Alaska has 100% stolen my heart. It is truly the land of bigger and bolder. Everyone is doing something huge, be it heli-skiing, dog-mushing or just going white-water rafting for the day. An average day hike took me 1,500 feet above tree-line to gawk at the ridiculous landscape surrounding the oasis of Cooper Landing. If there is one constant underlying thought in my life right now, it's that I have to get back there next year. I love guiding and helping people get to know Alaska a little better. Every time a guest would learn something I usually would too. The evolution throughout the summer was really interesting to me and I was surprised at how quickly people can assimilate to the area.
As some of you know, I was scheduled to be in Vegas at the end of this month to start a year-long position with Ameri-Corps, building trails. I felt uneasy about it all summer and in the final weeks sent out a zillion resumes and decided I needed to circle the wagons for a bit and retreat to the homestead to re-evaluate some decisions.
A nomadic lifestyle is interesting. Every day things change and you really have to be on your game to make it work. Since leaving Peace Corps almost a year ago, I have visited different countries, friends, family, and explored endless options about the next step in my life. My favorite opportunity of traveling is the experience of meeting countless people and learning what they're doing. I've made some great new friends, kept up with the old, and thrown a little romance in there to ice the cake. The worst part? Leaving. It just doesn't get any easier. I really thought I'd be slightly jaded by now and be able to smile, give a little wave and say "see you when I see you". Not so, and I feel good about that, maybe it shows a bit of compassion or a chink in the armor so many of us put on to deal with the outside world.
My folks welcomed me with open arms...literally. Dad gives the best bear hugs! Canning season is upon us and our garden (that I helped plant back in May) is in full swing. Bring on the salsa and chutney! In other news, I took a position as a full time campaigner for Ohio Citizen Action (www.ohiocitizen.org), an established environmental non-profit based in Cleveland. Yesterday was my first day and call us a public nuisance if you will but I love it. Fundraising gives a sense of accomplishment but what I really like is the door-to-door relationships we get to build with people. It's not just about signatures and pennies, it's really about spreading the word on issues these communities may not have even known about.
I'll be applying to grad school this fall for next year, and thus begins the next chapter. Looking forward to the holidays and experiencing an actual autumn! Walking on crunchy leaves yesterday, I exclaimed "It sounds like fall!!!!" How quickly our senses remind us of things we didn't even know we missed.
I hope everyone is well and eating as much sweet corn as they can (missed that too!!!)