Pros and Cons of Visiting and Living in Alaska

Alaska Landscape, hikers

Alaska is set apart from the lower 48, and stands distinct in a number of ways. This is a wild and rugged place, with fierce individualism and an outdoors culture. Perfect for some, less so for others – is the Alaskan wilderness your dream? Let’s look at the pros and cons of visiting and living in Alaska.

The Pros of Visiting Alaska

* Amongst the many pros of a visit here, the landscapes stand out above all else. Denali National Park, Tracy Arm Fjord, Kenai Fjords National Park, Glacier Bay… these are just some of the breathtaking places to explore.

* One route to explore the breathtaking landscapes is on a road trip – along the Alaska Highway, for example, or far to the north on Dalton Highway. Or perhaps you could enjoy an excursion on the water of the Inside Passage, or by rail on the Alaska Railroad.

* Wildlife is also, of course, a major draw for visitors. Many creatures call Alaska home and you can enjoy seeing them on whale watching excursions, treks and hikes, or through a range of other outward bound activities.

The Cons of Visiting Alaska

* One of the biggest down sides for many is the cold weather you will likely experience here.

* If you want to get out and about in Alaska’s stunning landscapes, it is important to remember that emergency medical care might not always be quickly or easily forthcoming.

* Another thing to bear in mind is how far Alaska is from the lower 48. Getting here can take a very long time, and with the rugged terrain and sparse infrastructure in places, getting around once you get here can take a long time too.

The Pros of Living in Alaska

* In Alaska, the outdoors is not an afterthought – you can get back to nature and immerse yourself in it, not just occasionally but by making it part of your daily life.

* This is a great place to enjoy outward bound pursuits – an ideal place to enjoy snow sports.

* Alaska is also a place where you can embrace a slower pace of life, individualism and independence. Even the big cities here have a certain small town charm.

* Another plus is that some parts of the state have nearly 24 hours of daylight during the summer months.

* What is more, here are plenty of jobs in Alaska at the moment, and the government will pay you to live here. (After living in the state for a full calendar year, residents qualify for the PFD payment.) You can also save money living here because taxes are relatively low and there is no state income tax.

The Cons of Living in Alaska

* Alaska can be very cold, even during the summer months. And you’ll probably have to get used to shovelling snow.

* Another worry are the earthquakes – there are around 5,000 here each year.

* Due to the geographical location of this state, retail costs can be high, and fuel is more expensive.

So, Alaska, beautiful as it is, is not for everyone. But is it the right vacation or relocation destination for you?

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