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Thread: Feeling the Calling!!!

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    Default Feeling the Calling!!!

    Hello,
    I am close to finishing college with a dual major of exercise science and business management. I am an outdoors junkie hunting, fishing, camping, rafting, hiking, and general exploration. I currently live in the North Georgia mountains. Here is my dilemma, For the past two years I have been obsessed with the thought of Alaska living. Trading the 9-5 everyday grind for a real chance to live. I read so many post about how people wish they would have made the jump and never did, now they have a miserable desk job in the city and the most exciting thing related to the outdoors is mowing the lawn on Saturday. I have a great family and serious girlfriend. I just do not know if my girlfriend would ever go for it, I do not exactly have the funds to fly her out there and let Alaska convince her. I just have this constant itch telling me "just do it, who knows what could happen!" The fact of never seeing my family is making this decision even harder.
    My ultimate dream would be able to convince my entire family and girlfriend to move but that's doubt full.
    Just looking for some insight and to all you Alaskans, I'M JEALOUS!

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Regretfully most comming here with a degree end up with a desK job and live in a bigger city and dream of moveing to the bush some day. If makeing big money is higher on your list than country life is you end up with an across the board move.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Pretty much the same thing AW said. The vast majority of Alaskans live in or near a city and work a regular job just like down south. With your degree you are destined for a desk job or teaching. My buddy that is a personal trainer moved down to Seattle and is doing well but he struggled to find anything in that field in AK. Being a Phys Ed teacher wouldn't be bad unless you don't want to deal w/ other peoples rotten kids. Ultimately the 9-5 grind pays the bills but at least in AK you can be out kicking around the sticks when you leave the office.

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    I just turned 63 last month; I’ve always loved the outdoors hiking, camping, mountaineering, hunting, fishing, and shooting sports. When I was a kid I wanted to move to Alaska so much that I even subscribed to Alaska Magazine. The years went by and I grew up in the mid-west. I had a chance to take a road trip to Alaska in 1969; I was going to be the on-board mechanic. It never happened. Then in 1970 a beautiful 6’2” woman walked into my life and became my lifelong love. Unfortunately, we are polar opposites, she’s a suburban girl while I love the country, her idea of camping is staying at Motel 6. Somehow we’ve stayed together these past 40 years, even raising two wonderful kids together. My one regret is that I could never talk her into moving to Alaska with me. We’ve shared many adventures and have lived in IL, WA, CA and now TX, but my love drew the line at Alaska (“Go ahead move there, but be sure to write to me!”). We now live in Houston TX, a subtropical hell hole during the summer, because of the availability of world class cancer care. I regret to say that when I do finally move to Alaska it will be because my sweetheart has gone to be with God.
    My advice to you is when you graduate move up to Alaska; try it for at least a year. If your girlfriend won’t go with you then you have a year to decide which is most important too you. If you and your girlfriend breakup then your relationship wasn’t that strong to begin with. Believe me, life can be hard, better to have a relationship end before marriage and kids then after. As for family and friends, my best friend lives in Anchorage and he sees family and friends all the time. Every summer they flock up to Alaska and stay with him and his wife. Again, move to Alaska, give it a year, I doubt that you’ll ever regret your decision.
    I almost forgot, don’t be afraid to try other work on a temporary basis. I’m a geologist by profession, but early in my career I worked in sales for 5 years. Sales was a wonderful life experience with lessons learned that I’ve used all my life.
    Steve
    Tomorrow's a mystery, yesterday's history, today is a gift, that's why it's called the present!
    Approach life like you do a yellow light - RUN IT! (Gail T.)

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Rockdoc, that is a heck of a life story and some sage advice! I couldn't agree more. Sad to hear that when you finally make it up there will be a dark cloud over it. There is no better place on earth!

    As for the sales experience, that is a life skill that will pay many dividends!! If you can't sell, you can't sell yourself.

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    OSCTAK
    First off if you move to AK It's not like you'll never see your family again. Eventuality you'll fly back to visit or they will come up to see you.
    If your girlfriend comes up ok. They have a saying in AK you only borrow girlfriends (for a period of time ). Plus this would be a true test for that girl- my way or the highway baby.
    I went back home ten years ago and everyday I think of AK. I need to get back to that place.
    Wait a couple more years the commitments will pile up and it will be ten times harder to break away.
    AKKEVIN
    Are we talking about goals or are we talking about dreams? AkKevin The one and only

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    Hey Guys,
    Thank for all the advice! I have been slowly presenting the idea to her latley and its actually going much better than I thought. She seems to think that everywhere you move in Alaska is the "bush", so I have been encourageing her to do some research and to my surprise she started spitting facts out at me the other at dinner. I was happy that she is at least taking the time to conisder Alaska, intill next time guys!

