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Old 04-12-2008, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Tryin' to get Back to AK
60 posts, read 140,805 times
Reputation: 27

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Hi all! At the risk of sounding repetitious, I'll say that it has been a lifelong dream of mine to live in AK. I finally made it happen back in 2006 because I got my teaching license and found a position out in the bush where I wanted to be if I ever did get to AK. We loved our life out in the bush, except for the expense of groceries and fuel, and the lack of adequate housing, but we did it. 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. And 2. Our family back "home". They didn't want us to move in the first place, and made it really difficult for us by constantly calling or having others call on their behalf to relate constant bad news and how much we were "needed". A family member was not recovering from an operation he had before we left, and was now undergoing another so we had to fly out on a day's notice (very expensive!) 5 months after we got there to satisfy family. We stayed two weeks and then I had to get back to work. That trip depleted our savings. By the time school was out, I was fed up with the district and didn't sign another contract. We were going to try and stay, but again, family kept calling and guilt-tripping us, so we returned "home" again to help out the family member who was so sick. We depleted our savings again in doing so, and then got stuck back "home" because we didn't have the money to return, or a place to live, or jobs to go back to. My husband took his old job back "home", and we got an apartment. We are miserable. We both miss our bush lifestyle beyond belief.

What I'd like to know is...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? Most of the people we met in the bush were either older folks who moved there back in the 70's and have it all figured out, natives, people who just wrote off everybody back "home" and did their own thing, people who have family already in AK or in a closer state like WA or OR, or young folks who got there because they had family backing them financially and who they could count on for a ticket back "home" if they were needed. We really want to go back to AK. We cannot find that same lifestyle we enjoyed so much anywhere else down here in the lower 48, and doubt it even exists here. 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. We don't want to live in Anchorage or Fairbanks- too big and same as being here. Anytime we even mention coming back, our parents and kids have a stroke. The parents accuse us of not caring about them in their old age because what if something happens to somebody again? Our kids accuse us of not caring about them or our grandbabies- even though one of our kids doesn't even live nearby but out West. 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, and we won't have the money to do it all the time. Nobody here "gets" why we loved the bush life so much.

Have any of you been in our shoes before? How did you deal with it? We are caught between living our lives the way we want, and yet pleasing everyone else. Any advice you guys can offer would be greatly appreciated!
Much thanks!
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Old 04-12-2008, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Naptowne, Alaska
15,595 posts, read 35,296,568 times
Reputation: 14701
How selfish of the whole bunch. If your happy here then you should be living here. If they are so selfish that they wouldn't consider visiting you in Alaska...I sure as heck wouldn't waste my time running back to them everytime they pulled the pity party on ya. It's a sad ordeal for sure...but you need to live your lives for yourself sometimes...not everyone else.
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Old 04-12-2008, 11:57 AM
 
11,836 posts, read 25,485,933 times
Reputation: 2781
Can your husband use his teaching skills in another area, or perhaps get new skills? As for family I'd write them off.
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Old 04-12-2008, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,871 posts, read 15,520,440 times
Reputation: 2638
The previous posts from Rance and Barkingowl are absolutely correct.
Clearly, the family doesn't want you to grow up -- more correctly, THEY don't want to grow up. They want you to live THEIR life, not your own. They're not interested in your happiness, freedom and fulfillment; they're interested in enslaving you...

You might find this City-Data thread really, really interesting! It's about a couple just like you, who want to live their own grown-up life, but choose to feel "guilty" about a parent who doesn't understand that everyone's path is THEIR OWN choice, not the parent's choice. I really hope you find this helpful.
cutting the cord? dealing w/leaving mom

When you clear your hearts and minds from "guilt", which produces nothing but fear and sickness, and instead feel enthusiasm and powerfulness, you will be able to find the job, the way to make the move feasible.

Please know that all is well throughout the Universe forever, so everything always has a happy ending. Go forth in joy and focus on what you love!
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Old 04-12-2008, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Tryin' to get Back to AK
60 posts, read 140,805 times
Reputation: 27
Hi BarkingOwl, I'm the teacher. I have tried to find clerical work, or anything really, other than teaching, but apparently people think teachers can't do anything else but teach. I've even been told that I'm "overqualified" now to be hired at jobs that pay minimum wage. This is down here though. I am looking into other areas..but most require more college for me to change careers and I'm maxed on student loans already. My husband is a project/production planner and after years of welding/physical labor before getting that job, doesn't really want to go back to that. So that limits us as far as jobs go for now I guess.

Allforcats- thanks! I'm gonna go read that thread now!
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Old 04-12-2008, 12:31 PM
 
11,836 posts, read 25,485,933 times
Reputation: 2781
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam64 View Post
Hi BarkingOwl, I'm the teacher. I have tried to find clerical work, or anything really, other than teaching, but apparently people think teachers can't do anything else but teach. I've even been told that I'm "overqualified" now to be hired at jobs that pay minimum wage. This is down here though. I am looking into other areas..but most require more college for me to change careers and I'm maxed on student loans already. My husband is a project/production planner and after years of welding/physical labor before getting that job, doesn't really want to go back to that. So that limits us as far as jobs go for now I guess.
Maybe you can use your teaching skills in a different way than in a traditional school setting. I know down here that there are corporations that use teachers to train staff about their complexes, everything from company policy to various systems. Could you adapt your skill set to train employees of companies up there in the same manner?

It sounds like your husband could fit very well up on the North Slope or perhaps in construction or mining.
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Old 04-12-2008, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Tryin' to get Back to AK
60 posts, read 140,805 times
Reputation: 27
Great ideas Barkingowl! Thanks. I've noticed you in this AK thread awhile..what is your connection to AK? Have you lived there before? I am from the Asheville, NC area originally!
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Old 04-12-2008, 12:49 PM
 
Location: The Woods
16,964 posts, read 22,285,245 times
Reputation: 9095
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. If you can pay off the land you buy (buy land that has no property taxes on it, the unorganized borough would be best), and you're even half decent at gardening and perhaps hunting and fishing, you wouldn't need a steady income. Heat would be dirt cheap if you cut your own firewood (off your land or govt. land), if you can supply much of your own food, that'd cut that expense. I don't know how far/"extreme" you want to go though so you'll have to decide what you want. Good luck.
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Old 04-12-2008, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,871 posts, read 15,520,440 times
Reputation: 2638
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? Have you lived there before?
THE OWL is an Alaska groupie!! Of the nicest kind, however.
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Old 04-12-2008, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Eastern NC
19,527 posts, read 17,779,591 times
Reputation: 17322
What a bunch of selfish and closeminded family you have. Like other have said, if they want to act that way then let them. You only live once and it is time to cut the cord. Live your own life, not theirs. When you get back up to Alaska, get yourselves so new phones and do not give your phone number to them. Leave them in the dark, they deserve it for the way they are treating yall.
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