Things I Wish I Had Known Before Moving to Alaska, Part II

March 12, 2014

So you’ve read, Things I Wish I Had Known Before Moving to Alaska, but you’re still not sure if you should take the plunge. Here are some more things one should know before moving to Alaska.

1. Icy/snow-covered roads all winter

Anchorage does not use salt, so the ice and snow does not melt on the roads. They do use gravel with small boulders, so expect a lot of cracks in your windshield by March. Many people buy studded tires to put on their vehicles during the winter and most other people buy a 4-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicle for safety.

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2. Down-scale fashion

Black tie event = business casual in Alaska

Business casual = casual

Casual = anything and everything: pajamas, dirty Carhartts, whatever floats your boat

It is true. People are very relaxed in their style of fashion. I even heard someone say that the products at our Nordstrom are rejects from Seattle.

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Popular footwear: Xtra-Tufs (pictured above), Bogs, Danskos, Keens, Chacos

Coats: The North Face, Patagonia, Mountain Hardwear

Other: Skhoop skirts, plaid, Carhartts

3. Alaskans are very proud of their state

Alaskans cannot understand why anyone would want to live anywhere else and get very offended when you talk negatively about their first love. They show their affection for their state by tattooing an outline of the state or the Big Dipper on their bodies, personalizing their license plate (which is also really popular), sporting sweatshirts with “Alaskan Grown,” and vehicle window decals with 907 (the area code). I agree Alaskans have very good reasons to love their state, but coming from outside of Alaska, I think there are equally great places in this country.

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4. Jobs

Jobs aren’t too hard to come by. The downturn of the economy a few years ago did not hit us that hard. If you want a job bad enough, you will be able to find one. However, the job market is targeted towards oil-related jobs and health-care workers.

5. Fur apparel

Fur really only makes its presence known one time of the year—at FurRondy. Fur Rondy (fur rendezvous) is a winter festival that has its roots in the trading of furs. People break out their finest furs during these two weeks of the year for the start of the Iditarod, running with the reindeer, and carnival rides.

 

Image result for fur rondy

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6. Igloos, dog sleds, and whale blubber

Anchorage is just like any other medium-sized city in this country and therefore we do not live in igloos, ride dog sleds to work and school, or eat whale blubber. There are tall buildings, a downtown center, chain stores, taxi cars, and shopping malls. (Side note: Whale blubber is eaten by some people, especially the Native Alaskans.)

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7. Garages are not for cars

It is more common for people to park their car on the street instead of in their garage. In garages you will find other recreational vehicles and equipment: campers, boats, 4-wheelers, camping gear, dad’s workshop, etc.

8. Winters are long and dark

There’s no other way to put it. Winter typically starts in early October and continues through the beginning of April—sometimes the middle of May if you are lucky like we were last year. The days are short 5 hours of daylight in Anchorage and less the further north you go. Even those 5 hours are dusky and the sun does not rise very high in the sky. These short days last from the middle of November through the middle of February.

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9. Wildlife roams the city

Even though some say Anchorage is 5 minutes from Alaska, there are many moose that can be found in the city year-round. You may also spot bald eagles, bears, wolves, and beavers. Luckily most of the moose in the city are docile and used to people, but you still don’t want to take your chances.

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10. Other random stats about Alaska

Alaska is #3 for the most dangerous state

No. 1 Worst Dressed City: Anchorage, AK

Alaskans are most satisfied with their standard of living than any other state

Anchorage School District: most diverse in the country

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Feel free to comment below with additional things that make Alaska unique or ask a question regarding this mysterious state.

85 Comments
    1. Don’t forget the terrible drivers! Our auto insurance went up quite a bit when we moved here due to the numerous hit and runs as well as drunk drivers. I also look both ways when the light turns green so I don’t get hit by a red light runner.
      I had Danskos before I moved here, they are popular in Colorado too. However, I’m not falling for the bogs, xtra tuffs or skhoop skirt.
      I feel like I’ve almost survived the winter even though it was a mild one. Only two more to go!

      1. Oh yes–that’s a good one! I was so appalled at the driving when I first moved here (still am!). I haven’t bought Bogs, Xtra Tufs, or a Skhoop skirt either. Ugh, two more months. I think this is my least favorite time of the year.

    1. There’s a similar element of fashion and pride for my local area too. 707 (our area code) and Humboldt (often with some marijuana reference) shirts, decals and the like are everywhere. We also have a similar fashion sense, trending more towards what’s good in the rain (bogs, rain coats, heavy sweaters) but with a mix of California skateboarder in it too. It’s weird.

