Reflections from an expedition: Delaney Graham

(Victoria Middleton/Planet Forward)

I’ve never felt so small. Seeing natural skyscrapers in every direction can do that to a person. The first day at sea we went into Tracy Arm Fjord and saw South Sawyer Glacier. And I didn’t realize how massive the rock walls around us were until I saw a zodiac next to them. We were stopped in our zodiac looking at the glacier when our naturalist pointed out another zodiac with 8 or so passengers at the base of one of the slabs of rock face. And I needed a naturalist to point it out, my eyes passed right over the boat which looked no bigger than an ant. At that moment my stomach dropped, I was able to contextualize and better comprehend what I was seeing. The zodiac was several miles away looking up at walls over a mile high. From that point forward everything I looked at made me wonder how massive it would seem if I had a scale to compare it to. To make my little animal brain understand the majesty of Alaska.

It felt nice to feel so small. Everyday I’m the center of my world, and it’s easy to get caught up in everything I have going on. But to feel tiny and insignificant gave me the freedom to slow down and take a breath. To walk through a forest that predates glaciers really puts my little life in perspective. And it feels so good to get lost in the wilderness (metaphorically, hopefully never literally). Alaska is a place to go to lose yourself, and I think eventually find yourself.

––

Editor's Note: Lindblad Expeditions, our Planet Forward Storyfest Competition partner, made this series possible by providing winners with an experiential learning opportunity aboard one of their ships. All editorial content is created independently. We thank Lindblad Expeditions for their continued support of our project. Read all the stories from the expedition in our Astonishing Alaska series.

How do you move the Planet Forward? Tweet us @planet_forward or contribute to the conversation with your own story.