Raise your hand if you’ve ever watched a reality TV show set in Alaska.
You have about 25 to choose from, so if you said no, you must not have cable.
Well, my life is apparently a reality TV show, because I am moving to Alaska.
Not a joke.
Not a misprint.
The Pilates Nutritionist is going to Alaska. To live there.
I never thought much about Alaska. Never even considered visiting. And I certainly never thought I’d be living there, though I admit all the Alaska-based reality shows got me curious about it.
Well, thanks to my husband’s job, it’s happening. Before you start a pity party for me (seriously though, I already passed through that phase), know this: I’m actually really excited about this new adventure.
Just getting there will be an experience. Imagine driving from LA to San Francisco. Now multiply that times 10.
Yes, our trip will cover more miles and take longer than driving from Southern California to Boston (roughly 800 miles more, by the way). And yes, we’re driving.
Don’t call us crazy. Call us adventurous.
Other awesome things about our move?
Alaska is vast and gorgeous, with miles upon miles of untamed nature. Like me, you’re probably blissfully unaware of the size of this state, thanks to map companies showing it detached from the contiguous US and shoved over to the corner with Hawaii. Well, my friends, Alaska is huge. So big that I can’t get consistent stats on its size, but it’s somewhere between 586,412 – 663,300 sq miles, or to put it into perspective, about one fifth the total area of the lower 48. There’s more than enough hiking and kayaking to keep us entertained. I’d much rather camp than stay in a 5 star hotel, so I’ll feel right at home. I’ll just be sure to camp with bear spray.
Aurora borealis. Enough said.
There’s plenty of local food. Up there I’ll be a 10 min ATV ride from the world’s best salmon (so, I need to learn to fish… and get an ATV). No, I won’t have year-round farmers’ markets within walking distance from my house (or Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods), but I will figure it out, just like I always do. And I’ll be sure to share what I’m eating right here on my blog.
It’s not that cold. I’ve lived in Western MA, so I “get” snow and ice and all the miserable in-between gook. Plus, much to my surprise, the average winter high in our future town is around 30 degrees. I won’t be in the arctic circle and I’ll be warmer than my friends back in Amherst.
There’s no traffic! This alternate universe we call driving in Los Angeles is a sick joke. If you want to get anywhere, you have to leave between 10:30 and 2:30, which leaves you about 2 hours to get anything done at your actual destination. I’m tired of it. In Alaska I’ll be more likely to stop for a moose crossing the road than another car. I’m ok with that.
My business will move with me. With the magic of the internet, I’ll still be right here with you. I already solely work with my private nutrition clients via phone and Skype, so that won’t change. We’re in a new era in business, where you’re not stuck working with whatever mediocre business happens to be in your town. You get to choose whoever in the world you connect with and trust. After an utterly perfect experience redesigning my website with a gal in France, I get it, now more than ever.
All that considered, I’m pretty excited to get up to our new home. Now that the cat’s outa the bag, I’d love to hear from you.
Have you ever moved far away or planned a long road trip? Ever been to Alaska?
Got any tips?
Share ‘em in the comments below.
I’ll be back next week with my usual health-related post, but this was just too big NOT to share!
29 CommentsLeave a comment
How exciting Lily, I can’t wait to hear all about your Alaskan adventures. It’s going to be an awesome experience for you – so please do share it, highs and lows (or highs and even highers) with us. I’d love to know what you do for vegetables without local markets there. Bon voyage.
I look forward to sharing stories, Ferris! I think I’ll need to get back into gardening to have fresh veggies, and then can/freeze/ferment part of the summer harvest to have vegetables during the winter. Obviously the growing season is really short up there. 🙂
I moved from NYC (after living there for 5 years) to Montana and TOTALLY fell in love. The traffic, the weather (even though it was freezing, it was better than the icky feeling of the subway, and sweltering sidewalks) and the people totally made it worth it. We’re probably leaving Montana soon but it definitely wasn’t as “backcountry wilderness living” as everyone made it out to be!
Good to hear your city-to-rural move was a good experience, Lauren. I’m anticipating the same relief from congested city life!
How exciting, that is a big move! Great that it’s not too cold. I’ve been contemplating a move from VT after our super cold winter, but I just love it too much the rest of the year.
I don’t blame you, Lauren. Vermont is pure beauty!
Yay! What a wonderful adventure you’ve got coming up. All that green space and fresh air will be a delight after LA (I remember the traffic from when I lived there with a sort of sinking feeling).
My business is also location independent and let me tell you it’s a delight. I can work from the beach, the mountains… or just the sofa. You’re going to have so much freedom. Can’t wait to hear more about your new discoveries. I’m hoping for tales of wild foraging…
You can bet I’ll be foraging for all sorts of wild edibles, Liz! I’ll certainly be taking weekends off from now on, so I have plenty of time to explore.
