freak wind (?) storm, most of the snow had melted before I arrived. I think I was one of the only people I know who was disappointed. However, I can assure you that Alaska looks much better with all the dead grass covered in pristine, crisp snow.
The live fine arts community. As a person who appreciates the arts, I was always involved in the arts scene in Anchorage. Going to shows, ‘First Friday’ events, gallery shows, and festivals; working on my own works, collaborating with others, and witnesses what my peers had to offer. In the area I was in, this was scarce. In the short time since I have returned to Anchorage, the possibilities that I have stumbled across relating to the arts has been enormous! A poppin’ arts community may not be the first thing that comes to mind when someone things on Anchorage, but I can assure you: it’s notable.
For those of you that are wondering: yes, sometimes I do miss my life in Texas. However, I simply think about what Alaska has to offer and how much I missed it while I was there, and I forget about it all. Alaska may not be there I plant my roots, but the soil is rich so I will let it nurture my life.