Living in Alaska

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Hi everyone!  Sorry for the longish break in posts, but I’ve been so busy at home!  Between visiting our friends in Philly, seeing Andrew’s family up in Bucks County, and staying with my parents in Reading we’ve been all over the place.  And it’s kind of weird.  I mean, I love Alaska and I’m happy there.  But part of me is sad at all of the things I gave up and it’s been making me want to come back.  Between grad school and the different jobs I’ve had, I’ve been all over the northern and western suburbs of Philly as well as all over the city.  So it’s really weird going back and remembering what it was like to live here.  I grew up dreaming about living in a old, pretty stone house in the countryside surrounding Philly (Doylestown, King of Prussia, or Exton in particular!) but those kind of houses don’t exist in Alaska.  I always dreamed of being able to afford Flyers season tickets, but now I live in a place where they don’t even show Flyers games on TV (and we won’t have cable anyways).  I had a perfect little family with my puppy Bella, and now she’s not able to join us in Alaska and has to stay here with my mom.  It’s been a total mess of emotions being here.  After days of randomly crying over stupid stuff, I’ve realized something:  this is no longer my home.  I have no idea where I’ll end up in life, but Philly probably isn’t it.  And I’m not even missing some stuff that I had – I’m missing hypothetical things that I wanted and now can’t have if I live in Alaska.  I was pretty miserable in Philly towards the end of our time there so I don’t know why I’m feeling like this.  Moving is such an emotional experience and I had no idea how much it would affect me!

John-Ed-Pearce-quote

Really, I just think this is a confusing time.  We haven’t moved into our place in Anchorage yet, so we don’t really have a home at the moment or know what to expect in the upcoming winter.  I feel like I’m stuck in between what I’m imagining Anchorage to be and what I know Philly is.  And I’m letting my fears take over and cloud my perception about home.  But let’s be real here, life in Philly was not perfect.  If I still lived in Southeastern PA, I would have:

  • Family close by…but I’d have to drive an hour to see them (in traffic).
  • A job working with great kids and an office in Philly…but I’d be overworked and underpaid while driving through hours of traffic between students.
  • Pretty running trails…that took at least 30 minutes to drive to since my own neighborhood was rough and even on the trails I’d be worried about my safety.
  • Lots of races to run…but no running club to join because my town didn’t have one and it took too long to drive to one anywhere else after work.
  • Amazing fast food like Chipotle, Panera, and Chick Fil A…but I’d probably be more unhealthy because I’d eat there all the time.
  • TJ Maxx and Marshalls…but probably less money since I’d be shopping more
  • Flyers games on TV…but a huge cable bill (with Comcast AKA the most evil company in America)
  • The possibility of living in a big beautiful house in the suburbs or a fabulous place in the city…but that’s pretty far fetched considering how much I was making and our prospects in growing in our companies.
  • Friends to hang out with…except most of them have moved away too.
  • A longer fall season full of pumpkins and apple picking…but a hot and humid summer which is the worst.

So really, I’m not missing much.  Anchorage might be one big question mark for me right now, but at least it’s a new place full of possibilities.  We’ve already got friends there, I’m going to join a large and active running club, I can walk to the coastal trail for awesome running, and we live in a busy part of town with lots of fun places within walking distance.  Oh yeah, and the mountains are right there!  So even though it’s going to be tough to say goodbye to my family (I’ve cried a few times already), I know it’s the best choice for now.  I’ve got an awesome new home to get excited about!

Have you ever moved away from home?  Did it feel weird when you went back?  What do you miss the most about home?

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29 thoughts on “Home

    1. Thanks! I had no idea I’d be struggling this much at home, but it’s been super weird and hard and I really miss cool weather and mountains. I just want to get back and get settled!

  1. I’m sorta nomadic. Home is where I am happy. It took years for me to become that way though. You’ll figure it out and will enjoy Alaska. It’s always nice to overcome fears and frustration to see where you go in the long run. Keep you chin up. Alaska will gain a positive perspective before long. ❤

    1. That’s so awesome! I wish I could feel that way. I always wanted to live somewhere new, but Alaska is so different and I had no idea how hard it would be to adjust! Seward was a culture shock so I’m thinking that I’ll feel much more at home in Anchorage since it’s a big city. It’s just so weird being here and realizing that my whole future is different than I planned…and that I caused it to be that way by choosing to move! I honestly feel better after writing this post and I think I’ll feel better once I’m totally moved in up there!