    1. Thanks for the info,I am from Florida, wouldn’t live anywhere that gets that cold but I want to visit or have second home there. My boys are going to be Pharmacist so they can move there and hunt, I will show them your blog…..good information, thank you for sharing.
      Bonnie Alexander

      1. i AM FROM FLORIDA TOO AND WOULD LIKE TO MOVE TO ALASKA FOR AWHILE AFTER i RETIRE, BUT I AM WORRIED ABOUT THE COLD. I HAVE BEEN IN FLORIDA FOR 18 YEARS NOW. HOW DO I ADJUST TO THE COLD?

        1. Sometimes I don’t know if you ever adapt. I’ve lived here for 9 years, but I am still cold all the time. Although they say there if you dress properly you will be okay: wool base-layer, fleece mid-layer, down outer-layer. . . is a good place to start.

    1. My Niece and her fiance just left Alaska for Washington. They did love it there ut it was time.
      My parents have been several times and they loved it there as well.

    1. You have a great blog. I enjoy your posts. T hanks :o)

      1. Icy/snow-covered roads all winter
      Yea!! I hate salt on the roads! All sounded well until you brought up the “Small Boulders”

      2. Down-scale fashion

      I can live with that :o) Nice outfit…

      3. Alaskans are very proud of their state
      Love it!

      4. Jobs
      Capitalism at its finest.

      5. Fur Apparel
      Like it

      6. Igloos, sled dogs, and whale blubber
      Kind of sad, yet the American way

      7. Garages are not for cars
      I’ve never understood this. But I guess it makes a little more sense in AK. with all the ATV’s. In the 48 people use the garages for old furniture, junk etc… Leaving the $30K plus vehicle out to be attacked by the weather and climate.

      8. Winters are long and dark
      I can see how that would be a bit depressing. Do the amazing summers make up for that?

      9. Wildlife roams the city
      Not a good thing. I’m sure this is a challenge at times. Would prefer wide life stay in the rural and remote areas, but of course…

      10. Crime rate
      A consider Alaska to be a very patriotic state that has a strong belief in the Constitution.
      Just a thought …

      Freedom isn’t- has never been free. It comes at a price. Unfortunately in order to enjoy the freedoms we have in a free society you’ll always have those that take advantage of that. Some prefer giving up freedom and rights for safety, but as Thomas Jefferson said “Those that sacrifice freedom for security deserves neither and will lose both”
      I do see that Anchorage didn’t make the top 100 dangerous cities. A good thing :o) http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/neighborhoods/crime-rates/top100dangerous/

      “Smiles”
      Have a great day….

      1. I personally don’t think the summers are that great. They aren’t hot enough, there’s too much light, and they are definitely too short.

        1. Amen! They really aren’t! I want to wear flip flops and a sun dress and never even think about a jacket but no such luck. We’re from the Midwest too (Ohio) and I can’t wait to get out of here! πŸ˜‰

          1. I live in Ohio as well. We have been thinking about moving to Alaska. We just feel like there isn’t a lot of privacy, things are getting more crowed with endless expansion, and there is not much work if you don’t have a collage education. Also we are an outdoors kind of family. Have you liked Alaska? Please let me know what your likes and dislikes are.

            1. Like: somewhat of a small town feel, the mountains are really pretty, a lot of outdoor activities
              Dislike: distance from everything, high cost of living, the duration and darkness of winter, the cooler summers

        1. Funny…I’m originally from Bowling Green, OH. A lot of Midwest people must end up in Alaska.
          I was heading that way until I ran into Michelle’s wonderful blog… Saved me! :o) Now looking at the Sheridan, Wyoming area or thereabouts. BTW- I made the bread… Love it! Thanks…

          1. I am originally from va and moved to Gillette Wyoming which is not far from sheridan and loved it.

        1. The summers are much warmer in Fairbanks πŸ˜‰

          And much of our great state does sustain off of whale blubber, btw.,

    1. Hey! My husband and I are spending 5 days in Alaska next month. Would love some advice πŸ™‚ We are flying in and out of Anchorage. We are big foodies. What would you say are your top three must go to restaurants!? Also, any tips for places to go running? I’d love to meet up with a run club if possible too! Thanks for your help!

