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Old 04-12-2008, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Tryin' to get Back to AK
60 posts, read 140,801 times
Reputation: 27

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Arctic, thanks. Where are you moving to in AK? I bet you can't wait to get there! Good ideas- we knew people in the village we were in who did those things. We'd like to be pretty extreme, but given the extra costs of flying out of the bush and then flying out of Anchorage on top of that too, we'd prefer to be remote but still on a road system somewhere? Or even off the road system but able to ride out on the fourwheelers or snowmachines to a road. Because even if we make it back, we will undoubtedly have to fly back to family frequently for whatever issues arise, and there will always be some from past experience...

Our job skills seem better suited to bigger city areas where jobs are plentiful. But we don't want to live there, or we'd just stay here, lol. We need to figure out how to live remote but be able to afford to do so, which means we'd still need jobs. Thankfully in the village we lived in, we were accepted and got jobs and housing, but we've seen people come in and for whatever reasons were shut out of jobs and housing and had to leave. Too bad we aren't part of megansmom's family! She is so lucky to have been given a house in Central! How awesome is that?!!!
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Old 04-12-2008, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Barrow, Alaska
3,539 posts, read 6,565,021 times
Reputation: 1829
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam64 View Post
The only problems we had were 1. My job- the district was really goofy and there was constant upheaval and turnover. The kids and parents resented the new staff and most didn't support the changes the administration tried to make.
Those problems come up with regularity in bush school districts. Most of the reasons are invalid, but unfortunately some of them actually are for good reason. Overall it is very difficult today to get a stable teaching staff in many bush villages; and that helps create the environment which self perpetuates. Once you've been in one village a few years though, things change because teachers with longevity become respected community members.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam64 View Post
And 2. Our family back "home".
I agree with the others who've said you need to live your life,
not theirs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam64 View Post
How do people move to AK from the extreme lower 48 and find their bush paradise and live "happily ever after" when they have family who disapproves of their choice of lifestyle?
You provided the answer yourself: "wrote off everybody back "home" and did their own thing"

Going back for a visit, for example, is not necessarily a bad thing...
But do it when it suits you. There is no reason to spend your retirement fund to go sit at someone's bedside (except perhaps your parents if they truly are dying).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam64 View Post
We have the money now to get back, but no job prospects unless I teach again in the bush. But I've really been soured on that experience.
Give it another try; and be aware that this time you know more about what is going on. You are also now an "experienced" bush teacher, and therefore of more value to the school. (Or, I would hope that is the case!)

For example, I wouldn't recommend applying to the North Slope Borough School District just yet (maybe in 3-4 years though). On the other hand, Kotzebue went through a cycle of that syndrom a few years ago (and eventually the voters threw out virtually the entire school board and rejected the idea of forcing a high teacher turnover rate), and that might be a good place to look. Those are examples... check out the many other places, and do the research to find out what kind of an environment exists in each.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam64 View Post
All of them refuse to come visit us should we move back, so it will be up to us to constantly have to fly back and forth for every little thing
That's a pretty easy one to turn around on them. You've made one visit, now it's their turn. If they don't think visiting you is important, then obviously it isn't too important for you to visit them either, eh?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam64 View Post
Have any of you been in our shoes before?
My relatives in the Lower-48 know where I live...
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Old 04-12-2008, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Naptowne, Alaska
15,595 posts, read 35,294,625 times
Reputation: 14700
ConocoPhillips and BP are going to team up and build the gas line to Fairbanks. Your husband may as well get up here and get in early. If he's got production experience he should have little trouble finding work. Does he have a degree in Petroleum Engineering or anything? Seems we are alwys short of engineers.
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Old 04-12-2008, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,871 posts, read 15,519,400 times
Reputation: 2638
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam64 View Post
... we'd prefer to be remote but still on a road system somewhere? Or even off the road system but able to ride out on the fourwheelers or snowmachines to a road.
DannyL, a contributor to the Alaska forum, provided a fabulous link to a Les Stroud (Survivorman) video about living off the grid. It's an hour long and absolutly fascinating! Sounds as though you and your hubby could find it really useful. Here's that thread; the Stroud link is in the first post:
Check this out guys, Les Stroud "Off the Grid" video...
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Old 04-12-2008, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Tryin' to get Back to AK
60 posts, read 140,801 times
Reputation: 27
Rance, no degree. He began as a shipfitter (welding, fitting, etc) with Ingall's Shipbuilding (now Northrop-Grumman) back in the late 80's and worked his way up to the office job he has now as a production planner.

AFC- I just saw that on TV last week! He and his wife got 150 acres up in remote Canada. Wow....
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Old 04-12-2008, 01:43 PM
 
Location: The Woods
16,961 posts, read 22,282,742 times
Reputation: 9075
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam64 View Post
Arctic, thanks. Where are you moving to in AK? I bet you can't wait to get there! Good ideas- we knew people in the village we were in who did those things. We'd like to be pretty extreme, but given the extra costs of flying out of the bush and then flying out of Anchorage on top of that too, we'd prefer to be remote but still on a road system somewhere? Or even off the road system but able to ride out on the fourwheelers or snowmachines to a road. Because even if we make it back, we will undoubtedly have to fly back to family frequently for whatever issues arise, and there will always be some from past experience...

