Where did you go?
Anoushey Ashraf: I travelled across Alaska in a car. All the way From Karachi to the Arctic Circle.
What made you go here?
AA: I just wanted to go on a crazy adventure. I wanted to see something different in life and experience something that very few people have experienced. I suggested this to my friends and they were on it. They were already in the USA so we all got together and made a little group, and we decided to go.
What did you pack?
AA: So for this trip I packed a little differently. I had my sneakers, my trekking shoes, my hiking sticks, lots of sunblock, jackets for the cold, and little snacks to eat on trails, hikes and treks. It was more like an outdoorsy backpacking trip. I saw the tips on the internet and packed literally all those things you may need on a trekking/hiking trip.
What was favourite meal/restaurant?
AA: The halibut is a local fish that you get everywhere and I had it a lot. This fresh halibut was the best seafood I have ever had in my life and it is super healthy.
What was the biggest highlight of your trip/most memorable moment?
AA: It was just getting to Alaska and experiencing it so fully. We saw wildlife, whales and beavers – just amazing stuff. Indulging so much in wildlife and nature was probably the biggest highlight. Camping out there and staying in the middle of the Denali National Park and being physically present in the Arctic Circle was amazing. There were so many highlights.
Favourite shopping destination?
AA: There was not much shopping in Alaska – I just liked the souvenir stores. There’s a main road in Anchorage where the shops would close by 7:00 pm. I would just run in and get my family and friends dream catchers or something or the other.
Some sights worth seeing?
AA: Every sight in Alaska is worth seeing. I would definitely recommend a cruise to see the wildlife and the whales. A cruise would be fun and of course staying at the Denali National Park. It’s a once in a life time sort of experience.
What are some spots for a night out?
AA: This would include indulging in nature or sitting outside on a mountaintop with glaciers around. Of course there were some nice places to go out and eat and stuff, but I think it’s the kind of place where you could just step out and be happy looking at nature and the sun. The sun wouldn’t set actually – it didn’t set for 24 hours.
AA: Sun block, good walking shoes, warm jacket, mosquito repellent, bear repellent and a good perspective of things. Being in a good place mentally is important in order to enjoy some of the challenges you face on a trip like this.
Any travel tips you would like to share?
AA: I think one needs to be in a positive state of mind. You will miss flights or have late check ins or jet lags and it sometimes sounds more fun than it actually is. But the growth that comes with being in a new culture with new people is remarkable. So always try to keep a positive perspective. Try and enjoy each and every moment.
PHOROGRAPHS COURTESY: ANOUSHEY ASHRAF