      1. Okay, I have to admit, my first thought was: “who comes to Alaska in April?” Ha! Are you coming for work or to visit someone? Great restaurants: Ginger, Fat Ptarmigan, Snow City Cafe, Middle Way Cafe, and Simon and Seaforts (old money classic, expensive, but great view). Places to go running: the Coastal Trail is the iconic trail (great view). There’s a pub run sponsored by the local running store (Skinny Raven) every Tuesday evening that is free.

        1. Oh, and how could I forgot Bear’s Tooth and Moose’s Tooth–definitely two places that are iconic to Anchorage. Brewhouse is also good place to eat.

    1. I lived in Alaska for 10 yrs and rather live there than anywhere else. I have lived all over America. My daughter moved back to Alaska and we are moving back next year. I can not wait to get back. Personally I would not live in anchorage. You apparently do not fit the life style, maybe you should leave?

          1. Well, you have to understand that my husband could sell sand to a sandman. I didn’t even consider the fact that we might stay since we had planned to only be here 10 months. We were going to move to wherever I got into grad school but that fell through. I also was too in love to think clearly.

        1. That’s actually very sweet. Your new house looks really nice! Maybe try for more vacations (like Maui), though I know the flights are trΓ¨s cher πŸ™

          1. I would love to take more vacations but money and getting time off from work always seems to get in the way.

    1. I leave for Alaska on Saturday. I’m going to be spending the summer in Healy, and working at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge. When I choose to spend the summer in Alaska I didn’t really think about how much of a culture shock it was going to be. I accepted the job without giving it any thought. I’m really glad that I didn’t agree to spend the winter up there. I love the snow, but I don’t think I could last through an Alaskan winter lol. I think the hardest thing for me is going to be the different in prices on everyday things that I’m going to need.

      1. BRITTANY PLEASE WRITE TO ME AND LET ME ER) KNOW HOW YOU LIKED WORKING AT DENALI. i AM RETIRING IN 3 YEARS ( SCHOOL BUS DRIVER) AND WANT TO WORK IN DENALI. MY EMAIL ADDRESS IS WHALE5646@YAHOO.COM. WOULD REALLY LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU.
        DODIE SWEENEY

    1. With all the oil coming out of the state I wonder why the gas is so expensive. surely, they could build a distillery in Alaska, right? “Save your $900 a year and just lower the price of gas.” Right?

      1. I don’t think there’s enough of a demand to support the cost it would take to build a refinery.

    1. Hi Michelle, I just stumbled across your blog from Pinterest of course. My husband and I would love to move to Alaska someday. Your blogs have really helped me to put my love for adventure into perspective. I had a question…you linked to the article that had Alaska listed as the third most dangerous state…for rape and aggravated assault it also sighted a report that 37% of women in Alaska claim to have been sexually assaulted in some way. That is a really high percentage to me…do you feel unsafe? I have grown up in the Silicon Valley in California so I’m no stranger to big city’s and the way some statistics make places seem unsafe when really no woman should be walking alone at 2am down a dark street. Just wondering if you feel safe, running alone on trails or going about town? People either seem to love or hate Alaska so I’m finding the opinions quite all over the place.

      1. Generally I do feel safe running. There are definitely certain areas I avoid altogether or at night/early morning. Honestly I’m not sure why the percentage is so high. This is the first big city I’ve lived in, so I’m not too familiar with how it compares to other larger cities. I know the villages/rural communities (who have a high population of Alaska Natives) have a lot of this type of behavior, so the percentage could be influenced by that.

      1. Christy, Alaska is the rape capitol of the entire United States. And believe me, it’s VERY TRUE and Accurate.
        Forcible Rape per 100 Thousand Alaska 79.7.
        And with Less than 800 Thousand people in the ENTIRE state, THAT’S what makes is unsafe for ALL females, young, older, and oldest.
        The overall crime is horrendous, and the includes politicians and the vast majority of people in authority being involved in some sort of crime which includes but is not limited to:
        human trafficking
        drugs
        bribery
        And that’s just to mention a few. Alaska is one of the dirties states in the nation. I’ve only lived here for 31 years because of the fact that once you come here, if you don’t have the finances to get back out, you’re stuck. And I DO mean stuck. Alaska keeps you down financially. It is NOT a place that you would EVER want to raise your children or grandchildren. Not anymore anyway.

