10/17/2014 09:10 am ET Updated Dec 17, 2014

Return to New York Provides Ample Reasons for Staying in Anchorage

The automatic doors at LaGuardia Airport swooshed shut behind me on Christmas Eve in 2008. Inside, it was warm. Outside, cold winds gathered force as they whipped through the concrete corridors of New York City and onto the faces of people unlucky enough to be on the street trying to get home. I was no longer one of them, and I never would be again. I was moving -- finally, permanently -- to Anchorage.

Since settling here, I've adapted like I never lived in NYC. I get frustrated at (comparatively) dainty traffic jams on the Glenn Highway. Instead of ducking my head down, I make eye contact with people on the street. I feel claustrophobic when there's a line of people filing into a Bear Tooth movie, when I once commuted for an hour in a crowded subway with my face near someone's armpit.