      1. Sometimes you just gotta vent about how you feel. Writing seems to be the best way because you really think about what you’re saying. When people talk vent, they struggle to truly release the stress. Or maybe it’s just me and I’m applying my logic to the entire human race. Alaska is magical to me. The beauty, the nature, the simplicity… It’s my dream to live there

  2. Love your comparisons. I’m planning a big move in the spring and am terrified… this post didn’t help! Knowing it’s coming though is already making here feel not so homey. Did you start to feel distant before you moved? It’s a weird feeling!

    1. Oh no don’t worry! I just had a total culture shock moving from Philly to Seward and then coming back here for a few weeks made me feel really strange about leaving. Yes, I started feeling distant as soon as we decided to move (which was almost a year before we moved) and then a month before we moved I started getting really nostalgic about everything. Honestly, after we chose to move I couldn’t stand Philly anymore so I think it’s crazy I’m feeling this way at all. But it’s just hard coming home and knowing that I won’t be back for another year and that life is very different up there. Good luck with planning your move!

  3. That list you made is fantastic. I’m sorry things seem rough right now, but it sounds like you’re still keeping things in perspective.
    Though CA wasn’t the home I grew up in, when I moved back East after living there for a couple years, I felt heartbroken leaving it. It felt like I was born to live in CA- I wasn’t looking forward to bitter East coast winters, or the sticky humidity of the summers. I didn’t like the priorities & attitudes of everyone living near DC. But I wish I’d thought to make a list like you did! Maryland isn’t where I hope to spend the rest of my life, but things are definitely better than they were when I left CA!

    1. My husband honestly had me thinking about how things REALLY were when we were in Philly. I was definitely remembering only the good things and not how rough it really was living here. Moving to a new place is so hard and sometimes I feel like it’s easier to deal with the bad stuff I’m used to at home instead of the unknown tough parts about moving. But we’re already up there and things are going well so I’m going to try to forget about Philly and get excited about Alaska again! It’s just hard when I’m here seeing my family and knowing how much I’m going to miss them 😦

  4. You took the words right out of my mouth. I have been homesick for NC for months but when I go back I realize how I’m ready to get home to PA. It’s so weird how quickly your home changes into your past and you make a new home. I feel the same way right now. Except for us we truly do hope to move back home in another few years and start over. The list you made covered every emotion and topic that I would include in mine. I miss certain aspects but then appreciate the new parts that PA has to offer. I think this is especially pertinant to me becuase I am where you left. I feel guilty reading about how you miss PA and wishing I wasn’t here! I’m so glad you had a great trip back and someday I hope we could really meet in person. Keep smiling and enjoy being back in AK!

    1. Haha I think it just must be a thing with the places we grew up! I think it’s totally fine for you to not want to be in PA, I don’t really want to be here either 🙂 It’s just weird being back in a place I used to live and remembering how much I loved certain aspects of it. But I really am happier in Alaska so I’m glad we moved! I’m not back yet (I’m flying to Seattle for training for my new job this Sunday and then back to Anchorage next Friday) but once I’m up there and we’re all moved in I should feel better about everything!

  5. I was a military brat growing up, so I never really had a place that seemed like home. Actually Bucks County became home for us, because it was where my parents were from and we always went back there. Now all I want to do is stay put where I am 🙂

    1. Yay Bucks County! I’m jealous you got to travel a lot as a kid, we never moved so this is my first time doing it (except when I went to college in Pittsburgh) so I think that’s why it’s so hard.

  6. That’s a pretty huge life transition, so it’s understandable that you’d feel displaced still. Thanks for keeping it real by sharing that – sometimes it’s helpful to write it down, get some feedback, etc. Hopefully once you get back to Alaska and settle in at your new place in Anchorage, you’ll feel better. The hardest part is when you’re in flux without a place to visualize as home. I moved from Rochester, NY (where I grew up and went to college) to Columbus, OH back in 2010, and it was tough. It took me about two full years to really feel settled in with new friends, but part of that was coming just off undergrad into the working world too. Keep your chin up!