    1. Hello Michelle,
      Love your blog. Thanks for all the info!! We are a Military family of 5 moving to Alaska this Summer!!! YAY!! For Adventure!! What does Anchorage have fun for kids?? Any suggestions on the best areas to live?? πŸ˜€

      1. For kids there is a indoor waterpark, Bouncing Bears, sports teams and clubs, fine arts activities, and a couple of small museums. Anchorage (for its size) has a considerable amount of activities for kids. Best parts of town to live: south or west Anchorage. A LOT of military families live in Eagle River.

    1. Hi Michelle, I’m a Texan from San Antonio been here all my life. My fiancΓ© just recently got interested In living in Alaska because of a job offer he heard about through a friend. . . I’m kinda nervous and excited about the whole idea but I want to know more about the cost of living there and how decent the houses or apartments are? I’ve always stayed within the Texas bound, my “vacations” were like 3 hours away from home, so I know moving there would be a huge culture shock, but I am at the age of being curious about the outside of my comfort zone. Thanks for this post and I would really appreciate some advice πŸ™‚

      1. On average, I would say the cost of food is about 20-25% higher than most other areas of the US. Rent/buying property, gas, and services also cost more. There are decent homes/apartment/condos to live in. You have to search a little harder for them, and of course, they will cost more. Overall, the quality is lacking, but if you are willing to pay more, you can find something decent.

      1. I’m from San Antonio too! I visited Alaska last year for 2 weeks and absolutely fell in love with it.
        I’m saving up to move away from Texas heat in a couple years or so and Alaska is my first choice! Not sure about Alaskan winters but I do like the cold.
        I know this is an older post but did you actually make the plunge? If so how was the adjustment?

        1. Did I actually make the plunge and move to Alaska?? I have lived here for 8 years and wrote this post after moving here. There is definitely an adjustment, but if you *want* to live here, it will probably be easier for you.

          1. Are you an outdoors person by nature? I could see not being able to handle the idiosyncrasies if you aren’t. I’ve not been to Alaska *yet* but my husband took two weeks and hiked on his own. We are avid outdoors people and love kayaking and hiking. We are also from the Midwest (Wisconsin) which helps with the daunting weather. I’m curious as to your background. We plan on taking a trip up soon. I truly despise winters but have often wondered if the views and wildlife would be a fair trade? Great post, by the way. Thank you for sharing!

            1. I love being outside when it is warm! I just get so cold during the winter and even during the summer if it cool and overcast, so I don’t enjoy being outside for long periods of time.

    1. I heard Alaska is racist . I am black and was wondering if this is true?

      1. Anchorage is actually a very diverse city. I have not encountered any situations where I saw or heard racist comments, but that’s not to say it these things don’t exist.

    1. Hi, thank you for your posts, I think that they are very heldpful. I am from Kazakhstan and my family going to move to Alaska next year, my husband got a job, but I am not seeing myself taking care of the baby and just sit at home. So, could you please give me any tips of any web-sides to find a real job? I speak very good Russian, German and English. At this moment I work and Huge Construction Company at Kazakhstan at Budgeting and Cost Control Department. Is there is any chance for me to find a job like this at Alaska? Or maximum I shall find some as a Receptionist somewhere at best case?

      1. I would think you would be able to find a job similar to that here. I’ve used Indeed.com to search for jobs, so that’s where I would suggest starting.

    1. So my boyfriend is originally from Alaska and he is Inupiaq to boot. So he is very set on us moving there. Here’s the issue I I have lived in FL my entire life! Dunno im scared but intrigued at the same time.

    1. Considering a move to anchorage as I have a nice job offer. However, concerned about a couple of things. I am a big distance runner and am concerned about my ability to train during the winter. I can do the treadmill thing but this gets old quick.

      Also, I am a single 40 year old, what would dating life be like? Thoughts?

      Thanks

      1. There are a lot of runners in Anchorage, who continue to train during the winter. No, it isn’t always fun as it can be cold, snowy, icy, and your times are usually slower, but it can be done! There are tricks you pick up that make it tolerable. Dating scene. . .well, I’m not sure about that one. There are more guys than ladies who live here, and they say for women that “the odds are good, but the goods are odd.”

        1. ” the odds are good, but the goods are odd” lol…good one.

