The state of Alaska is a pretty interesting place in more ways than one, and we believe that it's a must-visit travel destination for all of the keen travelers out there. It's like absolutely nowhere else, but that's probably the biggest part of its appeal.
The only State this far North, Alaska is a wilderness like nowhere else - a place that evokes the image of hardy people living on the edge of the wild, deep in the snow. While this might not be true 100% of the time, there's no denying that there's something wild and free about Alaska that should appeal to anyone... even if there are a few less appealing aspects to the place, too!
10 LOVE - The People
One thing that can be said beyond a shadow of a doubt is that the people of Alaska are just great to deal with. Sure, that may not be a universal point of view, but they all just seem to be so chilled out and down to Earth, and it’s hard not to appreciate or enjoy that.
They have no agenda and they’re not trying to get something out of you – they are honest, hard-working people, and they are going to let you know what they think. Maybe it comes from living so far North, or maybe it's just that people like this are drawn here, but expect some friendly - but blunt - interactions.
9 TERRIFY - The Weather
If you’re a big fan of hot climates, then it’s safe to say that you probably aren’t going to be on board with Alaska’s way of doing things.
As an example, it is currently the middle of July over in Alaska, and you’ll be lucky if you break 65 degrees throughout the time you’re there.
In the wintertime, it’s considered to be outright dangerous to make a journey over to Alaska because there’s a very good chance that you could sustain some serious injuries if you aren’t used to that kind of cold.
8 LOVE - The Peace
Despite being significantly bigger than the majority of states located across the United States of America, Alaska is only home to just over 730,000 people. That may come across as a pretty large number, but you’ll soon find that it’s one of the least densely populated states in America.
The good thing about that, of course, is that you’ll be treated to a great deal of peace and quiet throughout your time there. That, in itself, is a pretty rare commodity these days and we should all treasure it.
The City of Anchorage makes up more than 40% of the population of the entire state and it’s bigger than the state of Rhode Island. Like, what?
7 TERRIFY - The Roads
There is a 92 mile stretch between Fairbanks and Anchorage, the two biggest cities in the state, where there are no gas stations. If that doesn’t terrify you, then we don’t know what will.
Also, it’s a little bit concerning that pretty much the entire west of the state is inaccessible via roads. The roads that do exist are often very unpredictable, and if your car has broken down on a dirt road (which are sometimes hard to avoid), then you almost certainly won’t be able to be towed away.
6 LOVE - The Views
From the lakes to the national parks, to pretty much anywhere, you’ll get some of the very best views to be found across the entirety of North America when you head up to Alaska. When you look out and see some of these sights, it truly is a joy to behold on a scale that very few travelers have probably experienced.
It looks like something that has been painted, or like your eyes have a particularly impressive Instagram filter on them. No, we aren’t kidding around.
5 TERRIFY - The Uncertainty
While it’s nice to dream about getting away from the chaos and madness of life and building something new in Alaska, there’s just way too much uncertainty for us to feel 100% comfortable over there.
You never know how hostile some communities will be due to the fact that they live so far away from the rest of the country, the living costs are pretty high so it may not be sustainable, and there are some areas in which they just feel like they’re living a little bit behind the times – which is a point that we’ll expand on a bit more later.
4 LOVE - The Escapism
As a follow up to one section of our last point, yes, there’s a certain level of escapism that you just can’t get in most other destinations around the country. From a purely logistical point of view, Alaska is really far away from the rest of the nation to the point where it’s virtually in Russia (which we all know is a point of contention).
In terms of a holiday destination, where better to literally hit the reset button on your mind and just be one with nature for a few days? It makes you sound like a hippy, but you’ll be the one reaping the rewards.
3 TERRIFY - The Lack Of Modernism
If you head to Alaska and take a look around, there’s a good chance way fewer people are going to have laptops, iPhones, iPads and all the latest tech. That probably won’t be the case universally, but for the most part, they just haven’t been exposed to it quite as much as the rest of us have.
Oh, and if you’ve ever tried to get any decent phone signal up there, you’ll be well aware of the fact that there’s a better chance of you sprouting wings and flying all the way to Mars.
2 LOVE - The Culture
The native tribes in Alaska, combined with the general population, have a series of traditions that help to make up their culture – from whaling to fishing to creating different arts and crafts.
The indigenous tribes located in the area serve as the collective heart of the Alaskan way of living, and they always will.
Dog sledding, also known as mushing, can be traced back to the 15th century with the Eskimos. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but in terms of heritage, this certainly gives you what you're looking for.
It takes time to adjust, but we’d say it’s more than worth your time and effort.
1 TERRIFY - Cost Of Goods
Because there isn't quite as much access to Alaska as there is to other parts of the country and the world, items often have to be imported across great distances as opposed to being produced in the area - and because of that, everything is incredibly expensive (even more so in the more rural areas).
A gallon of gas alone is higher than the national average in both Anchorage and Fairbanks, and if you head to Barrow, the northernmost town in North America, a simple pizza will cost you $16.95 and detergent will set you back around $40.