Monday, June 29, 2015

Off to Alaska!!

It does pay to know people in far off places. It makes traveling a whole heck of a lot easier when you're with someone that's willing to let you stay at their place for free and show you around. I've been to Europe (Britain and Italy extensively) and in the states, I've made it to Texas, California, Nevada and a few states on the East Coast... oh, and Ohio! 

Now, I remember telling members of my 3rd grade class that I was from Alaska and I moved to Maryland when I was 5 years old. Even though I'm not a native to Baltimore and definitely did move to my neighborhood when I was 5 years old... I moved from Westminster, Maryland, NOT Alaska. 

I'm not sure how, or why I got it in my mind to lie about where I was from. I think it might have been the start of my love for story telling, or my desire to travel, but more than likely, it was my desire to seem cooler than I really was. A few of my really gullible friends believed me, but my teacher, and my other classmates who have been in past classes with me, definitely knew I was lying my pants off. 

My "tall tale," if you will, eventually dissipated along with my other lies. After a while, I didn't feel the need to invent things about myself in order to be liked. (Also, I was called out and humiliated by my Deaf Ed. teacher after telling her a "tall tale" about my "British Deaf Aunt"later on that year. She inquired about her to my mother who told her that I was lying... but that's a story for another day.)

I remember spotting Alaska for the first time on a map when I was in lower elementary grades. I was mesmerized: how could Alaska be so far away and still be considered a state? The continental 48 was all one color, then Canada was grayed and the Alaska was the same color as the rest of the United States! There was ice! Igloos! Eskimos! POLAR BEARS! Alaska was rad. Also, and probably the most important point to why I chose Alaska to be the state where I was "from," no one else seem to be from Alaska. There less chance of getting caught and I didn't have to compare my notes with another Alaskan. 

Finally, after all these years, everything has come full circle. A friend of mine, Kathryn, currently resides in Alaska. She's from Baltimore and she did the exact opposite of my fib! She moved from Baltimore to Alaska! She does conservation work and does cool things like cuddle walruses (no joke) and release whales and dolphins back in the wild. 

My friend Kat and I are going to visit her on Monday! Even though I won't be able to say I'm "from" Alaska, after this week I can certainly say I visited it! Kathryn planned awesome activities for us like dog sledding, kayaking, fishing and whale sight-seeing. I'm super excited! Kat and I will be taking the red eye flight home on Thursday. I wish we could have stayed for longer, but the differences in ticket prices were ridiculous. 

I wonder what Alaska themed books I can review or read again. Call of the Wild, anyone? 

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