A Vacation to Alaska - My Family Travels

 When I was young, my dad had one of his best friends visit us from Alaska. Upon meeting him I made the mistake of asking, “Do you see lots of penguins in Alaska?”  I received a look that embodied shock, disgust, confusion, and perhaps even fright.  I had never been able to live that question down. So when my dad mentioned that we were to take a Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska, I wasn’t jumping for joy. Don’t get me wrong, I love traveling (especially in luxury) but my dad also mentioned that we were staying with that one friend who believed I thought penguins resided in Alaska.

I then made a pact with myself to impress this one best friend (whose name’s Harris, by the way) with a plethora of miscellaneous facts about Alaska (and how penguins do not reside there). Never mind Sarah Palin and other commonly known facts, my mission was to inform! I proceeded to pull out every magazine I possessed that contained facts about Alaska and attempted to scan every article. But with other schoolwork a higher priority, I decided to put off this research till school ended. And when the end of school came along, I realized I only had a few days to complete all this research. Let’s just say that I came down with a case of procrastination-itis and couldn’t get through all the various magazines.

But once I boarded that ship it didn’t matter anymore. I saw a whale fluke and a seal from my window, a whole pod of orcas from the deck, and mountain landscapes that looked like they came straight out of animated films. On the land excursions I saw everything from glaciers to totem poles to bald eagles. I felt like I was in a fairytale. Who wanted to read magazines when there was so much to see and do?

Only a second did I regret that last question. It was when we arrived in Anchorage that I finally came face to face with Harris. The man my father regarded as an adventurer and a true Indiana Jones…who thought I believed penguins resided in Alaska. But knowing that I didn’t really gain vast knowledge in the five days I was on the cruise, I would have to prove in another way that I was more than just a misinformed penguin-lover.

And I tried. Harris had planned out museums to go to, hiking, biking, and being in nature just as much as possible (he was determined we see a moose or bear). I was determined to be the best guest Harris would ever have. I was optimistic, participative, and enthusiastic. I even climbed Mt. Flattop with a swollen ankle due to bug-bite from a massive mosquito.

At the end of the week I realized I didn’t really care about Harris’s impression of me. Today I’m not even sure if I’m still misinformed-penguin-girl to him. What mattered in the end was that I didn’t regret my optimism and participation I had on that trip. I had a real adventure because of my newfound attitude I gained. I was charged by a moose and lived to talk about it, I climbed to the very top of a mountain, and I got to meet true characters (who had great bear and African safari stories). I’ve traveled as far as Germany, but I chose to use Alaska as my topic because it’s the only place I’ve been that’s truly epitomized the phrase ‘make the most of it.’ I can only hope to apply what I’ve gained to places beyond ‘the last frontier’.


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.

Comment on this article

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.