Why Alaskan adventures? Well fighting off the automatic instinct to be sarcastic and say “Why not?” the simple answer is that the four years and change I spent in the Last Frontier were amazing. I’ve visited multiple times since having to take a job out of state, and though it’s admittedly been a bit since I’ve been back (far too long in my opinion) it doesn’t change the fact I have amazing friends and people still up there.
I miss our shenanigans, I love the land and the people, and in the few articles I’ve written about my experiences there over the years the questions.
So many questions. In the comments, in my e-mail box, really just an incredible amount of feedback. Was homesteading still a thing? How isolated was isolated? Were winters dangerous? Could you find work there? How much did they need to save to retire up north?
So many questions. And truth be told I was happy to answer the ones I could, give my point of view or advice where appropriate, and then help them on their way to figuring out whether the Alaska adventure was right for them or not.
It’s a state that has so much to offer and it’s easy to see why so many love the Last Frontier, and why even many of us who need to leave based on family or career still love to visit or look back on those days fondly. Or plan to return at some point.
So What Will My Alaska Adventures Focus On?
This is a site that actually has existed in a few different iterations in the past. Usually journaling about friends and experiences I missed while living in less interesting states.
While it made for some interesting stories and friendly comments, not especially useful for anyone who was looking for useful information. And it’s a bit harder to find contact information of Alaska bloggers at random than it was back in 2010 or even 2015 🙂
So while there will be stories and pictures and memories, there is also going to be a lot of focus on actual information that can be helpful to those of you looking to make the jump or who are doing research to see if it’s right for you.
In other words, I want to be helpful.
Moving to Alaska
This is a big one. Having moved to and from there on two separate occasions, I’m very familiar with the special headaches that come with moving to such a far away place. Shipping ain’t cheap. There’s a reason “The Lower 48” has one set of shipping rates and “Don’t even try it” is the response to Alaska and Hawaii.
So I’ll be talking a lot about this. Answering questions you have, and those you don’t know you should be asking. I have a lot of friends who followed me up to Alaska in the following years and stayed there.
They are going to be showing up every so often updating details or talking about the type of issues, costs, and other logistical considerations that need to be dealt with now that weren’t a thing the last time I was there. I’m quite sure that the year 2020 certainly added some curveballs in those regards.
But we’ll be hitting a wide arrange of topics regarding moving to Alaska.
Land in Alaska
I think the two most common questions I received were:
- Is there still homesteading in Alaska?
- Is there cheap land I can buy in Alaska?
Or there’s at least some variation of those questions. The answer is no to the first one, and yes, I’ve heard about all the “technicalities” but like like many of the people who claim to know a loophole in the law and don’t – it’s just not there. If you want absolutely free land look at the rural Midwest – that’s where the most programs like this exist.
Is there cheap land? Yes, with some major caveats. The type that can take entire articles to discuss.
Does this mean there’s no opportunity? Absolutely not! There are plenty of places where you can buy land and depending on what you want, to develop it as you see fit.
But land in Alaska also presents very unique challenges that you won’t find elsewhere. Just look up permafrost if you’re not sure what I’m talking about.
Or the average winter temperatures in Fairbanks, AK. There is land, but there’s also a reason we are going to have tons of articles on this topic.
Working in Alaska
There are plenty of opportunities to make serious money in Alaska, especially if you’re willing to work hard, blast out the seasonal hours when needed, and hit up a side hustle.
But Alaska is also expensive. The PFD doesn’t even make a dent compared to how much more expensive things are in the biggest state compared to many other places.
There are also ways to set yourself up to not worry so much. If you have a deep freeze and get into salmon netting and moose hunting, your proteins will be taken care of.
Connections matter. There are big money opportunities for people with science and heavy education backgrounds but there’s also tons of opportunity for low skill workers who are willing to put in insane hours and do the crazy seasonal work.
Working in Alaska is…different.
And we’ll talk about that, too!
Culture Shock in Alaska
One of the major things I tell people all the time is that there is a culture shock to living in the state of Alaska. It’s not another state. It is an entirely different country with some, just some, similarities to American culture elsewhere.
If you’re just visiting for a week or two, it’s easy to miss this. If you live up in the state for any amount of time, it’s impossible to ignore. For those who stay it’s one of the greatest positives in a state that is full of them.
Alaska has its own unique culture. Some of it familiar, some of it borrowed, a lot of it the kind of unique semi-crazy but fun independent way that you would expect from people crazy enough to live in such an extreme environment and setting.
This goes from the types of people who comfortably interact with one another that you wouldn’t expect, to the general “Positive DGAF” attitude that permeates a large amount of the culture up there.
If you go in with the understanding that Alaska has its own very distinctive culture even beyond what you would expect from something like regional differences in the United States.
While it might not be the same shock as moving half way across the globe, understanding that there will be times where things are just different can help you adjust, adapt, and enjoy.
Places to Visit in Alaska
Oh yeah. How can you possibly have an Alaska blog without sections on places to visit? This includes the off the road hiking trails that you don’t hear about unless you’re there, or state parks that didn’t have a Wikipedia page until 2015.
In other words, yeah, we’ll cover all that. And we’ll cover it in a way that tells you what an area is like from the perspective of living there vs. just visiting.
Experiences to Have in Alaska
It’s not just about the where, but also the what. There are plenty of opportunities for some pretty amazing experiences. Whether doing a scouting trip to look over the area versus making the jump for a full-time move, Alaska is incredibly unique for way more reasons than size and being one of the last states in the union.
Some of the experiences there you can’t find anywhere else and I don’t want you to miss out on a single one.
First Hand Alaska Stories & More!
Look, there are going to be hundreds of great pictures here from past adventures as well as stories and everything else. After all, what’s the point of years of putting yourself out there and having crazy awesome adventures if you can’t share the stories after the fact?
I want this to be a fantastic resource for anyone looking to make a move, a long-term visit, or who just wants to really seriously dig into the possibility of relocating to the state that is very appropriately called “The Last Frontier.”