Guest Blogs

How to Live in Alaska by Ritika

Read on to discover exactly how to emigrate to Alaska…

Do you believe in magic? No? I did not either until I moved here and witnessed the northern lights  – Ritika

Where are you and how did you come to be there?

I am currently in Fairbanks, Alaska on an exchange semester. It’s a beautiful town and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I grew up in a big town in India and then moved to Melbourne to do a bachelor’s degree in biology. Wanderlust hit me, hard, and I wanted to explore places one could only imagine existed. Fairbanks has a population of 33,000 and you could go across the town in 10 minutes. It is really cold, beyond what you can feel. It is very different to what I had been used to and I absolutely love it. Let me tell you a little more about about how to you could live in or emigrate to Alaska.

Describe your life at the moment….
At the moment my life consists of going to my classes, going to work, meeting people from various cultural backgrounds and of course exploring America. Campus life is huge in America and just eating on-campus gives me a chance to meet the people from my dorm, my department and really the entire university. I have friends from more countries than I can count and we love to talk about cultures. Studying biology has given me an insight into the evolution of humans and how cultural evolution is happening now.

how to emigrate to Alaska snowy campus

What’s your biggest highlight about this trip? What have you really loved?
Do you believe in magic? No? I did not either until I moved here and witnessed the northern lights. It is impossible to believe that they are real. The night sky is lit up with the rivers of green that weave across the sky painting a thousand beautiful memories in your mind. While your arms and legs freeze standing in the cold, the lights make you feel warm.

And the downsides?
-25°C is really cold. I had a nosebleed a few times a week for more than a month before I got used due to the cold of life in Alaska. Living in such harsh conditions really affects your outdoor activities. No matter how many clothes you wear, you cannot stand still in the cold for more than hour. Waiting is hard in itself. Waiting in the cold is worse. To watch the northern lights, I have to walk half an hour in the cold while the lights are appearing and then wait for them to flare up for a good display. It could be anywhere between 2 to 4 hours.

how to emigrate to Alaska snow cold tourism

Your number one travel tip?
Invest in a good pair of multi-purpose footwear before travelling that suits your destination. I bought really expensive BOGS for the cold and I have worn them every single day for the past two months. A good universal pair of shoes saves you a lot of space and weight in your luggage. For those of you even slightly like me who like to colour coordinate their outfits would notice that it significantly reduces the amount of clothes you pack. It is one less thing you need to worry about every morning and at the end of the trip if you have worn it enough you can just throw it away and use the space for something else. If you travel on long holidays, you will notice by the end of the trip that it was worth your money.

How exactly could someone else follow in your footsteps and move to Alaska? What could they do to travel more or emigrate to Fairbanks?
My piece of advice is to incorporate travel in your current situation. A leisure holiday is good if you can afford it in terms of money and time but if you can travel while studying or working it is even better. It is more cost effective in the long run and does not interfere with your life goals as much in terms of timeline.

Alaska ice sculpture

So wherever you are, whatever you do, if you want to travel more try to find ways you can keep doing what you do or something similar in a new place. Also, adaptability is important. The less you try to find a travel experience close to your current lifestyle, the more opportunities you would get to travel or even moving to a place like Alaska.

Husky sledging -how to emigrate to Alaska

Where will you go next?
Next on my list is New York and then Los Angeles at the end of the semester for a week each, purely leisure. I’m looking forward to the beaches, the big cities, the skyscrapers and food from around the world.

Final thoughts?
A lot of people travel just to different places based on the geography. Make the most of your trip and experience culture as well. Imagine your destination to be a human; the place is the outer beauty and the culture is inner beauty.

Northern lights photo after moving to Alaska


All words and images courtesy of the fabulous Ritika (Riteekuh on FB), be sure to check her out on Facebook and follow her exciting adventures. All images used with permission, copyright Ritika 2016. Now that you know all about Alaska emigration and life in Fairbanks, leave me a comment telling me where you dream of living!

how to emigrate to Alaska and see the Northern Lights

If you like, then you shoulda put a pin on it!

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  1. Flo

    September 25, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Eek! -25?? I’m pretty sure I would pass out, but it looks so worth it! I’d love to live in Florence, Italy to learn Italian – let’s see if it happens!

  2. Marie

    September 25, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    -25C?! I thought it was bad living in Boston… Can’t even imagine what it would be like in Alaska or Canada! But I absolutely would love to visit Alaska and see the Northern Lights. They look like a dream!

  3. Corinne S

    September 25, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Alaska is so beautiful! I really want to go. It’s nice to read about it from the perspective of someone who lives there but isn’t from there.

  4. Amanda Williams

    September 25, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Oh wow what an amazing experience. It’s amazing to think that your body protested to the cold conditions initially with nose bleeds but then got used to it after a while. -25 is very cold! But I’d love to live somewhere like this for a while, just because it would be so different.

  5. Dariel

    September 26, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    Not sure how you managed to survive the -25C! But those were beautiful beautiful photos and I’m sure you must be having a blast in Alaska. The experience must be incomparable to anywhere else in the world.

  6. Kcalpesh Ajugia

    December 31, 2016 at 5:53 am

    The final thought really hit me. Even I’ve been traveling albeit just a vacation once a year. Whenever we’re out it’s mostly about 7 days and its a race against time. All that matters is, how many places we can cover in those 7 days. It sure becomes like a greed and at the end of it, we get a sense of achievement. But that’s just momentary. Those few good days are over in a flash and when the reality strikes on the first day at work, the 5th floor workplace seems as high as the top of mount Everest with me already feeling dead tired. From your article, there’s definitely something for me to learn. And I’ll try it. I’ll try to focus on one place next time and will get to know about it in detail in terms of exploring the culture, local cuisine, people and more.

    – Pixellicious

  7. Jojo

    April 11, 2017 at 3:16 am

    I really wish I studies abroad when I had the chance. Having a school or program to back you up and fall back on makes going to a new place a little bit easier. I would second investing in good footware. I’d also says good outer layer is a good investment.

  8. Nicole Anderson

    April 11, 2017 at 10:11 am

    Being a person that has gravitated more towards the warmer climates, it would be hard to imagine actually living there, especially through the winter. I enjoyed visiting Alaska as a tourist in the summer and I found that cold enough! Mind you I would love to go back to see the wonderful northern lights. Lovely photos and thanks for giving an insight into your experience as a resident there.

  9. Samantha

    April 12, 2017 at 5:09 am

    Living in Alaska is something I never considered doing. I live in Canada so I can relate to those -25 cold nights!! Glad you’re enjoying your time abroad!

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