Hello friends and family,
This begins my first online journal. I promise to make an effort this time around.
As an introduction to those who don't know me, I'm a lawyer from California who has recently taken a job in Fairbanks, Alaska.
My decision to do this has little to do with an inherent desire to live in Alaska. It is a very cool state; appealing to many of my interests: it is vast, wild, politically libertarian...all great attributes. However, the real underlying motivation for this move has more to do with random wanderlust.
It all started with a co-worker's earnest efforts in fulfilling his longstanding dream to move to Alaska. Bootstrapping on his research, I quickly found out how feasible it could be for me. And then, I got to thinking about how easy it is for me in contrast to my buddy. I have no family of my own, no property, no ties that bind us. Furthermore, if I don't do something soon, I can see inertia taking over. The need to see other places and meet other people being slowly replaced with the comforts of predictability.
After six months of toying with the idea, intervening circumstances turned a fanciful notion into a reality. And so, after being offered a job in Alaska, I am going to take that leap.
I have spent much time looking at other blogs on the internet. Few offer practical advice regarding moving to Alaska. Perhaps that is because it isn't really that big of a deal. Perhaps not. The purpose of this blog, aside from updating my friends and family, is to detail my experience, including my mistakes, in order to better inform others.
As I sit here at my computer in California, Alaska seems like a dramatically different environment from the ones I've been used to. I am hoping to dispel the mystery of Alaska for those of you similarly situated.The beginning
Of course, it is perhaps easier for me than many others. As a public defender, I've been able to line up a good job with a wonderful office in Fairbanks before departure. Clearly, that's a bit different from the rugged pioneers who left without that safety net. However, my past experience in finding temporary jobs with my resume has been extremely poor. Few employers want to hire someone who is likely to quit as soon as something more appropriate opens up.
The list. Things to start thinking about:
1. Car: my current car will not make it up to Fairbanks. Nor will it fare well while there. It has been a wonderful vehicle, but a Ford Escort seems a bit innappropriate for the wild, frozen north. I'm thinking about purchasing a Ford F150 when I get there because there is no sales tax and the vehicle will likely run under frozen conditions. Luckily, my co-worker is moving at the same time, so I get to drive his wife's car. I'm going to stuff it full of my things.
2. Apartment: Little information as to desirable locations is available on the web. Luckily, a co-worker will put me up for a little while as I look for a decent place to live. I will post as information becomes available.
3. Warm clothing: I am cutting it close, I know. Winter is just around the corner, and I am certain that my California-wear is not going to cut it in -60 weather. Luckily, I have some stuff from my time in Michigan, but that experience has taught me that more will be needed. Again, not a whole lot of stuff on the web. I will post more as I find out what is required.
4. My stuff: I have lots of stuff. I think I'm going to lose most of it. I want to keep my clothes, computer, TV, DVD player, and some books. I'd like to be able to put it all in the car, but we'll see.
5. Digital camera: Obviously, I'll be needing this for you all. I will remedy this as soon as possible.
Wish me luck! More to come...