    1. Hey Michelle. Jayne here. Your blog is so informative and tends to ‘rock’ my romantic notion of relocating to alaska. Having said that it has opened my eyes to truly look at the reality that living in alaska will be quite the culture shock. I have lived in many lower 48 states with only 2 years in cedar rapids iowa which was the coldest place I’ve lived. I was a teenager at that time so I did enjoy a lot of outdoor activities. All of the other places were from california to mississippi with new orleans being the city I was born in and ocean springs ms where I live now. The summers in the south are brutal…..humidity is not my friend and the older I get the less time I’m able to spend outdoors. I retired early and enjoy staying home but am in the sedentary category you previously mentioned. However I would love to learn to snow ski and have a garden to tend in the summer months. I’ve been looking at homes in wasilla and have found very few in my “pay cash” budget of approx. $65k but I’m not going to stop looking. I’m just wondering if you would recommend moving to alaska. You have listed many pros and cons but I would very much appreciate your opinion of a 50ish woman moving there. Btw I have no problem with the darkness of winter. Unlike a good friend of mine I do not experience weather depression nor do i mind living alone. I’m looking for a total change of scenery and lifestyle and have forever been fascinated with alaska. Thanks for any and all info and/or recommrndations.
      p.s. I could get used to no more high heels :o)

      1. What attracts you to Alaska? I think that can play a big role in whether or not you would like it here. (I was simply following my husband without any real attraction to the state.) Even homes in ‘The Valley’ (Wasilla is part of this.) are not cheap. You might have to go further north to find something in that price range. Would you be able to visit for a couple of weeks in the winter and summer before making your decision?

    1. Thank you for all your info. Originally I am from east Europe, but I live and study in Missouri, St. Louis. As soon as I will finish my degree I wanna move in Alaska ,. First I definitely would come to visit and etc., I love winter and snow, I would like to move somewhere deeper, but afraid of isolation. For it is not enough winter here in Missouri and I don’t I am not a big fan of summer. Since, I don’t know anyone down there I am kind of shaky making those first steps , but I believe as soon as I will decide when I wanna do it , I will get all set up naturally. Is life in capital expensive too? What about other cities around?

      1. The cost of living is high across the entire state. Those communities in the bush or rural Alaska are even more! I’m not sure how the cost of living in Juneau (the capital) compares to Anchorage, but it might be more since there is no road access to that area.

    1. I stumbled upon your blog today and am so glad I did! My husband and I moved from Texas to Anchorage in August for his job. Some days I really love it and some days I’m miserable. I loved this post and could identify with almost all of it. I feel like the professional job market here isn’t great. Lots of entry level positions but not much for people with experience.

      I look forward to following along with your blog and to getting into Alaskan running when it’s a little warmer. For now, I’m sticking to the treadmill. My Texan blood is a wimp when it comes to the cold.

    1. Loved the information, Thank you for taking the time to blog post your experiences.
      I have been very interested in moving to Alaska since High School, and let me tell you I’m no spring chicken! The information you posted didn’t scare me away, am I weird or what, lol. I’ve never been a fashion conscious nut like so many other women my age, so the “practicality over fashion” aspect-no issue. The snowy roads all winter, I live in the “mountains” of WV so again- no issue. The long daylight hours wouldn’t be an issue either because I’d be one of the Kooks that want to live “off grid” in a little more remote area. I don’t have a problem with long winters either as long as there’s wood for the fire and food in the root cellar and freezer. I do have a couple questions that if you have time perhaps you could answer for me.
      1. You say the cost of living is higher there. Was wondering what land taxes were like? Is there personal property taxes there? (In WV we have to pay personal property taxes on cars, campers, four wheelers, motorcycles,out buildings, mobile homes, farm equipment and animals. Also City taxes on each dog!)
      2. Is the Homesteaders Act still in effect up there? I was told if you “stake your claim” and work the property for “X” number of years the property is deeded to you. I have a hard time believing this sounds too good to be true.
      3. I have also heard there is a HORRIBLE
      Mosquito problem there. Was jokingly told the bugs were as big as hummingbirds. Lol.
      4. Could a person living off grid survive on SSI/disability income of approximately $900.00. Per month, if they were able to maintain a homestead with garden, chickens, cow, pig and goats?

      As you can tell I have thought seriously about this move. I am a 55 yr old female who is strong minded, and strong willed. My disability is problems with nerve damage to feet and legs. It keeps me from being able to hold a full time conventional job but not doing at home jobs such as cooking, baking, sewing, soap making, floral and nature crafts, gardening. I love fishing and think I’d be pretty good at hunting. I’m a pretty good shot but have never been “taught” the intricacies of actually tracking or field dressing an animal.
      So what do Ya think? Lol

      1. 1. The property taxes are high in Anchorage. I don’t think they are as bad outside the city. I’m not sure about the other taxes you mentioned.
        2. Not sure myself.
        3. Yes, the mosquitoes can be bad. They are especially bad in May/early June and in more remote parts of the state. You obviously wouldn’t have to worry about them all winter though!
        4. Honestly I have no idea. Sorry.

