Recently, a long time friend of mine, Jodie, invited me on an impromptu trip up to Nome, Alaska. It was the Iditarod, she was going up for work, and I didn't have anything on the books. So, why not?
It was amazingly beautiful. The weather cooperated - I don't think it dropped below 0º during the day. The sun would rise in the east just as the full moon would set in the west. And, when the sun would set, the moon would be poking up its head over town, It was like they were bound by an invisible pole, separated by 180º of desolate, beautiful, frozen sea.
I spent the days waking up in time to hike somewhere for sunrise - no hard feat seeing that sunrise was around 9:30, taking naps during the middle of the day, and exploring again during sunset / moonrise.
It felt so good to be back in Alaska. Theres something recharging about where you grew up. For me, I usually find that rejuvenation in the forest or on the rocky beaches of the northwest, but even being in the frozen landscape of Nome, AK was energizing. The first thing that happened when I got off the jet, waiting for a taxi, was for someone offer me a ride into town. Nobody knows street names there - it's just not a thing. You tell them the building you are staying in. For me, it was the "Lawyer's apartments" (no lawyers live there now, but they did at one point apparently).
I found myself at potlucks, fresh king crab dinners, trivia, and many other adventures before Jodie even arrived into town. The small town life was such a warm feeling. We get so disconnected from a sense of community and connection living in the city - a million options of a million things to do can leave us paralyzed with overwhelming sense of choice. In small town Alaska, if there is an event, you find the whole town there.