Alaskans: Reasons Why People Move to the Last Frontier
After “When did you get here?” the next most popular question between Alaskans getting acquainted is “How did you get up here?” We’re always curious why people move up here. There are a few common answers to that question.
One is the military. Many people, including me, came up because of the military. Im my case, my father was stationed at Fort Richardson and fell in love with Alaska, so he extended tours as often as he could and I grew up here. In other families, people discovered Alaska because of the military and returned later to stay. One variation of this is civilian jobs. They came up to fish, help build the pipeline, or work for a company, etc. and decided to stay.
One reason romance fans will appreciate: “I met this guy….” or I met this girl….” I know people who came up to visit someone or follow someone to Alaska, and became enamored of the place, sometimes with an attraction that lasted longer than the original person they came up for! Either way, it’s kind of sweet when a person came to Alaska for love.
And of course the third most common reason is for the adventure. We have a lot of people who came to Alaska to challenge themselves physically or otherwise, who wanted to see the Last Frontier as a place to live their dreams of wilderness living or dog mushing or whatever their definition of adventure was. And that is one of the coolest reasons to move somewhere.
These reasons haven’t changed too much over time. We’ve had lovers and adventurers for centuries. And maybe the Gold Rush stampeders had a different job in mind than soldiers or British Petroleum employees or Home Depot managers, but basically a monetary reason is still a monetary reason.
I don’t think there is a huge difference between current Alaskans and the people who came up long ago. We’re still independent folks. But I will grant you that those of us who now come to Anchorage or other big towns do have more comforts of home than the Gold Rush folks did. I am thankful that they came here first and got things set up for the rest of us. I can’t imagine a winter in Fairbanks without central heat. 🙂