Turns out when you move to Alaska, the first question you get, after the person looks at you like you have two heads, is “so why did you decide to move there?”
Well, the short answer is: work. Ya girl needs to get paid and a job offer is helpful.
But, I also have a bit of a fuck it attitude. Why do what is expected when you can do something no one thinks you are capable of? It might seem scary at first, but never once have I regretted my “fuck it” decisions. Well… maybe a couple times.
This one though does not leave me with regrets. Moving up right before the country went into quarantine probably was not my best timing ever but I have learned to love the friendly people, lack of traffic, and 18 hours of daylight (4 in the winter but who's counting?).
I also deeply appreciate the cost of living here. You will get locals that complain about the surcharges on food or goods. But, my experience coming from the Bay Area and Seattle has been that the surcharge is no different than the amount I typically paid in tax back home.
Gas is significantly cheaper too. Up until moving here, I had never paid under $3 a gallon to fill up my car. The first time I got gas here, it was $1.99 at Costco. And yes, I did take a picture and call my mom because she did not believe me.
I also have the ability to live in a prime location by myself here. Don’t get me wrong, I am lucky and have loved all of the people I have roomed with before. But, getting a big girl job meant I really wanted to get an apartment by myself that I could decorate however I wanted. I knew if I stayed in the Bay Area or Seattle, I would have to have 5 roommates (okay maybe just one and I exaggerate a little) but I could never afford rent by myself. Here, I live in Bootleggers Cove, a prime spot downtown, in an apartment by myself. All for less than I paid to share a room in the Bay Area.
"I can see Russia from my house" -- what I said to all of my friends when I sent them a picture of my view. Yes I brag about how beautiful it is all the time. And yes, I am also downtown.
So, the long and the short is that I am a fuck it person. I ride to the beat of my own drum and crave going off the beaten path (yes, I can come up with more analogies related to it, I have heard them all) so of all the crazy, stupid, impulsive decisions I have made, this one is not entirely out of character. But, there is also a lot Anchorage has going for it -- the people, the food, the culture -- and the cost of living really is the icing on the cake.
But how do I answer the “why did I move here?” question a lot of the time? -- It’s a leap of faith that I trusted myself to make and I haven’t regretted it yet.
Ask me in a couple months when it snows again though.
- XOXO Rachel