U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Alaska
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-04-2013, 07:53 PM
 
9 posts, read 7,840 times
Reputation: 10

Advertisements

Hey Alaskan folk, thanks for taking the time to read (and hopefully respond). Naturally, I came here seeking some advice on moving to the state as a soon to be college graduate from the lower 48.

I've spent a lot of time soul searching on what I want out of life as my college career is coming to an end. I've been working in different jobs straight since I was 16 and through college (I'm now 24), and I enjoy putting an honest, good day's effort of work in and contributing to society somehow. Since I was in kindergarten, I've had a longtime fascination with someday moving up to the state! I subscribed to every Alaska-related magazine I could, read tons of books, and watched every show I could. I wanted to experiment by heading out there for college, but I got a great offer from a really good school in Boston and decided to try it out here for 4 years. Needless to say, while the experiences here will benefit me greatly, I do not want to stay in this area and have been saving up for quite awhile to begin my own life.

Basically I have a clean slate right now and can move just about anywhere I want to; however, with that being said, my family was pretty nomadic and the only place that was ever kind of close to home were Minnesota and cities on the I-5 corridor of OR (like Portland, Salem, and Eugene). I have no home, but I want to settle down some place that I can make a future for myself in, where I can contribute to the community and just live a good life. I'm not chasing big money, fast cars, hot women, or lots of shiny toys… I just want to have my health, have a beautiful outdoors to take advantage of (in all seasons, I'm pretty hardy with the cold), live within my means, have a dog, and live somewhere where I could be accepted into their community despite not being born and bred there. Life's been tough as a nomad, I'm ready to put my roots down.

As for my work, I've spent a lot of time working with animals in a research lab and at aquariums the last few years. I'd love to someday work up at SeaLife in Seward once I become comfortable with the state, or the zoo in Anchorage as a goal for the nearer future. I also enjoy writing and plan on having something published someday, and past jobs have included tech support and small store retail. I'll take what I can get, though, I'm pretty adaptable and skilled in a bunch of areas (so I'd like to think). Maybe other career paths will open up to me, too!

So, I know what my gut tells me. I know Alaska ain't always pretty, I'm not over-fantasizing the state with preconceived notions of untouched wilderness everywhere. Where there is human life, there will always be a range of emotions and experiences, from happiness to sadness. I've scoured the nation through research and lived in many places, and I think this is an adventure that could turn into something more. It's not a deciding factor at all, but both of my parents are supportive of this potential decision at least.

For those who read this far, I suppose I want to ask if I sound like a good fit for moving up here and making my way, and if there are opportunities in general for someone with my background and attitude? Are my hopes just flat-out stupid and unrealistic? I'm also aware that many of the people on these forums are on here because they may be unhappy with where they live, but those opinions are just as valid as the positive ones. I've never had the chance to visit Alaska, but from everything I've seen and read, it sounds like it could be a wonderful fit as long as I take things and stride and listen to/learn from the people actually from there. I also have strongly considered Seattle, but at that rate I may as well just follow one of my life's dreams and go for the gold. In either case, I will need to actually learn how to drive fully in winter, but I'm familiar with operating a car and just need the license as this point (yay for residency requirements kicking me in the ass many times during those teenage years). I'm not a speeder or reckless driver, at any rate. No drugs or smoking, either.

Thank you in advance, once again. Sorry for the wall of text, but summing it up doesn't do the feelings justice.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-04-2013, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
2,692 posts, read 4,581,145 times
Reputation: 2260
Maybe check out a seasonal job to start with: Alaska Jobs | CoolWorks.com
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-04-2013, 11:34 PM
 
Location: Anchorage
90 posts, read 141,914 times
Reputation: 103
You only live once. Chase your dreams while you can.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-05-2013, 01:39 AM
 
Location: Palmer
2,519 posts, read 6,297,258 times
Reputation: 1378
You are young, resilient, and educated...come on up.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-05-2013, 01:48 AM
 
4 posts, read 5,378 times
Reputation: 11
Try it out for 6 months then reassess.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-05-2013, 10:57 AM
 
4,715 posts, read 9,408,264 times
Reputation: 2171
I thought you had to give it at least a year?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-05-2013, 11:48 AM
 
136 posts, read 417,823 times
Reputation: 155
From your other posts on C-D, I see that you're considering a few places to move. The one comment you made in the San Diego forum about being tired of winters would make me question whether Alaska is the place for you because it is winter the vast majority of the year.

The winter won't be much colder than what you experienced in Minnesota. However, it will be colder longer and the days will be much shorter than what you experienced in Minnesota, or anywhere else you've lived in the lower 48.

Best,
Patrick
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-05-2013, 12:45 PM
 
9 posts, read 7,840 times
Reputation: 10
@Paintballa and Marty, thank you for the kind and encouraging words.

That's a good suggestion, @Danlagomarsino. I think that'll be part of the plan going up.

@AKStafford, I really want to find something fulltime if I can considering the investment I've placed into my education, but that is a helpful resource and I'm taking a look through it, thank you.

@Dakster: I believe to establish full legal residency, you do in fact have to be there for a year. According to the DMV's site, though, all you need to show for residency is the most recent utility bill, bank statement, or something of that nature. Alaska seems to be more lax on their requirements than many other states. Problem is I spent a lot of my teenage years in hotels, so I never really had residency anywhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by soldn2slavery View Post
From your other posts on C-D, I see that you're considering a few places to move. The one comment you made in the San Diego forum about being tired of winters would make me question whether Alaska is the place for you because it is winter the vast majority of the year.

The winter won't be much colder than what you experienced in Minnesota. However, it will be colder longer and the days will be much shorter than what you experienced in Minnesota, or anywhere else you've lived in the lower 48.

