Introducing The Alaska Edition

Editor's note: Inspired by their industriousness and bravery, we are excited to follow the Spears' adventures as they explore Alaska as newlyweds. A creative force to be reckoned with, stay tuned for Chelsea's (otherwise known as Seablanket online) exclusive recaps and personal photos, which you can also find on Instagram with the hashtag #takingoveralaska.

My husband and I first discussed moving away from Portland, Oregon early last winter after spending an early Christmas vacation at a little cabin in the middle of nowhere. We were alone in the middle of the woods during a surprise snowstorm, and we couldn’t have been happier.

Fast-forward four months to mid-March of 2013, when my husband was offered his dream job, which would land us in Alaska. We took 24 hours to discuss it, and though it was one of the hardest and most terrifying decisions, we decided to follow our instincts and make the move. Less than two weeks later we arrived sight unseen at our new home in Alaska, with nothing but three suitcases full of clothes and our cat Margot. 

Moments after our arrival the reality of our decision finally sunk in. It was late in the evening so we slept in an empty house on the floor, using clothes for pillows and blankets. We were exhausted and nervous. After a long night, morning brought light and new hope as we opened our front door to see the massive mountains covered in snow and ice that stood before us. I felt like Dorothy when she realizes she's not in Kansas anymore… and it felt good.

Soon we had settled into our new place, purchased a car to take us anywhere we dared, and set off on our adventure to discover what sat beyond those mountains on the horizon. With each new month, we have fallen more and more in love with the wild abandon that is Alaska. April and May brought snow. June brought sunshine. July brought flowers and 24 hours of daylight. August brought wildlife. September brought Autumn. Before long we were no longer acting like tourists on a quick visit to The Last Frontier — we were Alaskan. 

Every week we venture out on different trips, picking a random destination on the map, then gassing up the truck and hitting the open road. Each trip is special. We've slept in our car, cooked meals over the campfire, hiked, kayaked and climbed. We've met a lot of amazing people along the way. People that will stop and talk for hours at a time about life and love, work and weather, and always "Alaska."

We've seen such amazing landscapes and experienced true nature. We've come face to face with Bald Eagles and bears and have seen moose protecting their young. Standing on top of one mountain with hundreds more in view and not a single soul in sight — it makes you feel so small. It's an emotional experience that humbly puts things into perspective and melts all other worries away. 

Instagram has been an amazing platform for us along our travels. It’s connected us to so many people who have spent time in Alaska and have great secret locations for us to visit, as well as people who’ve never been but find the state as intriguing as we do. Every day is different, but it's a wonderful undertaking. 

I'll be sharing more about my life in Alaska again soon, here on this column. If you're interested, I encourage you to follow along in our day-to-day journey online and on our blog