HERE WE GO again. After a two-week hiatus from travel, our family is in the process of organizing and packing for another Alaska adventure. It’s been a busy summer for us with book research, while delightful in many ways, is also exhausting. The combination of endless reading, interviewing and writing, while managing the well-being of one busy 7-year old, not to mention nurturing a marriage full of hellos and goodbyes has left this lady bushwhacked.
Nonetheless, my excitement for this next trip is noticeably building as we count down the days. Sailing around the western coves of southeast Alaska between Ketchikan and Juneau will be lovely, of course. We’ll certainly enjoy various spa treatments, fine dining, and kayak excursions. We will, in fact, feel uncharacteristically like royalty. However, it’s not the fussing or pampering that has me all aflutter. It’s this:
I’m packing away the phone.
Twitter, I’m flying off for a week. Facebook, you’ll just have to deal with me later, profound apologies to our followers. With a few exceptions nearer the coastline, southeast Alaska is notorious for non-service of both phone and internet, leaving many cruise ship passengers, float plane flightseers, and whale-watching enthusiasts with no way to upload the awesome video of a breaching Orca or to change their profile pictures. Awesomesauce.
The longer I live here, the more I realize that Alaska lends itself to unplugging anyway. Really, the 49th state should be the place to consider tapping the “off” button, especially while oohing and ahhing over the fascinating sights alongside our children. I shamefacedly admit I am among those who has viewed unfolding events through the screen of my Android, frantically zooming in, leaving all peripheral activities aside, like my son’s incredulous expression at that breaching whale.
Not this time.
I’m only taking three cameras, three journals, and three pairs of binoculars through which our family will be able to record, in our own sweet time, the wonders of togetherness and the world in which we are so fortunate to live. Stay tuned...as soon as I find my pencil.
Erin Kirkland is the owner and publisher of AKontheGO.com, a website dedicated to family travel and outdoor recreation in Alaska. She lives in Anchorage with her family.