Girl Meets Bulgaria

Musings of an American expat in Bulgaria (with detours in Utah and Alaska)

Travel Tales: Alaskan Summers Past


It’s hard to believe that this is my third summer living and working in Denali, Alaska.

(well…maybe not that hard).

When I came up for my first summer in 2008, I never imagined I would work more than one season. I ventured to the state for a few reasons:  the need to complete an internship for my college major and my fairly constant desire to see more of the world. The internship alone probably would not have been enough to get me up here.

Wanderlust always wins out!

As most of my regular readers know, that summer certainly changed my life.

I met my Mr.

Actually, now that I think about it, I met him almost exactly 4 years ago today.


Kenai Fjords–2008

After that first summer (which was a complete blast), I always wanted to come back. The desire was always there, but the timing just wasn’t quite right. Then last summer the pieces just fell into place.

Vince was able to get another work visa; I was finished with school and willing to give up my long term job with the University of Utah.

Off to Denali we went.

It was amazing finally being able to spend more than a few weeks with my love. Being back in the place where we first met was just the cherry on top.

We spent the summer adventuring, planning our wedding, and working (of course!).

Again, as the season wound to a close, I began to think, “this is the last time I will see that” or “I have been so lucky to spend the summer here, but what’s next?”

When my managers asked me if I would be returning, I always dodged the question with a vague “maybe” or “you never know.”

Really, we had no firm plans to come back. We thought I would have my visa to stay in Bulgaria long term. Vince would have his Masters and his job hunt would be underway.

We’d be living the Bulgarian dream! 😉

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get my visa–thanks to a mix of poor planning and the long bureaucratic process. A third season in Alaska seemed like a good option. And, truth be told, one that I was really looking forward to.

After 3 months in Bulgaria (the place I now consider home), I am now back in Denali.

It plain sucks that Vince can’t be here with me this summer, but we know it will be the LAST time we are apart. That’s a wonderful feeling. Trust me. Plus, we are very thankful for the money I am saving. We can live, quite comfortably, in Bulgaria for at least a year with my earnings. And because Vince’s job hunt continues, it’s definitely needed.


Here I am. Enjoying life under the Midnight Sun one more time.

Wait…I think I’ve said that before!



I am planning to get back into regularly posting on my “Travel Tales” series. So check back soon!



7 thoughts on “Travel Tales: Alaskan Summers Past

  1. Pingback: 2012: A Year in Review « Girl Meets Bulgaria

  2. That’s crazy to think that you can live for a year in Bulgaria off of your summer earnings in the states! Isn’t it weird to return to a familiar place now that you’ve started calling another place home? I’m visiting Los Angeles for the first time since moving to San Francisco 5 months ago and it’s tripping me out!!!

    • It’s insane how far a bit of savings can go in BG. But at the same time, it’s actually not that cheap of a country to live in. Luxury goods and housing are similar to the prices in the states, sometimes even more, so it can be hard to get by at times even with ample US funds. Things like food and healthcare are much cheaper in BG than in the states, however, so it balances out. My husband and I don’t live an opulent lifestyle, so that helps too! I feel like my life is in such a sate of flux; I almost don’t know what to call home! My home state is Utah, I “live” in Bulgaria, but I’m in Alaska for the summer. Oh the wandering life I lead!

  3. Gorgeous photos! Hope you are having a wonderful time up there!

  4. The pictures are breath taking. Travelling to Alaska is definitely on my bucket list. I’m not much interested in going on a cruise but an Alaskan cruise is something I would do in a heartbeat. Enjoy your last summer there and good luck for the future!!! 🙂

  5. Lovely photos, that second one is stunning. I’m running a weekly travel-themed photo challenge, would love you to join in if you’re interested. xxx Ailsa

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