Virginia Reynek has called a lot of places home over the years.
Born is Unalakleet, her father was a fisherman who spent his summers on Bristol Bay for as far back as she can remember. He was a strong man, she said, but a bad case of pneumonia was stronger. After he passed away more than two decades ago, she left Unalakleet and never looked back.
In 2000, she followed her boyfriend to Texas, a long way from the Bering Sea shoreline and rolling tundra of Western Alaska. When she finally returned to the Last Frontier in 2013, things had changed.
There are more people than she remembers. Different people from all over the world. Still, she decided to settle down in Anchorage. Going back to the village is too expensive, she says. Out there, fuel costs an arm and a leg. Food is pricey, too.
“And you get lonely,” she said.
It’s hard to feel lonely in Mountain View, though, and Anchorage is much more affordable. So for now, she says, it’s home.