Living in Alaska

One Month In Alaska!

Hi everyone!  It’s crazy for me to even think about this, but today officially marks 1 month of living in Alaska!  It’s been a crazy busy month but I’m loving it so far!  Getting adjusted to living in a new place with new friends has been fun, and adjusting to a new job has been…well…difficult and stressful.  We have less than 4 months left in Seward though so we’re going to keep making the most of every situation!

When I told people I was moving to Alaska, everyone had a ton of questions about what it was going to be like here.  Honestly, while I kind of had an idea I still wasn’t totally sure what life in Alaska would be like.  But after a month of being here, these are my observations on Alaska:

  • IT’S THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE ON EARTH.  As if you couldn’t tell from all my pictures so far!

IMG_0646The view from our hike to the beach at Tonsina Point

  • It’s actually not cold all the time, but it’s definitely not as warm as it is down in the lower 48.  Most days it’s in the 60s, some days it’s warmer and some days slightly colder.  It was 77 one day and everyone was sweating!  Most days it just feels like a nice spring day, and the nights feel like a crisp fall night.  It’s basically always hoodie/fleece weather.  I have worn tank tops when running though!
  • Weather is a big topic of conversation here, but people don’t let it affect their activities.  Everyone has been talking about how warm, sunny, and dry it has been lately since it’s pretty rare.  Apparently Seward is typically cool and rainy in the summer so this year’s weather is confusing a lot of locals.  This week, the big topic of conversation is the rain that we’re getting (it looks like we’ll be getting it every day for the next week!).  But even when it rains people still go outside to run, hike, etc. because you can’t waste a day of summer sitting inside!

IMG_0594A rainy day in Seward

  • Everyone is more relaxed and laid back than they would be on the east coast.  Waiting in line is apparently not a source of stress and impatience like it is back home!  People are also super friendly and I find myself talking to people all the time.  Mostly about the weather (see above) but when people ask me where I’m from they always get so excited to hear that I’ve moved up here for good!  People love to suggest their favorite hiking trails and things to do and I love getting opinions from locals!
  • People aren’t super political up here.  Politics are less democrat vs. republican and more focused on what rights people have as Alaskans.  Obviously people are pretty serious about gun laws up here.
  • Speaking of guns, that’s a totally normal thing here in Alaska.  Literally every local I’ve talked to owns at least one gun, as well as tons of fishing gear.  Once you have a license to hunt/fish you can get all the free fish and game that you can catch, which helps out with grocery bills!  Fish here is actually pretty expensive since it has to be processed and sold at market price, unless you catch it yourself.  Which leads me to my next point…
  • Food is really expensive up here.  Everything has to be shipped to Anchorage and then shipped to Seward, so things definitely cost more than back home.  We only eat what’s on sale!  At the Safeway here in Seward they have $5 Fridays, and I will buy whatever is on sale for $5 and make that into our meals for the week!
  • Gas is expensive as well.  But that’s okay, because we have been walking everywhere in town!

IMG_0720It’s $4.12 here but is 20 cents cheaper in Anchorage!

  • Everyone has a Costco/Sam’s Club membership and drives up to Anchorage to stock up on stuff.  We have been buying all of our non-cold items in Anchorage to save money!
  • Sometimes restaurants run out of certain food after a busy weekend and they need to go back to Anchorage to stock up!  That happened to me today at the thai restaurant  🙂
  • This is a big one:  the towns/cities here look like normal towns/cities in the lower 48.  Lots of people ask me what it’s like here as if I’m living in a third world country.  We have a grocery store, lots of restaurants and hotels, a school (and even a culinary school!), a library, a post office, etc.  Seward is just like any other small town.  Anchorage is just like a normal big city too!  More on that once we move there  🙂

IMG_0863The Seward Library – how cool is that building?

  • People here say things differently.  The biggest one I’ve noticed is “Right on” whenever they agree with you.  No one says that in Philly!  But I’ve said “jawns” here before and have confused people, so I guess we’ve all got our own local phrases.
  • Wildlife is all over the place! Moose and bears will come into town, and it’s not rare to see a sea otter, seal, or even a whale in the bay!

IMG_0765The moose I saw on my run

  • Seward is full of tourists on the weekends, and is less busy during the week.  I’m now learning to stay away from all restaurants on the weekends!
  • The sun doesn’t really set.  But that doesn’t mean that it’s actually “sunny” at midnight.  Right now it’s more like a dusky sky for a few hours each night before the sun rises again.  If you go outside at 2:00 am you will still be able to see without a flashlight though!  And on June 21st, the sun will be out for the longest amount of time all year.  I am so excited to see that!

IMG_0741This is the harbor at midnight!

So there you have it – my initial observations of life in Alaska and specifically Seward.  I have this same post going on over on my Alaska blog as well because I feel like it’s important for my family to see what it’s like up here.  I’m loving it so far – so many beautiful places to hike, run, and just walk around after a long day at work!  I’m still in shock when I look out the window sometimes!  I can’t wait to fully become an Alaskan!  Which I think will happen once I’ve survived my first winter here  🙂

Would you ever live in Alaska?  Are there any weird stereotypes about people who live in your town?

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20 thoughts on “One Month In Alaska!

  1. I can’t believe it’s been a month already! Absolutely stunning and I love that library!

    1. I know me neither! Yeah the first time I saw that library I was blown away – most of Seward’s buildings were built in the 60s after the town was destroyed by an earthquake/tsunami so I was really surprised to see such a pretty new building!

      How is life back in Philly? Is it crazy hot and humid yet? Any fun races planned?

    1. That’s so crazy! But I’ll probably be doing it as well. I have been doing so much stuff in the rain lately and I’m getting less bothered by it. Hopefully I do a good job adjusting to the cold winters!

    1. Yeah it’s definitely not for everyone, and I have no idea we’ll stay here – hopefully forever but who knows! I do love it so far and I’m excited for the rest of the summer!

  2. I LOVED THIS POST. This is seriously why I love reading blogs–I learn so much from people’s actual experiences. Like, I can read about Alaska but it won’t be the same as someone telling me themselves. Thank you for sharing this and yay for one month!!

    1. Yay! Your comment made me so happy! I felt stupid writing this post like “Who even wants to read this? This is a running blog!” but I do want people to know what it’s really like up here since I got soooo many crazy comments about what life up here must be like before I moved. People need to know there are no igloos and penguins up here!

  3. I don’t think I would ever live in Alaska (I already did the left side thing), but man would I LOVE to visit! It’s so gorgeous and it’s fascinating to me that the sun doesn’t really set ever. And that moose just show up in your own. These pictures are amazing and I just oohed and aahed over that library! 🙂 Awesome post and I’m so glad you are loving it after your first month!! I want to know more!!

    1. Haha I will keep posting more! You should definitely visit sometime though. There are tons of great races up here if you’re looking for another marathon 😉 And sadly the sun will set in the winter for most of the day so I’m not looking forward to that.

    1. It’s basically a noun – it can take the place of any person, place, or thing. It’s what I use when I’m feeling lazy. Like “Get me that jawns over there” or “Look at that jawns with the crazy outfit on!”. The kids I worked with in South Philly were all about it and sadly I picked up their terrible habits 😦

    1. Ahhh I am so excited for you! If you need any help let me know! For our honeymoon last year we went to Seward (where I live now), the Matanuska Glacier, and Denali National Park. All 3 of those were good choices for sure and I totally recommend them for a first time trip! Denali blew my mind and in my opinion is a must-see thing, especially if you want to see wildlife!

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