        1. Hi there,we are a family of 4 and we are planning to move to Alaska(Sterling) from Switzerland.its only because we want to build a big hause & my 8yr old daughter wishes her own big trampoline @ our backyard/garden.pls. I need your help.Thank You!;)))

          1. Hi. How bad is drug useage there. It’s really bad here and getting worst .East tn

            1. It depends upon what you are comparing it to.

      1. I don’t know if rhere are homesteads available, but you can no dout find that info on line. Rural living “off the grid” is very, very difficult. Providing your own heat via firewood is a tremendous amount of work, and you must have trees available. A lot of Alaska is bog. And the mosquitos ARE horrible. They aren’t hug, but littile and nasty and always present. Mosquito repellants are foul, but necessary. And off the grid here is really off the grid. Alaska is huge and cities and far between. Anchorge and Fairbanks the the two big cities … so remember, it wont’ be easy to get to a grocery store, a doctor, or anything to easily taken for granted should you live far out of town.

        I would suggest a visit before actually moving here. A good, long visit with some actual experience of the state.

    1. I am also fascinated with Alaska but in the Homer area. It is of course coastal and the weather is a little different than Anchorage. I am also in my mid 50’s and very independent but living in Florida for the past 25 years. I grew up in Pennsylvania with the snow and colder temperatures. The Homer area is just so beautiful overlooking the Kachemak Bay. The research I have done puts the cost of living at about 22% more than here in Florida. Not sure if I am crazy yet about moving there.

    1. I’m moving to Anchorage in a week and I’m flying! I will pack everything into 6 suitcases. What are those must have items I should bring with me instead of buying when I get there?

      1. Micah, buy WARM clothes — depending on your lifestyle. If you intend to live a “city” life in Anchorage, your needs will be different than if you are going to live a rural or semi-rural lifestyle. Do you want to engage in winter sports? Are you a hunter or fisherman? Good longjohns are a must if you intend to be outside it he winter. Carharts are excellent, wear forever, pants. Wood shirts. Stout boots. Summer wear is jeans, always long sleeve shirts … lots of MOSQUITOS, so you will always want to be covered up. A pair of short and tshirts for thosehot summer days. If you are in Fairbanks, it gets VERY hot and VERY, VERY cold, so you’ll want a little of everything.

        For we Alaskans, the advantages of living here far outweigh the disadvantages. And yes, it is very expensive. Remember, everything is flown in, so grocery prices are high. As far an clothing, its also very expensive, but mostly function over fashion.

        Alaska is a land of extremes, and people’s reactions to it are also extreme.. People seem to LOVE it or HATE it. For those of us who love it, “there are those who would trade it for no land on Earth, and I’m one.” Robert Service
        Michhelle

    1. I lived in Alaska since 1959, then moved to Florida in 2010. The culture shock was ask extreme for me as it is for a person from the Lower 48 moving to Alaska. I was appalled at how people. lived. I was Outside for 10 years and am now back in Alaska, where life is beautiful, clean and makes more sense. See, it’s just a matter of prospective and what you are used to. High fashion doesn’t make a lot of sense in a subsistence environment. If one lives a city life in Anchorage, that’s different. It’s the practicalities of life the count. It’s just DIFFERENT here — it’s not “wrong.”

    1. It’s my dream of lifetime to live in Alaska.

    1. My husband and I lived in small town Alaska for 3 years (military) and absolutely loved it. We went on a whim thinking if we didn’t go then, we wouldn’t ever go. We were interested in seeing it and rationalized that 3 years really wasn’t that long. Turns out, three years wasn’t long enough. It was really hard for us to leave, and we’ve been dreaming of moving back more permanently ever since, much to the dismay of our families. We used to hike 4 days a week and now we haven’t hiked in months. When we do finally get out, there are always crowds or a very long drive in order to avoid them. I miss the solitude, the quiet, the wildlife, and the landscape. If you’ve never been to Alaska you can’t possibly understand what you’re missing.

