I don't know if I mentioned this before, but I went on this trip by myself. I was completely alone in a place I had never been and it was both frightening and exhilarating. Originally, I had planned to go with my cousin, but she had to cancel. Then, my best friend said she would love to come, but she ended up having other plans. I was depressed for about a week. My mom felt sorry for me and said that she would come with me. I tried to bribe everyone I knew to come. And then I just decided that I was going to go by myself, and screw everybody else. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.
A few days before my trip I was pretty terrified, but it was too late to get a refund and I wasn't about to lose $1,500, so I sucked it up and got on the plane and flew to Alaska and then I was just like: OH. MY GOD. !@#$%^&
I arrived in Sitka, a small town of approx. 8,800 inhabitants, that is actually an island, surrounded by a bunch of really tiny islands. It is gorgeous and quaint and cozy and just spectacular. I don't even have words for how awesome it is. I remember walking around and looking at all the pastel-colored wooden houses and the gray water of the harbor and the red and white lighthouse and thinking: This is what it feels like when a dream comes true.
I had dreamt of going to Alaska for so long, and I was finally there, and it was a bajillion times better than I imagined. I did a bunch of stuff I had never done before, and I did them all alone. I was actually amazed at my ability to just go for it. I've always traveled with other people, and I think that you never really know what you're made of, and what you're capable of, until you travel alone. I had to conquer a lot of fears, like just going up to strangers and asking them stuff, or eating alone like a loser (eating alone is actually really great and I never felt like a loser; after a few days I actually preferred it), or looking like a lonely, pathetic creature who couldn't find anybody to travel with. But I prevailed. For the first time in a long time, I didn't care what people thought of me, and I ended up doing so much more than I've ever done when I've traveled with friends or family. I went hiking and kayaking for the first time. I explored the whole city on my own. I struck up conversations with locals and tourists. It honestly felt like a life-changing experience. I don't know that I actually "found myself" on this trip, like a character out of a novel, but I can honestly say that I returned from that trip a little different than before I'd left. I just feel a lot more fearless now.
Okay, without further ado, here are some pictures: