Alaska

Old Aug 13th 2019, 9:36 pm
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Default Alaska

Owen
Your recent post reminded me that you and your family moved from Houston to Anchorage last year. I and probably many others would be interested in an update on your experiences.
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Old Aug 14th 2019, 12:29 am
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Default Re: Alaska

Sure! I can do that.

We're mostly doing very well.

The outdoor life here is great, and the scenery is amazing. Chugach State Park has several trailheads that are 20 minutes drive from our house, where you're immediately in a landscape to rival any of the hiking in the UK. In the winter, there's cross country skiing in the city and other activities, and downhill skiing at Alyeska, which is small but with some great runs when the snow condition is good. We also have friends who own a cabin on a beautiful lake further north, with jet skis and kayaks.

Anchorage is much smaller than Houston, but still has some decent bars and restaurants, though the lack of competition means service can get very slow. For similar reasons, hotels and entertainment places can be friendly but outdated. Right now I'm on my phone at the city's, maybe the state's, only indoor water park. The kids are having a lot of fun, but it's quite rusty in places, and the wave pool hasn't worked in three years.

Two of our kids are doing great and really wouldn't want to go back, but one has struggled to make new friends. We're hoping that will improve once the school year starts again next week

The other issue, and it's a big one, is that the cost of living is very high, plus we have to pay for the kids to fly to see their dad three times a year in the southern US. My wife is well paid, but it would help us all if I could work in my field too, and there is very little available up here right now. We're considering returning to Houston so I can work, but it would need to be a really good opportunity to justify giving up what we have here.

I'd recommend Anchorage to anyone who likes the outdoor life, unless you really want a lot of high culture too. Alaska away from Anchorage and its satellite towns is more remote. I haven't been to Fairbanks or Juneau, but they're both a lot smaller, and Fairbanks is much colder. The rest of the state is more remote again: small coastal towns reliant on fishing or tourism, mining towns in the cold interior, and many native villages accessible only by river, float plane or dog team.

That's probably a good update for the time being, but feel free to ask more questions.
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Old Aug 14th 2019, 5:10 pm
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Default Re: Alaska

Owen
Thanks for the update. Sounds like things are working out well. Even if you only stay a year or two it will have been a great adventure especially for the kids.
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