Best,
Patrick
Hello Patrick, thank you for both taking the time to respond and even look at my past posts! You guys up here have been the most responsive by far, I really appreciate it. It is true that I said I was growing weary of winters, but my mindset was different at the time of those previous posts. I had convinced myself that I wanted warm weather and beaches (and my work so far has leaned strongly toward working with marine mammals and other creatures, so it makes sense), and a bit childishly refused to look at more northern climates, which I've spent most of my life in. I stepped back for a bit to focus on schoolwork and came back with a clear mind, trying to figure out what's really going to make me happy in the longterm. I ended up deciding that California is way too crazy for me to want to settle down in, Florida is... just a state I've never liked (but unfortunately for me, has -ample- job opportunities in my field), and the Seattle area was still more of a compromise than a true desire to live there. I started taking the idea of Alaska seriously when both of my parents encouraged it (which is a shocking thing, them agreeing on anything). After some research online, I find myself asking for advice and input on C-D. I have this feeling, though, that I haven't had for any other area.

Really, the winters don't bother me that much, I'm just a bit of apprehensive of winter driving and let that fear dictate things; I'll overcome that with practice and caution. Out here in Boston, I'm still in short sleeves or just a shirt even in the 40s, when many people are in their full gear. I've grown a good tolerance and pleasure out of the cold, and my mom reminded me yesterday how viciously I used to hate the heat whenever we traveled further South/the years we lived in Texas. On the job side of things, I could eventually find some work within my field (like at SeaLife in Seward, it would be killer to work there once I'm familiar with the state), although I'm realistic that it wouldn't be right away and I'll have to use my other skills for awhile.

I hope that clears up why I had those previous posts! I was seriously looking at those locations, but that helped me eliminate them more than anything. Do you have any further input with that in mind? Thanks again.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-05-2013, 01:32 PM
 
136 posts, read 417,823 times
Reputation: 155
When I read your post on the Alaska forum, my initial thought was that you'd do just fine. Then, when I read your other posts and read the comment about not liking winter, that raised a big red flag because winter is a big part of living in Alaska. You need to more than tolerate the cold, you have to get out it in and enjoy it (at least until March when most everyone I know is pretty much sick of it), even at -20 degrees.

As long as you're realistic about the winter, then I'd encourage you to go for an extended visit and see if it's what you want. I'm guessing you'll find that it is. You're only young once and even if you don't like it, you won't ever regret giving it a try. I've been all over the lower 48 and there really is no other place quite like Alaska.

I'm not sure if the State of Alaska still does this because it's been many years since I was involved, but one suggestion I have is to check out the volunteer opportunities with the state parks. There may not be anything available this year as I'd suspect that any positions they have fill up quickly, but you never know. In the past, some of the positions came with room and board and a stipend. Even if there isn't a paid volunteer position, volunteer anyway. It's a great way to meet and get to know people from all over the world and to start building your network. I did it for a year and loved it!

One more suggestion, if you don't mind, is that if it's at all possible for you, drive up. That's the most beautiful, incredible trip you'll ever make. You'll see so many amazing things. If you're lucky, the Elvis impersonator is still playing downtown Whitehorse.

Last edited by soldn2slavery; 04-05-2013 at 01:33 PM.. Reason: stupid spelling errors
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-05-2013, 02:01 PM
 
9 posts, read 7,840 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by soldn2slavery View Post
When I read your post on the Alaska forum, my initial thought was that you'd do just fine. Then, when I read your other posts and read the comment about not liking winter, that raised a big red flag because winter is a big part of living in Alaska. You need to more than tolerate the cold, you have to get out it in and enjoy it (at least until March when most everyone I know is pretty much sick of it), even at -20 degrees.

As long as you're realistic about the winter, then I'd encourage you to go for an extended visit and see if it's what you want. I'm guessing you'll find that it is. You're only young once and even if you don't like it, you won't ever regret giving it a try. I've been all over the lower 48 and there really is no other place quite like Alaska.

I'm not sure if the State of Alaska still does this because it's been many years since I was involved, but one suggestion I have is to check out the volunteer opportunities with the state parks. There may not be anything available this year as I'd suspect that any positions they have fill up quickly, but you never know. In the past, some of the positions came with room and board and a stipend. Even if there isn't a paid volunteer position, volunteer anyway. It's a great way to meet and get to know people from all over the world and to start building your network. I did it for a year and loved it!

One more suggestion, if you don't mind, is that if it's at all possible for you, drive up. That's the most beautiful, incredible trip you'll ever make. You'll see so many amazing things. If you're lucky, the Elvis impersonator is still playing downtown Whitehorse.
That's completely fair, I really appreciate your honesty and forwardness about needing to be realistic about the winters. Anything less wouldn't be helpful, because I know the rules are different up in Alaska compared to the lower 48, with the lack of light and such. I truly plan to be outside as much as I can, even at said temperatures. I also really want to have my first animal companion after I get settled down with a place. I've been around big and small dogs since I was in the crib, and with my experience in husbandry I'm really looking forward to rescuing my first dog and getting to start my life with them.

You hit the nail on the head though. I will regret not trying far more than trying and failing. I've fallen hard in life before, but I picked myself up, took responsibility and improved significantly from those points. I am late in the game for finding summer/seasonal work, so I'm going to have to bide my time until Fall or I find something fulltime. Money won't be an issue for awhile, so that'll give me a chance to find a job that is a good fit, instead of the first thing available. Ideally, at least. I will go ahead and see if I can find anything online.

I don't know if driving up is going to be possible, although I have preliminary plans on taking a train from Boston to Seattle so I can get to see my country again. It's been many years since my last cross-country road trip, and it'd be a nice way to settle my head after graduation. Then maybe a boat or something up, I really would love it to be a journey on my way to Alaska! Great suggestion though, I'll see what I can do.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Alaska
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top