The frozen north, the last frontier, the northern frontier, land of the midnight sun and land of the noonday moon; Alaska has many nicknames. It is a place where adventures and misadventures can happen at the same time. Pleasantries and un-pleasantries coexist harmoniously in this state. Beyond romanticizing the life in Alaska, there are some reality checks that everyone should sign up for, at least before considering moving in.
There are obviously some living in Alaska pros and cons. Every city or state or country in the world would have its pros and cons. Whether the pros of living in Alaska are more satiating than the discomfort of the cons is going to depend on how you look at things.
List of Pros of Living in Alaska
1. If you are someone who enjoys the outdoors without being bogged down by the wraths of nature, then you can have a wonderful time in Alaska. It is the land of adventures. You can go camping, biking, skiing, fishing, ice climbing, hiking, rock climbing and indulge in many other activities. Every day or every week in Alaska can be equally adventurous, if you have the nerve and intent for it.
2. Alaska is a borderline case of a welfare state. The state actually pays its residents for living there. Anyone who has lived more than a year in the state would qualify for a benefit known as PFD or permanent fund dividend. You can qualify for anywhere between eight hundred bucks to two thousand. This money is more like an incentive for being a resident of the state and the money is not taxed. Like the PFD, there are many other programs for specific careers. You can actually earn much more than what you would normally earn in similar jobs elsewhere in the country.
3. Alaska is a place where you can actually have wildlife expeditions. You would come across mountain goats, eagles, moose, otters, deer, bears and many animals that you wouldn’t recognize at first.
4. Alaska doesn’t pressurize its residents with any overbearing cultures of fashion or dress codes. Owing to its weather and how the culture has shaped up, you can practically wear anything as long as it is comforting, befitting of the weather and not offensive. You can walk into a meeting wearing a pair of jeans and no one would raise an eyebrow. The lack of fashion sense is what some people would put it as but for many it can mean freedom from the ever prowling and scanning eyes of peers and fashion conscious consumerists.
5. Alaska doesn’t have spiders weaving their webs in your home or poisonous snakes in your backyard. Living in Alaska has many perks and for those who absolutely hate bugs it would be a wonderful experience.
6. Some people fall in love with the native culture of Alaska. If you are someone who loves tradition and cultures of indigenous people then you will enjoy living in Alaska. But those cultures would never impose anything on you or have any bearing on a normal resident from another state or country, which makes it all the more interesting.
List of Cons of Living in Alaska
1. There is a reason why the state gives you some money. Alaska has a very high cost of living. Everything is expensive. While real estate is expensive in most states, the cost of normal food items and consumer goods in Alaska would shock you. Not only would you pay exorbitant amounts for everything from milk to a phone, you would also have to deal with inflation.
2. Alaska can get very dark during the winter, literally. You may not see the sun for more than a few hours every day and if you are in northern Alaska then you may not see the sun at all for many days at a stretch. The weather has a bearing on many people living in the state. Seasonal depression is also a common problem among Alaskans.
3. Alaska is not easily accessible. Many places don’t have road connectivity. Airfares are crazy and you may have to make bookings for ferries many weeks in advance. If you are shutoff from the rest of the world and you don’t have a way out, then you can blame the place you are living in.
4. The minimum wage is pathetic. At $7.75, Alaska is one of the worst payers and yet you are expected to shell out more than a thousand bucks a month if you rent a place that is barely five hundred square feet. No one should move to Alaska unless one has a very rewarding job, financially.
5. Shipping to and from Alaska is another pain you have to deal with. Don’t expect to receive and send stuffs as easily as you would if you were in either of the coasts or in the Midwest.
6. Snowy terrains are another unavoidable reality. Graveled roads clogged up with snow and studded tires are a problem you cannot avert.