Read on to learn the pros and cons of living in Alaska to make the right decision for your lifestyle, health, and budget here.
Did you know that Alaska is the third least populated state following Wyoming and Vermont?
For some people that might sound like a nightmare, while for others it might sound like the perfect picture of heaven.
Home to the tallest mountain in the world and more than half of the national parklands in the U.S., Alaska is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream.
Is living in Alaska right for you, though? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.
Pros of Living in Alaska
A lot of people dream about getting away from it all and moving to a beautiful, peaceful spot in the world. Here are some of the best things about living in the wilderness of Alaska.
The Wilderness Is Breathtaking
Alaska is totally gorgeous. You will live smack dab in the middle of the great outdoors, and pretty much any outdoor activity you could dream of will be right at your fingertips.
The list of outdoor activities you can engage in if Alaska was your home is nearly endless. Here’s a sample:
- River rafting
Does this sound like a dream come true? This is one of the major benefits of living in Alaska that locals enjoy.
Great for Snow Sports
While this was mentioned above, it’s worth giving it its own section. That’s because it snows a lot in Alaska. Things like skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and snowboarding can be common occurrences in your new Alaskan life.
Life Moves at a Slower Pace
Are you tired of the hustle and bustle of city life? You might enjoy the feeling of life moving at a slower pace up in the last frontier. If you decide to do something extreme like living off the grid in Alaska, you’ll feel like you’re living in a different century.
In Alaska, things run a little more along the lines of “island time.” That means that meeting times and deadlines are treated more like suggestions than requirements. That being said, if you pride yourself on being punctual and can’t stand it when others are late, this might not be the place for you.
The summers in Alaska are absolutely amazing. Because it sits at a latitude so far north, at the height of the summer the sun will barely ever set.
While everyone imagines Alaska to be a freezing snowscape all the time, the average temperature in July in Anchorage is about 70 degrees. That means you’ll have ample opportunity to explore the great outdoors by mountain biking, canoeing, backpacking, or whatever it is you, please.
Are you seriously thinking about making the move? Follow this link to find a guide to moving to southeast Alaska.
Cons of Living in Alaska
If you’re sold on all the good things about living in Alaska, don’t start packing your bags just yet. There are a number of things that some people find unfavorable about living in Alaska, so you’d be well informed to weigh out the cons with the pros.
It Gets Extremely Cold
Let’s be serious: this is Alaska we’re talking about. Depending on what part of the state you’re thinking about moving to, you could experience some pretty cold nights even in the summer.
The Cost of Living Is High
This is a big one. The average cost of living in Alaska is quite high compared to other U.S. states. Since it is so far away from the rest of the U.S., things like groceries will cost a lot more than if you were living stateside.
This goes for the cost of fuel, as well. You should expect to pay about $0.45 per gallon more than you would down in the lower 48.
You’re Really Far From the Rest of the U.S.
If you have family down in the continental U.S., it can be a trek to visit or get back down there. Keep in mind that just to get from Alaska to Seattle, it’s going to take you about 72 hours at best. Then there’s also the cost of travel to keep in mind.
The Winter Is Long
Winter comes with its own costs. You’ll be paying to heat your home for a decent portion of the year.
Not only that, but snow removal is going to become a major party of your life. There are only 100 days in the frost-free growing season in Alaska.
In an average year, there are over 30 inches of snow just between January and March. In November and December, you could also see 30 inches of snow. This means you can expect to put quite a bit of time into shoveling, plowing, and blowing to keep your walkways and driveway clear.
There Isn’t Much in the Way of City Life
Even in Alaskan cities, you’ll find the nightlife pretty quiet. As you might expect, with there only being about 5 hours of sunlight during the winter, people are mostly hunkered down indoors.
While there are city amenities like museums, plays, bars, and restaurants, this isn’t NYC. Anchorage is also pretty spread out, so you won’t be able to super easily hop from bar to bar.
Living in Alaska Isn’t For Everyone
Alaska is in a lot of ways an extreme place to live. That means it’s extremely beautiful but also extremely cold, it’s extremely quiet but it’s also extremely far from everything… you catch my drift. This is a classic high pro high cons situation, and it’s up to each individual to decide if living in Alaska is right for them.
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