Lily! OH-M-GEE! I am so happy for you! I admit I miss your energy at the studio. It has been great working with you. I look forward to your weekly newsletter, and I’ll look forward to your new Alaskan updates! Be well, and best of luck to you and your new journey.
Marie, I’ll be sure to keep everyone in the loop about my latest Alaska stories. I miss you and the studio too! Sending lots of love your way. 🙂
Moved from San Jose, CA to Tokyo, Japan to Portland, OR to Palos Verdes, CA in a matter of 5 years. Quite an adventure and loved every minute. Strangely the toughest thing was finding a hair stylist and dentist I could trust. I loved exploring the surrounding areas and making new friends. Learned so much from the people I met and truly appreciated and missed my family.
One thing for sure, the Saturday Pilates group is gonna miss you Lily.
Oh my, you’ve been through so many moves, Elaine. I’m a little nervous about finding a good hair stylist, so it’s funny you mention it.
I’ll miss teaching Pilates to all you lovely ladies. It’s been a blast!
This is exciting! I have a childhood friend that has lived there for many years and loves it. My husband and I are going on a cruise there this summer (I’ll be teaching!). The good news is that I can still send clients your way, due to the portable nature of your work. Awesome!
All the best in your journey, the drive alone sounds fun to me.
Kara, maybe you can stop over for a visit while you’re on your cruise! And yes, I’m so lucky to be able to continue my work from anywhere in the world.
What an awesome and exciting move! I love your perspective- there are so many great things about being out of your normal environment. We moved to Australia a couple years ago and while things were similar, it wasn’t quite the same as the US (or as Toronto where we moved from). You’ll find things you love and things you’ll need to get used to; your attitude about it will make all the difference. It’s going to be great! I haven’t been to Alaska but I can only imagine it being gorgeous AND with tons of delicious local foods you can’t go wrong. Good luck on the move, although you won’t need it!
I’m looking forward to embracing a new normal, Anne. I appreciate your well wishes!
Wow! I am so excited for you. I can’t wait to hear about your adventures and what it is like in such a beautiful and rural area. I’m hoping that you share some Alaskan recipes too!
I’ll be trying many Alaskan recipes and sharing right here on the blog, Jessica. Stay tuned.
WOW Lily, that’s amazing news. My hubby lived in Alaska years ago and still misses it. He enjoyed the fishing so much. Couldn’t be happier for you! Congrats. 😀
BTW I am doing a course right now with Leah, your Gal in France. When showing an example of using Basecamp, she uses your web project as an example. Small world!!!
I love it, Gillian. Leah is such a rockstar!
I have in-laws who live there and they love it. I’ve never been tempted to visit but maybe your blog posts will change my mind. Best of luck to you!
Thank you, Beth!
Lily! Hi! I came across your website/blog and I’m so excited for your move! While L.A. can be easy living (especially in the healthy, fresh food-front), I’m sure you will enjoy Alaska. I’ve heard the fishing is more like catching, there are berries galore, and if you need any canning recipes, I’d be happy to share (our North Bend tour helped with keeping those on hand for the cold winter months). Rob and I wish we could have spent more time hanging out with you and B, but hopefully our paths with cross again in the future. Best of luck!
Lily I wish you all the joy and prosperity in your soon to be new home in Alaska. I visited Alaska for 2 weeks a few years ago on a land and sea trip. It is a beautiful vast place and I know you will love it.
Best wishes to you and your husband,
I am doing great by the way:))
Wow, Lily I can soooo see you in Alaska. Adventures galore!! Now I can plan a trip and know I will have someone to visit. 🙂 You will thrive there, I’m sure. I look forward to keeping up with you through your blog and weekly posts. You’re a gem!
Big hugs, best wishes always and congrats to your hubby for the new job.
I live in Colorado, but grew up in Anchorage, AK and miss it everyday! There are actually tons of incredible restaurants, some great seafood markets, and amazing coffee. There’s a lot of locally grown produce available in the summer thanks to the 20 hours of daylight each day!
Yes Megan, I’m really looking forward to seeing what fresh produce I can find locally during the short growing season. I hear some of the vegetables grow giant with all the sunlight! I plan to can and freeze the summer harvest.
Lily–where in Alaska will you be living? My brother has lived there since the 70s, & I’ve visited him in all the places he’s lived: Valdez, Wasilla (near Anchorage), and currently Ketchikan. You’re going to be enjoying some of the best fish on the planet, not to mention crab and shrimp! One of my favorite food adventures was picking wild blueberries, then enjoying them over ice cream at the local frozen custard shop–doesn’t get any better! They grow outrageously good (& record-breaking huge!) vegetables in the Matanuska Valley–short but 24 hr sunshine growing season makes awesome potatoes. Best of luck with your Big Adventure and wishing you a safe journey on the Alcan (his cat made that trip with him three times!) aloha