    1. Thanks! I’ve been feeling crazy lately and it’s good to know that other people took a while to adjust to a new place too. The funny part is that I was finally starting to adjust to Seward and then we had to move away! I’m hoping I’ll be feeling more settled as soon as we get moved into Anchorage.

  7. My mom always said that struggles like this were “character building” – so congratulations, you are going to be a stronger person! I moved away for college and it was really hard coming home for breaks 3times a year. You want both places to be your home, but they can’t be. I like that you took time to remind yourself why you moved! It’s good to have that perspective.

  8. I moved away from home but it was only a couple of hours away but it was to a new area where I didn’t know anyone but my husband. It was a tough adjustment but I’m glad I did it.

    It does feel weir to go back. It’s not home for me anymore. Home is where my husband and our dogs are. When I go back to my mom’s, I can’t wait to get home now. It’s weird that it’s changed so much.

    I miss my family the most. We always had big family dinners that included aunts, uncles and cousins. Everyone would try to talk over each other and it would always disolve into a shouting match in a good way.

    1. I miss my family the most too! It’s so hard! I cried on my birthday even though I usually don’t see my family on that day anyways. I know Thanksgiving and Christmas are going to be terrible. I’m so bad at being strong when I know that my family is sad. I agree with you that home is where my husband is, but my dog is staying in PA and I’m not so I’m pretty sad about that. Moving is so hard but I’m glad I did it because AK really is awesome!

  9. I moved away from home when I joined the Air Force when I was 18, and have lived away from family ever since. I am lucky that my sister lives only about an hour from me so I at least have family near…I don’t get back home very often, but I do miss it…

    1. Wow that’s brave of you! I wasn’t ready to move away at 18. I was in Pittsburgh for college and was so homesick from that. It’s awesome that your sister is so close though, that must help so much!

  10. i’m glad you’re letting yourself see the positives of such an emotionally challenging experience. when i moved from southern california to chicago, it was SUCH a trying time, and i’d be lying if i said there weren’t tons of tears and questioning whether or not i made the right decision. i missed the perfect weather of santa barbara during the harsh midwestern winter and the beauty of the ocean when i was surrounded by big buildings. but now, i’ve been here for a couple years, and my idea of what i thought i wanted back west is shifting and i’m loving every minute of my time here.

    1. Oh man this sounds just like how I feel. I hate crying about it, but I can’t help it sometimes. I know I made the right choice, I’m just so mad that I’m struggling with it so much. I’m hoping once I finally move into our new place in Anchorage I’ll feel better about everything!

  11. I moved away from home three years ago. It’s only three hours away but it was still really tough. Things have gotten a lot better, but it’s still hard to visit home and then leave. And it does feel really weird when you visit a place that was your home and it’s not anymore. I can’t imagine a move all the way to Alaska, but I have to admit it’s pretty awesome that you moved there. That takes a lot of courage and I love reading about your experiences up there! Hope things feel more settled for you soon 🙂

    1. Thank you! I have to keep remembering how much I wanted to live there and how awesome it is. It’s hard to remember that when I’m at home with my family and I’m not around all the awesome things that I love about Alaska. I honestly can’t wait to move in to our place in Anchorage so I can start feeling better about everything!

  12. I definitely know how you feel! When I went home to Ohio after moving to New Jersey, it was a very strange feeling. It didn’t feel the same as when I left it. After awhile though, you will realize how this new place made you into someone you never would have become before. Your life will be fuller than it ever would have been if you never left home.

    1. I agree with that, and that’s why I’m not choosing to give up and move home. I think most of my tears are because I won’t see my family again for an entire year. I wish that part would get easier, but it’s not. I’m excited to get back up there and make Anchorage into our home so that I can start feeling better!

  13. I live in AZ and moved from TX (home) many years ago. It’s a bit weird when I visit but it still feels familiar. Though now we are seriously contemplating moving from AZ, I love the idea of new possibilities. 🙂

    1. Okay so I totally get that feeling of wanting to move somewhere else – every time I visit a new city I want to start apartment hunting! And yeah, it feels super familiar to be here. Too familiar, which is the issue. Nothing feels familiar in Anchorage yet which is the cause of my worry. But I’m excited to get up there and make it our new home!

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