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Alaska has always been my happy place. The seven years I lived there were without question the most enjoyable of my life. From the moment I first visited in 1998, I knew I wanted to move there; and once I moved there, I wanted to stay forever.

Alas, circumstances intervened: money and opportunities ran out, and just as I was wondering whether toothpaste would make a good sandwich filling, an old friend in Washington DC called and offered me an opportunity I could not refuse.

I planned to stay for just a couple of years and then head back to Alaska, but my father and then my mother became ill and ultimately died. The one great inconvenience with Alaska is its immense distance from anywhere; it takes about four hours to fly from Anchorage to Seattle, let alone anywhere else. That made it too remote at a time when I needed to make more frequent trips across the Atlantic, and so I stayed on the east coast. besides, inertia is a powerful drug; I became settled and the thought of packing up and moving again became too daunting.

But when I needed to clear my head, it was to Alaska that I immediately went. And as soon as I landed, it all felt so familiar; as if I were returning home after a brief trip away. I was reminded anew of the beauty of the Last Frontier, and of my comfort in its surroundings and the company of so many dear friends. It did not hurt either that I spent much time, and reconnected emotionally, with someone who had been very special to me during my time in Anchorage.

We shall see how things evolve, but suddenly I find myself once more contemplating an eventual return to the place I love and miss.
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