LIFE IN ALASKA IS NOT ONLY EXTREMELY DIFFERENT THAN LIVING IN THE "SOUTH" BUT IT IS A REMARKABLE LIFE. IF YOU ARE MOVING TO ALASKA OR ARE CONSIDERING IT, THERE ARE A FEW THINGS YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND BEFORE HAND.
LIKE ANY OTHER MOVING ADVENTURE, THERE ARE A FEW THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE PLACE YOU ARE RELOCATING TO. MY MOVE TO ALASKA WAS BEFORE THE PINTEREST "HOW TO" ERA, AND I REALLY KNEW NO ONE THAT EVEN HAD VISITED, SO EVERYTHING FOR ME WAS TRIAL AND ERROR. I DO NOT WANT THE SAME FOR YOU.
THAT IS WHY I PUT TOGETHER THIS LIFE IN ALASKA GUIDE!
* FIRST, TRANSPORTATION IS A LITTLE DIFFERENT THAN THE LOWER 48'S...
Depending on where you are moving to don't be surprised if the main form of transportation are float planes or boats. Many towns, like Cordova, don't even have a road that leads into them - you have to fly.
* SECOND, COST OF LIVING IS MUCH HIGHER
When you do your first grocery shopping trip, be prepared for a frozen pizza to cost $15 or a gallon of milk to cost $10. When you live in a place where almost everything has to be imported, you are going to have to pay extra. So if you are used to spending a certain amount on food a month - go ahead and add $250 to it. Also, housing is ridiculously expensive! Depending on where you move to, a decent two bedroom apartment will be around $1500.
* THIRD, TRY TO ARRIVE IN THE SUMMERTIME
This to me is important for the obvious reasons...better weather and more daylight.
* FOURTH, ALASKA CREATES IT OWN WEATHER PATTERNS
I lived in the Gulf of Alaska on a remote island and trying to predict the weather was nearly impossible. We would kind of judge it from what the weather in Anchorage was doing but for the most part we were on our own.
* FIFTH, ALASKA DOES NOT CARE ABOUT FASHION UNLESS IT HAS A FUNCTION
You will not see anyone rocking the latest sneakers, brand name jeans, or designer purses but rather people in hiking boots, fowl weather gear, wool sweaters, and durable backpacks. The things that truly matter up there are things that directly relate to life, not consumerist items. Most Alaskans have only the things they need and not much more, so items that will keep them warm, feed them, and keep them safe take precedent.
* SIXTH, PEOPLE LOVE GUNS
If you are squeamish about guns then Alaska may not be the state for you. It is a necessity to own one and also know how to use it. You will see guns everywhere, because unlike in the lower 48's there is danger almost around every corner.
* SEVENTH, SOME PEOPLE ARE RUDE BUT WHO CARES
I remember one day walking along the street and smiling as a passed by a group of locals only to receive a nasty stare. At first it hurt my feelings because I am friendly to everyone and have a warm welcoming demeanor about me. But, after being there a few months I realized that the majority of the locals are really nice and helpful...you will always have a few bad seeds! I feel like true Alaskan locals are similar to Hawaiian locals, as in they really do not like the "white folks" but have learned to co-exist with them over time.
* EIGHTH, THE WILDLIFE IS GOING TO BE MORE AMAZING THAN YOU EVER DREAMED!
There really are just no words to describe the pure, raw beauty Alaska offers to all the creatures that call Alaska home. It truly is the way the world is supposed to be. To look all around and not see a single building and animals having free roam of the land and waters. If there is anything I miss about life in Alaska it is the wildlife. My biggest tip for the outdoor adventurer is to always carry a gun or at least have someone with you carry one, and also wear a bear bell. If a bear hears you coming it is far better than sneaking up on one!
* NINTH, YOU WILL BECOME A SURVIVER
The winters are long and cold so you enviably will become accustomed to fighting the cold, driving in extreme conditions, being stuck inside for long periods, and without creature comforts. You will have fight yourself to get through a winter, but in the long run you will become more in tune with yourself and whomever you are with. Just sit back and enjoy the process of life in Alaska.
* TENTH, THE GUY TO GIRL RATIO DOES NOT WORK OUT IN THE GUYS FAVOR
Being a girl in Alaska, I found myself a minority almost. I worked at a hatchery and out of the 30 people there were only 3 girls including myself. With that being said, Alaska does have a high rape crime rate so if you are traveling to Alaska by yourself, always be aware and try to avoid bad situations.