As a warped sense of fun, my grandpa, mom, brother, pet dog Sushi, and I decided to confine ourselves in a 32-foot RV for over a month and trek through Canada to Alaska. However, despite the small quarters the adventure was fun!

I’ve always wanted to visit Alaska, so agreeing to go was a no-brainer. But I had also dealt with a lot of stress, personal and academic, so a long trip with no worries immediately went on the docket for self-care. Each summer since high school I’ve worked overtime to help pay tuition and put into savings, but this summer it was time to unwind.

It took three days of driving and camping to arrive at the Canadian border. Then, it took about 15 more days to arrive at Anchorage, Alaska. On the way there, we stopped for every black bear sighting per demand of my mom—and there were a lot. There was only reprieve when she was taking a nap.

What there weren’t many of were moose. My mom began to think she repelled them, as this wasn’t her first time in Canada without spotting one. When we stopped at Big Bear Campground & RV Park in Palmer, Alaska, my mom, and most of the campground, got what they wished.

It’s Alaska, so the sun doesn’t go down in the summer – or at least for more than a minute. So, although it was almost ten in the evening, it was still as bright as if it were the afternoon. Despite that, I was about to fall asleep when my brother woke me up saying mom wants us to come outside. Lo and behold there was a fully-grown mama moose and her two calves just outside our RV.

On average, seeing a moose would be the same level of excitement as seeing a bear or wolf, but it wasn’t even five feet from our RV, its calves beside it. Thankfully, Sushi was blessedly quiet. I don’t think a barking dog would keep things as calm as they were.

To get better pictures, I opened the window and stuck my head out. I looked back to my mom, who was outside but farther away, and she gave the thumbs up for approval. Possible death by trampling was a minor thought at the time.

That experience was just one of many though, as my family and I also got up to other shenanigans.

We went panning for gold at Crow Creek Historic Gold Mine – and found dirt. We saw Emerald Lake, true to its name and even more gorgeous in person. We drove through Yellowstone, then watched Old Faithful erupt. We swam in a natural fed hot spring pool, explored the source, and hiked past a set trail and found a beautiful cove in Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada. We visited the Vancouver Aquarium, walked through the Devil’s Gate, met and pet professional sled dogs, and more.

The adventure was worth living in a confined space for over a month.