Talk Tuesday is one of my favorite posts that used to be a weekly column and now comes out monthly. It is where readers can ask questions that I answer truthfully and research if I don’t know the answers. People ask questions about travel, including solo or adventure travel, craft beer or wine, Alaska, and a lot of questions about me personally. I don’t mind – I love sharing my passions with others. So let’s get started, shall we?
How much do you miss being at home, you know like Tucson or Phoenix?
I missed being home the most when I first start traveling as you miss those day-to-day routines of home life. When I have been gone for a long time, like now, I miss it like crazy. When I first started traveling in May 2013, I was on the road 202 days or 8 months before I went home for 6 weeks. That trip I knew I had an end date, a date where I would see my family and friends again in Arizona. I didn’t know if I would ever live in Arizona again, but I knew when I would be back.
I left for Alaska in April 2014 and didn’t go home for a visit until Christmas. I wrote the post, Did I Just Break-Up With Alaska as I flew home from Anchorage. Currently, this has been the longest stretch of time that I have been away, and it will be a full year once I make it back to Phoenix. I will be home in Arizona in December after spending time with my Indiana family in November. I will head back to Alaska again in 2016.
With Facebook, I get to see my family and friends and what is going on in their lives. I text with my Dad and brother regularly, but I miss that I have fallen out of regular communication with my sisters and my aunts and uncles. I often wonder if they think about me or wish I was home? I miss seeing my nieces and nephews and hearing them laugh and tell me stories about their lives. I miss their hugs and kisses and being a part of their daily lives, like going to their football and soccer games. Even just going to the movies and sharing popcorn are the small things I miss.
I miss my Dad’s tacos and his big bear hugs. I miss my Nona talking and talking and talking, about anything really, I just miss her voice and the lessons she has taught me over the years. I miss running in the Sonoran Mountains and having BBQs with my friends. I miss hanging out on my friend’s patios sharing a bottle of wine and talking about the things that were important in our lives and things that just made us laugh. Or just sitting in silence knowing that we didn’t need to say a word to understand each other.
Yes, I miss being home. This is why I have decided to leave Alaska for a few months to come home and see them this winter. To not only eat good yummy Mexican food, but to spend time with people I have missed more than I can say.
What you have learned from some of your worst travel moments?
I have learned that you need to have contingency plans in place. And then you need to have backup contingency plans in place. I’ve always had three levels of plans and any time I didn’t, things went off course. Some of you might have read my post this week, PayPal Shuts Down My Debit Card When Im In the Middle of Nowhere. This was one of my worst travel moments. I was in the middle of Denali National Park, which was 250 miles away from Anchorage, when PayPal turned off my debit card. This was my only access to money. So there I am in the middle of nowhere with $26 and a half a tank of gas. You should read the post, it is a good one.
What I have learned from this is that when I become lax in my contingency plans, they get tested. I was also reminded of something I struggle with a lot – the notion that I am not alone. I have a seriously hard time asking for help. I’ve asked before in my life and have been rejected saying to figure it out on my own. That is easier to do when you are stable in a home with a job and a support system. Those times, the rejection made me push through my boundaries and what was comfortable to find answers that weren’t easy to see. Those rejections of help made me resilient, strong, independent.
I don’t need anyone in my life. Sometimes though, I do. This recent travel nightmare, similar to the two times my car has been broken into on this journey and everything stolen, I couldn’t push on without help from others. To be fiercely independent, it is way beyond difficult to ask for help. So I usually don’t. If someone offers to help me, that is another story. I still most likely will refuse, but I know the offer is still there if I can’t figure out the problem on my own.
I realized that through the worst travel moments that there is a lesson I needed to learn from them. For me, I always need to have a backup plan and know there is support out there if I need it.
What is your opinion on Agriculture Science being taught in school – should it be a priority – if so why or why not?
Yes, I think it should be a priority. As a society, the U.S. has gotten away from teaching kids where our food comes from. This is true from the meat we eat to the food we grow in our gardens. I write hundreds of gardening articles a year and so much of the feedback I receive is that most people don’t even know the basics of creating a garden. When I first came to Alaska I was anti-hunting in all respects. In this state, hunting is a way of life, a way of sustenance. I have respect for hunters who have respect for the animals that will feed their families and communities for that year. In Alaska, agriculture is taught and respected because they live off the land and see the circle of life every day.
If our kids aren’t taught how to grow a garden and care for livestock, i.e. know the basics of agriculture, who will?