Erin Kirkland, Alaska Travel Specialist and Tour Guide
Alaska freelance writer and award-winning community innovator Erin Kirkland has spent a lifetime exploring the outdoors and traveling; first as a child with her forester father and flight attendant mother in the Pacific Northwest, then with her own children. A 13-year resident of Alaska, Erin’s Alaska On the Go guidebooks are considered required reading for anyone planning an Alaska adventure with children; and her website, AKontheGO.com, was the first resource completely dedicated to kids, Alaska, and those destinations offering family and kid-friendly activities.
She currently serves as an ambassador for youth and family outdoor recreation activities for Alaska State Parks and is a highly desired youth guide for several Alaska tourism companies.
Erin and her family have driven, flown, sailed, cycled, and mushed every region of Alaska. She enjoys road trips, camping, and traveling aboard Alaska ferries, where life is slow, internet connections are few, and the scenery is ever-changing.
Global Family Travels asked Erin, Why did you start Read-On-the-Fly, and what is the impact you hope to make or do you make? Here is what she shared with us:
I started Read On the Fly with a vision to encourage more kids to read books during their flights around Alaska. If you take a look at air passengers of any age today, you'll notice a distinct lack of paper books and a wealth of electronic devises to take their place. I want kids to know the joy of a real book, of physically turning the pages, carrying it on and off the plane, and passing it on to someone else.
Alaska children from rural, roadless areas of the state spend so much time flying, and many of them do not grow up with books in the home. Read On the Fly has, if you will, a huge 'captive audience' in these youngsters.
When you think about it, reading and travel can both take people anywhere. One physically, the other, in the imagination.
My only goal for impact of this project is growing kids' love of books. But I'd also like a bookshelf in every Alaska airport. And that's a lot of airports (300+)