I'VE BEEN ON the East Coast for the last few days, surprising my Grandma for her 80th birthday with my family. It was nice to see all of my cousins again, and since I’m attending Lehigh University in the fall, get a taste of what my East Coast life might be like.
First off, I realized that living in Alaska has spoiled me. In the Lower 48, pretty much every long distance trip has the potential of being a road trip. Up here, the only places you can go are Fairbanks, the Kenai, and maybe Valdez. If it’s not in the state, you’re going to be travelling by airplane. But that’s not the case down there. I like road trips, but after 10 hours in a car, even a coach airline seat between two babies sounds inviting for the sheer purpose of getting there in a third of the time.
Second, unless your whole extended family is Alaskan, it’s likely that your nuclear family are the only ones up here. That means that weekend family reunions are nonexistent. But my family on the east coast is very close, while we’re the outcasts from up North. It’ll be different living close to them, because as a raised Alaskan, I’m used to thinking of relatives as people you see every third wedding.
Third, humidity sucks. If it’s 95 and overcast at ten in the morning, there’s something wrong. Alaska is great because you can always rely on wind to keep you cool, but down south (anything lower than Juneau) there is no escape - well, besides air conditioning or a pool. That’s one thing I liked about the heat: it made the pool feel so much better, and actually made me like it (only for a second).
I’m going to have a drastic change of lifestyle in August, going from the 61st parallel to the 41st. I’m going to have to learn to deal with public transportation, high population density, and most of all, being 4,000 miles away from home. I already miss it, and I haven’t even left yet.