let people do the dishes.

Have you ever been a guest in someone’s home and they just fed you and you ask if you can help with the dishes and they won’t let you? It’s awkward. You just sit there waiting for them to be done cleaning everything they just created for you, and you kind of feel like an asshole.

Here’s one of the several secrets to life: Let people do the damn dishes.

Pictured here is one of my best friends, Angelica Phillips. She is a native Alaskan from Bethel, AK. For those of you who don’t know about Bethel, it’s out there. It’s not even connected to anywhere else by a road system. (Alaska is the wilderness, yo. Believe it.)

Why do I love her? She lets me do the dishes after she makes me a bomb caribou roast.

That’s one reason anyway. That sounds like a strange one, but when you are in a new place with a bunch of new people and you’re feeling a little awkward, sometimes the easiest thing to do is what you know how to do and feel comfortable doing. In my time with couchsurfing and workawaying in new places, when I started feeling a little socially awkward, I would find a way to help out. When you help people, the door opens to get to know them, and you are able to feel welcome in their humble abode.

Angelica, an old friend, as well as many new friends on this adventure have let me do the dishes, and I’ve found several places that felt homey along the way.

So, I guess I could say doing the dishes is slightly symbolic of something more. It’s a symbol of home. It’s a place where you can feel comfortable and have conversations without overthinking anything. It’s where you can walk around in your socks and wear your pajamas for more hours than what is acceptable. It’s where you are surrounded by love in one form or another.

I’d like to thank everyone who’s helped me here so far (this is starting to sound like an acceptance speech), but I’d really like to thank my friend Angelica. She’s honest and lets me know when I’m wrong, not in a judgemental way, but like any family member would. She has made me a part of her family and feel like Alaska is where I’ve always been. There is no need for constant forced conversation when I’m around her, but when we do converse, it’s comforting and enlightening alike. I’m happy I decided to start my journey with her.

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