My idea of a perfect vacation would be going to a place that is untouched, and unscathed by urbanization. A place where the air is clean and intoxicating with its freshness, the earth covered with natural colors of green and grey and white that would rejuvenate anyone just by looking at them. A place with a night sky mottled with shimmering stars, so clear that one can see the majestic milky way and all the different constellations -bright and beautiful.
There are many candidate places for such a trip. But given a chance I would go to Alaska first, because it also provides with all that I’ve mentioned above, a chance to see the northern lights -the majestic green and red light cosmic lights that dance in the night Alaskan Skies.
The trip would essentially would be with my best friends, for a vacation is an experience, a journey, the best taken with people with you are most comfortable.
There are many packages available for the same. Flight booking website Yatra has options for many International Flights along with tour packages which are customizable to suit each expectations. We would ensure that we have most flexibility in travelling once we reached Alaska, for spontaneity is something that I cherish most in such trips.
I enjoy the part of the travel spent flying. The experience of being 41,000 feet above the earth with nothing but air separating my body and the earth is an exhilaration that I can’t describe in words. The flight journey would be part where we would crack jokes, and share stories. I would also read up about Alaska, for I love reading about places, especially the ones I’m visiting.
The anticipation would then increase as the flight would descend to Anchorage, Alaska largest City. The hopes rising for an adventure of a lifetime.
We would take a cab along with a guide to start our trip. The trip would start with a visit to the famous Glacier tour in Alaksa. There are many noted instances of Tidewater Glacier crashing into the ocean. Witnessing one of those, if we are lucky would be a dream come true. Everything dissolves in the whiteness of that place. The weather would be chilling to the bones. I hope that I get a good North-Face winter jacket to be prepared for such cold.
The next item on the list would be to go for flight-seeing over an Alaska Mountain Range. It would be an other-worldly experience. To sit in the warmed cabin of a four-seater glider and look at peaks wearing white snow would be heart soothing. Mt. Mc Kinley is considered the best option to get the full effect. But we would see the option that is best considering time and availability.
One of the best thing about Alaska is its vastness and the best way to experience it is by driving through one of its rural highways. There is a term called ‘Alaska factor’ – the feeling that Alaska goes on forever. Such a drive would give that feeling. You can drive on such driveways for hours and still nothing would change. The terrain around you adorning the same features hours and hours and you would feel time has stopped, and you’re living a fantasy inside a beautiful painting, forever, neverending.
We would club this drive to cover two spots. First, Denali National park and reserve and second, Fairbanks. The National Park is must as Alaksa is famous for its ;bear viewing tours’. And the tours also offer a chance to look at the exotic set of animals that have learnt to survive in the harsh Alaskan weather. There’s nothing like the feeling of looking into the eyes of wild animals in a setting that is non-intrusive to them.
Fairbanks would be a stopover before our last stop of seeing the northern lights. Beer hopping is famous there, in the Fairbanks. We would definitely try that. There are many heritage spots and museums for satisfying our curiosity about Alaskan culture. River cruise is a must, to feel the hull of ship cutting the fresh glacial waters.
Once we are done with this, done with all the fun and travelling, we would camp, and wait for the night to descend. To see the sky blackening showing the millions of stars, their whiteness pouring down on us. And then to wait for that moment for which this whole trip was planned -the northern lights, the stunning natural phenomenon that would turn the sky from black to a mixture of green and red, the collision of electrically charged particles brightening up the sky akin to a cosmic show of which we would become spectators, drinking with our eyes the best the nature has to offer, would be a childhood dream come true.
Like all the good things this trip would also end. We would drive back to Anchorage, back to the airport, fly the millions miles back to home, and this trip would also become a thing of past. But the memories and the experience that we would have lived would get etched in our hearts like a beautiful dream, never to be forgotten, never to be erased.
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Pictures Credit -Alaska.org, salon.com, scientifc american