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Finding Simplicity in Nature

Five reasons to choose Alaska for a minimalist vacation

Black Sand Beach
Photography by Jonathan Gallegos

Alaska is a minimalist’s paradise—its geography encouraging a simple lifestyle built on nature. The state attracts nearly two million visitors each year thanks to its affordability and vast natural beauty. As a minimalist, you can spend your vacation basking in the beauty of the beaches and forests of the region, living off the land with just a handful of items to weigh you down. Here are five reasons that you should choose Alaska for a minimalist vacation in 2019.

Provide for Yourself

If you prefer a lifestyle off the grid, you don’t necessarily need to give it up during a trip to Alaska. During open season in the fall, you can hunt your own meat, including bison, deer, elk, small game, and more. You can also fish year-round, including the delicious Alaskan salmon between May and September. There are also plenty of edible plants for which you can forage with a bit of know-how. If you want to avoid staying in a hotel and open yourself to new experiences, Alaska is home to plenty of camping spots for both tents and RVs.

Find Joy in Nature

Alaska isn’t about going shopping or hitting up the hottest tourist attractions. It’s about taking time to experience the vast natural beauty of the land, from coastal beaches to dense evergreen forests. If you’re staying in lodge accommodation, then you have the best of both worlds. You can lose yourself in the simplicity of nature as you hike regional trails, scale a mountain, and go cycling during the day before heading back to a cozy fire and local craft beer at the end of the day. You can spot plenty of wildlife at different times of the year, including caribou, moose, and black bears. In the late summer and fall, you may be lucky enough to spot a whale at Kenai Fjords National Park.

Avoid Large Tourist Crowds

Time Square this is not. If you’re looking for a vacation destination without the crowds, Alaska is spread out enough that you won’t feel overwhelmed by the number of other tourists. The majority of visitors come to Alaska between spring and summer when the weather is warmest, so traveling in the fall or winter is the best time to find peace and solitude around even the most popular landmarks. The fall is also a good time to witness the majestic greens, pinks, and blues of the Northern Lights.

Pack Light

When visiting Alaska, there aren’t many items that you need to bring to enjoy your stay. All you really need is the right clothing for the time of year along with any outdoor equipment you don’t plan on renting. Regardless of the time of year, it’s a good idea to pack layers so that you’re able to warm up and cool off as needed. If you’re camping, you should also bring along the base necessities such as a tent, blanket, and some sort of cooking gear.

Save Money

Alaska is a relatively cheap travel destination, especially during the off-season. The average daily cost of vacationing in Alaska is just shy of $200, with the price of food running around $45. Flights also tend to run cheap (depending on where you're travelling from). If you want to save even more, you can stay in a basic lodge or camp instead of booking a room in a hotel. Many campsites are either free to use or charge just a nominal nightly fee.

There are plenty of reasons that Alaska attracts minimalists from around the world. The state’s vast natural beauty make it the ideal spot to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life and get back to the simple things in life. All that you need to keep yourself busy is a keen eye and a sense of wonder.

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