    1. Very informative. Want to visit, we have young grandkids so we’re not ready for a permanent move from NC mountains. Have always harbored a longing for a remote cabin in the woods. Love winter/ outdoor stuff. What places or locales would you recommend for getting an overall impression of “life” in AK.

      1. That’s hard because each area of the state is so different. Maybe Talkeetna, Seward, or Homer. They are all relatively close to Anchorage but still very unique with a lot of Alaska-flare.

    1. I wish I had found your posts two years ago. I would’ve never moved. I honestly can’t stand it here… But I wanted to follow my husband’s dream. Now we are almost 7 months in (not even a year) and I can’t wait to leave. Everything you’ve said about the state and then some is true! I was excited at first and really hopeful and on board but it’s definitely not a state for everyone – We are closer to Homer where things get even more expensive because it’s more touristy. We did make a trip two years ago in early spring to see what it was like during the “off season”. I think people are tricked by the beauty of the state – it’s definitely gorgeous but once you get past and get over the beauty, it’s a much different scene.

      Things I have noticed here because I have a professional background is that the people are far more laid back, business wise and you are spot-on with your assessment of down-scale fashion. I’m not a fashionista by any means but I look very different when I go to meet someone for business here. The other thing is that the culture, the personality and sociology of my part of the state is akin to mixing leftover hippies from the 70s with hipsters, throw a few conservatives in (give me my gun, get off my lawn) and you have Alaska – at least part of the Kenai Peninsula anyway.

      I’ve begged my husband to come home with me but I think he’s honestly going to dig in his heels and try to make it a success here. He is in an industry with experience in waste treatment and hasn’t been able to find a bit of work; even being a veteran. The sad part is that our 4 kids don’t like it either and the youngest is struggling horribly in school. The sooner I can get back to Ohio, the better. I’ve definitely decided not to stay.

    1. My husband and I are looking into moving Fairbanks. He is a chiropractor and has been chatting with a company. Anyway, do you have words of wisdom for us? We would be moving from Kansas. How do you decide what items to bring with you and what to sell before you come? Also, what do you recommend for vehicles?

      1. Don’t take the move lightly. Once you are here, it is hard to move back to the Lower 48 (cost of moving, logistics, finding a job, etc.). It isn’t as easy as moving from one state to another in the rest of the country. I didn’t have many belongings at the time, so I brought everything. Fairbanks is large enough that you could rebuy most of your things if you wanted to. Most people have all-wheel or 4-wheel drive vehicles–or they buy studded tires.

    1. I am an older lady. I have been wanting to move to Alaska for 30 years. I want to live “off the Grid” in my motor home with my dog and cats.I have lived in remote Labrador. I LOVED IT but I was considerably younger. Can you direct me towards any RV Parks (not in the city?)
      I really enjoyed reading your Blog. Thank you for your time. There is a lot of information.

    1. I am considering moving to Alaska for RN job. My main concern is finding a place to rent with 3 large dogs (I do not want to live in an apartment). Any idea on housing cost?

    1. Hi Kim! Your blog was fantastic!!! I have a question for you. My husband is a Police Officer and wanted to look into being a state Trooper for Alaska. I myself is into healthcare. Do yo think the market is good for those types of employment? Also, I waas born and raised in Chicago so the snow I would love, but my husband is a southern man and he is use to it being warm. Do you think it would take alot of getting use too?

      1. The job market is good in Anchorage for both of those types of jobs. The duration of winter and the darkness took some getting used to for me, even being from MN!

    1. Hello! My name is Abigail, I am 17 years old (will be 18 next July) and I have been dreaming of moving to Alaska for a very long time. Your post was very helpful! I just have a few questions. I am worried that moving to Alaska at 18 will be very difficult, one problem being finding a job. I have been saving up, but not nearly as much as I should be. I am doing this during a gap year from college, so I will not have a college degree. I was wondering if it would be difficult for me to find a job? I only wanted to save up enough to live there for a month. I was hoping during that time I could find a job. Do you think this is possible? Also, I wanted to know how difficult moving there (I currently live in Florida) and moving back would be? Do you have estimated guesses on costs? I will not be taking much, only necessary things. Another problem is that I know no one there. I am a little worried about how this might affect me. Was this a problem for you at all?

      I want to move here because 1) it is absolutely beautiful there. 2) I want to get away from Florida for a while, and I want to travel. 3) I want to try the lifestyle that Alaska offers. But I am worried for the reasons listed above, and would love advice if you have any.

      Excited to hear back. Thanks so much!

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