Alaska feels like the end of the other world. People who live in 24 hour sun or 24 hour night must, by nature, be extreme. I’m fascinated. Who intentionally inhabits the 49th state? I foolishly think I know ALL about the Alaskan psyche from reading Drop City by T.C. Boyle in 2003. Obviously my research has been exhaustive.

I loved the 18.39 hours of sunlight early June provided. My internal clock burned like a midnight star. I cannot fathom living through the dark winters.

In Seward we floated the fjords of Resurrection Bay, saw humpback whales, and pet the arms of a 70 lb Giant Pacific Octopus named Gilly. Wild beasts in their habitat.

Bear Glacier is visible in the lower left of the shot. We’re floating on Resurrection Bay outside of Seward, AK

Back in Anchorage we hiked, biked, ate delicious food, walking amongst the 49ers (not the right use, you say?) pretending as though their lives were normal and they didn’t live on the precipice of time.

Now I’m back in the lower 48, eating bowl 3 of honey nut cheerios for dinner, and watching the reunion of season 6 of RHOBH. Wild kingdom indeed.

by _Annie_Crawford

It’s just not Mexico until I stand, eating tacos from the back of an old pickup truck, surrounded by strangers. A gallon container of homemade green salsa on the folding table, the big metal spoon grabbed by suits, day laborers, women in heels. There’s an art to street eating. Taking comfort and getting comfortable being with people. Until I engage, I feel apart. Carrying my packaged salad from the upscale grocery store back to the hotel.

Bike basket tacos & salsa in a bag.

I’m getting better at being a no-business-having business traveller. The first year I was such a scaredy cat, like I had no right to the attentive service, the well-appointed rooms, the glorious buffet breakfasts. I’d slink around, certain everyone was second guessing my presence. Who’s that girl in the leggings, they’d whisper, does she even brush her hair? Hot topic in the break room, to be sure.

Now I’m business casual. Attuned to life as a world-traveling lover. Accustomed to spending 11 days in one hotel. While my lady labors, I write in cafes, the subtly elegant lobby, the bed, at the desk.

I have a kernel of a story. Nearly 50 written pages that flew from my fingers—feverish with inspiration, excitement, destiny.

Then I met the reality of plot structure. I paused. Perhaps five months is more than a pause.

I dedicated my time solely to paid writing, ignoring my tender little tale of romance and intrigue.

Recently I was encouraged to start again. Without expectations, without writing for an as of yet existent audience.

That’s crazy. Of course I have expectations. I imagine the non-people reading and pooh-poohing my unwritten novel. It gets in the way of continuing, this need to have an end. This desire to have something incomplete be already well-received.

Flying through floor 9Today, walking down the dappled hall of floor 9, the sunlight filtering through the patterned glass walls, I saw my reflection with a hole in the middle. Walking toward my fate, I mused. Like this was something scary. Like there was a real plank and, I, fearlessly, walked forth to the edge.

Hopefully restarting this blog is more than an endless series of selfies. Maybe I can call it courage. I’ve been almost embarrassed to share the beauty of my world—not entirely comfortable with it myself. Like self-deprecation is the only appropriate tone I’m allowed. So here we go. To make a beginning. Toward what, the taco man only knows.


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