Last summer, my wife and I flew to Alaska in celebration of her 30th birthday and our 4th wedding anniversary. As momentous as the trip was for her, and for us together, it had a significance for me that was harder to quantify but impossible to stop thinking about.
Twenty summers earlier, my family had traveled to the same area of Alaska for a vacation. As a 12-year-old, I watched the boats come and go from Homer Spit, rafted the class III-IV whitewater of the Nenana, and looked out on the Alaska Range, the peak of Denali covered in clouds. Two decades later, standing on that same spit, rafting the same rapids, watching the clouds obscure those same peaks — the Alaskan terrain seemed to be continually leading me into meditations on our relationship to place, on what it means to be a traveler, on memory.