Our job skills seem better suited to bigger city areas where jobs are plentiful. But we don't want to live there, or we'd just stay here, lol. We need to figure out how to live remote but be able to afford to do so, which means we'd still need jobs. Thankfully in the village we lived in, we were accepted and got jobs and housing, but we've seen people come in and for whatever reasons were shut out of jobs and housing and had to leave. Too bad we aren't part of megansmom's family! She is so lucky to have been given a house in Central! How awesome is that?!!!
Sounds like what I decided. I intended to buy in the true "bush" off the road system, but the transportation costs add up too much. I bought some land North of Manley Hot Springs off the Elliott Highway, the state has some land for sale in that area cheap (mostly 20 acre lots, in the $10,000 to $13000 range, I bought mine for $11,000, which works out to $550 an acre), and it's not very crowded either (but there are almost no jobs from what I could tell so you will need to be able to rely little on cash unless you have a lot of wealth saved up). I bought a piece as far from the road (about a mile and quarter) as I could, but you could get some much closer to the road for easier access than I did.

Don't let yourself get drawn out for every excuse your relatives think up, be sure there's good reason for going to them, from the sounds of it they'll probably try to derail your efforts, and plane tickets are not cheap. Some of mine have (hint: don't do as I did and loan a relative against you going to AK any sizeable amount of money, they'll take their time paying it back to mess up your plans).

It's not too late to learn skills such as gardening/etc., it'll take getting some experience to get really good at it, but not much is as rewarding as growing your own food. Alaska does present some big challenges to gardening though, obviously, but unless you're in the far North (like the North Slope)you'll be able to do quite a bit of gardening...

I suspect the reasons some newcomers are pushed aside in the villages is their attitude or bad first impressions, or simply suspicion. I suspect most of the villagers don't want people around who'll cause more problems than they already have. For example, I think it was in the 1980's IIRC what I was told, that a person drifted up from IL to AK and ended up in Manley Hot Springs, and ended up committing a mass murder there after camping for a while by the river (killed several people). Those sorts of things inevitably have an effect on people, a lot of criminals run up to AK thinking they can escape their past, unfortunately. I suspect once you show you're a decent person, you'll have no trouble (as your experience showed).
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Old 04-12-2008, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Barrow, Alaska
3,539 posts, read 6,565,021 times
Reputation: 1829
Default Oh? Rats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by arctichomesteader View Post
Move to the bush and don't have any phones. No more harrassment...my relatives all think I'm nuts for my plans, but, who cares, IMHO, they're nuts for living like caged rats in cities, struggling just to get along financially.
Heh heh...

I have a good friend who is a bit wrapped up in the Silicon Valley Rat Race. He sometimes calls me on his cell phone when he's caught in a freeway traffic jam, or has a break between meetings with lawyers and such... just (supposedly) to tell me how lucky I am that I can live where I do. (Actually, he needs to talk to somebody sane for a bit, to get is own sense of direction back in tune.)

I don't hesitate to tell him he's "nuts for living like caged rats in cities".
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Old 04-12-2008, 02:01 PM
 
Location: South Dakota
4,137 posts, read 7,983,045 times
Reputation: 1914
Sam64...
I am having similar problems as far as relatives are concerned. My husband was transferred to the North Slopes two years ago, but we were allowed to retain our home in Wyoming, he works two weeks on, two off and the company pays for his flights home and back. He was given a promotion last fall, but one of the stipulations was we had to reside in Alaska. It was more than fine for the both of us, as well as our son.

His side of the family is ecstatic, utterly thrilled that we were given this opportunity. They are very decent folk. My family on the other hand...well, let's just say it hasn't sunk in with my mother. She has somehow come to the conclusion that we are so wealthy that we can afford to spread it around before we leave. I do not have ANY idea where that came from. My father even has gone so far to tell my son (behind my back) that if for any reason at all he is unhappy,, if he doesn't want to move, if I am not being a good mother, that he should call my dad right away and he will come get him...then he can live with them until he graduates! I was shocked and a little hurt that he would attempt to be so manipulative. Fortunately, my son is very open to adventure and looks forward to the move...and he knows how much I love him.
Now my mother states she would never visit Alaska, my sister says the same. That's fine. I really don't expect to return to the -48 for anything less than a funeral. I may be callous for stating thus, but it has been a battle with my family since I gave them the news of the move.
Before I married, I was as you are...attempting to please everyone, wanting to keep everyone happy. It took a LONG time for me to realize that it isn't up to me. There comes a point when you have to live for yourself, your spouse, your children, etc...and you have to be happy. They will have to either accept it or no...but that isn't for you to decide. Stand firm, go where you are happy and content...and best of luck to you.
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Old 04-12-2008, 02:08 PM
 
11,836 posts, read 25,484,494 times
Reputation: 2781
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam64 View Post
Great ideas Barkingowl! Thanks. I've noticed you in this AK thread awhile..what is your connection to AK?
My best friend lives in Wasilla. My wife & I are travelling up in August for a couple weeks. Other than that I like the people that post in this section so I tend to hang out here. Its one of the few sections on the board where you can help & give advice without getting the other posters into a feeding frenzy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam64 View Post
Have you lived there before? I am from the Asheville, NC area originally!
No. I used to live in the Northeast, then the Midwest. Now I've been in Charlotte for 12 years. I want to win the lottery & move up to Alaska. I could probably do it right now but I'd have to settle for less & I'm unwilling to do that.
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Old 04-12-2008, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Tryin' to get Back to AK
60 posts, read 140,801 times
Reputation: 27
Highlandlady- Oh, I totally know where you're coming from. We were treated the same way when we first moved to AK in '06. It was even worse when they looked at a map and discovered we had to fly in- no roads in or out! And the manipulation...I'm so sorry you are having to go through this mess. Glad to hear you do have at least one side of the family supporting you- that helps. Good for you guys- go for it. You'll love it there! Best wishes to you in return!
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