Not Everyone Is Stressed Right Now…Thank Goodness!
We were supposed to take a cruise to Alaska in 2020… but pandemic. We rescheduled for May of 2021… and again, pandemic cancellation. We decided that if we were going to create a socially-distanced vacation, there’s no better place than Alaska, as the population density is quite low.**
We traveled with masks and hand sanitizer, and the airlines staff were polite enough, but everyone seemed edgy and anxious about protocols and proper mask-wearing ($50K fine! If your full nose and mouth are not covered, you may be barred for life from this airline!), so by the time we arrived in Fairbanks we were feeling much stress.
Then we went to breakfast, where this sign (above) hung over the public toilets. Everyone, deep breath! We so appreciated the lightness that this sign inspired.
We gradually learned that Alaskans are friendly and super chill. Oh, everyone wears masks, indoors, and many people even outside on the street, but we felt for the first time in 18 months that we were hanging out with people who have perspective. When winter hits, the daily average temperatures can drop to -40, both Celsius and Fahrenheit. And bears are a constant threat. And the glaciers are melting.
If you can survive those existential challenges, a little pandemic is nothing.
**Alaskan Trivia: if the population of New York City were the same as Alaska, only 16 people would live in Manhattan. That’s way more than six feet apart!
Take Time To Slow Down
I’ve taken a TON of holidays where I was supposedly going to be “off the grid” but then the internet showed up and sucked me in. In Alaska, we were literally beyond civilization. Three miles into Denali National Park was the farthest signal available… and we were camping at Mile 85.
What a blessing that was! We hiked and picked blueberries. We cooked our meals over a camp stove and wore bear bells (it’s a thing!) to keep the undesirables away, and we bushwhacked across heather-coated hills with astounding vistas. From our campsite we could see mountains and rainbows and glaciers. And we did it all without Google or Mail or even a weather app.
We. Slowed. Down. Highly recommended. (Enjoy the collage)