I’m used to pining for one place from another.
When I lived in New York City but my heart was in Alaska, I would pace the sunny streets of Brooklyn looking over the river into the new shining condominiums of New Jersey, wishing it was the Chugach range.
In mid-January in the low light and frigid cold of Alaska, I think of Nevada. I yearn for the high, powerful sun infusing the air with dry and permeating warmth, on my face, arms, and legs.
From the comfort of my house in Alaska, I miss living out of a van.
Living out of my truck in Alaska while Airbnb-ers rent our house, I miss the comfort of home.
This summer was the most frenzied Alaska summer I’ve ever experienced – and this is for someone who is used to the breakneck pace of 24 hour daylight.
I had a Covid respite, fully vaccinated and slowly and then suddenly arriving back on the “scene” of being around people; saying “yes”, “yes”, “YES” to every opportunity as it came up, after a full year “off”.
We rented out our home for extra income to support long term plans. We camped in various friends’ driveways. We flew down to Nevada to attend Reesa’s high school graduation and experience van life for three straight weeks. Family visited and we drove down to Homer for a three-night staycation; we went on a fishing charter. I learned how to packraft and flew into the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for a friend’s epic bachelorette party on the Ivishak River. I had an art opening with Stephan Fine Arts. I trained for a marathon. I hiked Pioneer Peak for the first time.
And I maintained a roughly thirty-hour work week consulting, with breaks for some of the above-mentioned activities.
You’re waiting for the inevitable mic-drop of “and, boy I’m exhausted.” That’s true. Ish.
I am realizing that when I fill up many, contrasting aspects of my interests and life, one complements the other. When I’m living out my truck, I am an excellent consultant. Driving through the high desert for weeks at a time, I can write an essay a day. Training for a marathon helps me build enough endurance to sit fully still for hours focused on a painting.
I’m working on what I need in order to live a life that is less about a house, and more about experience. At least, for the time being. I’m only 75% clear on what that means exactly, but I think that’s a good start. I’ll be sharing more here as I put my plans in motion!
In the meantime, I know it’s been a while since I wrote. Pictures & inspiration from this past summer below!