Traveling is my favorite thing in the world, and my favorite place in the world is Kenai, Alaska. It’s breathtakingly gorgeous, and seems to become a world of its own. The town breaths with life, swaying and changing with the ever present cool mountain breeze. The greenery exudes the fresh scent of pine needles, always reminding me of fall. I lugged my bulging bag to Tulsa International Airport, bright and early in the morning, having no clue what sort of experience I was about to have. Cue images of a frozen tundra, sleeping with polar bears. Man was I wrong! I was off, hundreds of miles away from home with my uncle and cousin.
When the broken down truck rumbled into camp, I was thrust into a creaky, rusty trailer with sheets straight out of the 1970’s. As the days progressed, I had more fun than I could ever expect. Lauren and I stayed up to all hours watching Anchorman on repeat and laughing so hard the blinds fell off the windows. Every night was spent sitting in a circle around a blazing crackling fire telling all sorts of stories, learning about each other, and perfecting the perfect marshmallow till it was time to laugh ourselves to sleep.
Traveling into town always left me surprised. The towns of Kenai and Anchorage were just like any other town I’d ever been to. I was amazed by the row after row of log cabin, homey stores filled with “I survived a bear attack” and “just for the halibut.” It all felt comfortable and the crisp breeze made me feel so relaxed, while looking at the backdrop of the stores, the winter blue mountains capped with snow. My taste buds would forever be changed by the Moose Is Loose, having mouthwatering pastries shaped like bears and moose.
On one of our outings, my uncle drove Lauren and I to Homer, an adorable little wharf-like town complete with seafood restaurants and boats to sail on. We took a boat out in the early morning cold, paired with the ice cold water and wind, we were real life Eskimos, in ten layers of cloths! Lauren and I bobbed out on the ocean for six hours without a bathroom, eating cold. hard bratwursts, telling the grown ups this is obviously not working! After hours of no fishing success and ice cold fingers, we finally gave up and bobbed back into town.
During all the freezing boating trips and long cold nights, I learned how important my family is, and how much I enjoy new experiences. I glimpsed my first bear while driving through the mountains, and woke up to a moose in the campsite. I enjoyed my first pastry from the Moose Is Loose, and I did it all with my family. I learned how easy it is to experience new places, and how rewarding it is in the end. I am forever filled with the crisp Alaskan air reminding me of memories I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.