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    definitely give it a try especially while your young and have no responsibilities.I,ve been up 5 times and love the place.My wife and I were up for the Ididarod in March and I was just up for 2 weeks at Alpine Creek Lodge in early Sept.(go visit if you get a chance-Great place and great people-Claude-Jennifer and little Bob are the owners and they were Fantastic to hang out with)Don,t look back years from now and say I shoulda done it.Life is SHORT!!have a great day-Lloyd

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    OneStep,

    You need to take a trip north. Bring your GF with. There's plenty of folk that have come here for a two week trip and ended up staying for the rest of their lives. Save your pennies and watch for airline specials or get a dependable vehicle and drive. Once upon a time a road trip to Alaska was a huge venture, but it's not, anymore (in summer). If the place says "home" once you're here, then plan to move. Alaska Airline serves Atlanta. Your family can come visit.

    You can watch forums like this one. Read Alaskan blogs. Take a look at some Alaskan on-line newspapers. Check out the classified ads.

    And if you miss mowing a lawn, you can always do mine. Luckily, mowing season is only from June to September here in Anchorage.

  10. #10
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    Go For It!! I came to Alaska as a 19yr old and am now 65yrs young. Have lived along the coast, in a small city and for the past 18yrs in the bush and getting ready to move to a small town(not by choice!), again. Don't focus too much on what your degree/career expectations are as folks tend to get tunnel vision. Be open to new ideas of living and what you can do as a work. I have a friend that was a physicist in nuclearresearch for 5 years and then moved Ak and became a commercial salmon fisherman for the past 38yrs.

    You'll still have the 9-5 grind regardless where you go or do, it's just what you make of the time. Bush living isn't all liesure time, it's work! You can work to live or live to work, the choice is up to you with your lifestyle.

    Alaska is full of opportunity, but what kills the dream for many that come here is the high cost of living and the long winter nights.

    Hope this helps......don't wait too long, as others have pointed out, or you could find yourself muttering that you wish you had.

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    Its not easy to keep going, the same way, when this calling never ends. Im currently experiencing the same feeling, and theres no way to forget about it, i cant at least. Like the nice expression, different day - same ****, its undeniable!

    All my free time, and even not so free time, im researching and exploring more and more about the beautiful north... making it even harder to concentrate or care for anything here, right now, all the time. Crowded stinkin city is killin my soul man...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneStepCloserToAlaska View Post
    Hello,
    I am close to finishing college with a dual major of exercise science and business management. .... Just looking for some insight and to all you Alaskans, I'M JEALOUS!
    Hello,
    I would tell you to give it a try. Just understand it doesn't work out for most people. My wife and I have lived both on the road system and off of the road system. We've raised seven kids, (down to the last three) most of whom were home schooled and all seem to be doing well. We currently live about 15 miles from the nearest road.

    I don’t think it’s possible to “live off of the land” in Alaska and generate the minimum income needed to survive. Most of the people I run into living remote either are retired, work a shift schedule, (like I do, two weeks at work and two weeks home), work all summer and living remote during the winter, or have a job in a bush community, (i.e. teaching).

    I’m pretty sure you will never get there trying to do it from the lower 48. Move up here, get a job in a city, (hopefully not Anchorage) and keep looking for opportunities to get farther out. I should also point out that if you do finally get someplace off of the road system and decided that lifestyle isn’t for you it may be hard to “get back”. If your main asset is your home, I’ve seen some really nice remote places that have been for sale for a few years.

    Another thing I’ve noticed is most people don’t realize how “hooked” they are on modern conveniences. Just keep track of how many times in a week you stop at a store, buy fast food, crank up the thermostat, jump in the car to visit or see a movie, or call someone to fix your xyz. Every time you haul something to your house think about how you’d do that when the only way to get home was on a snowmobile or an ATV.

    Now, with all that said we wouldn’t change this lifestyle for anything. When we go to town and see people being rude to each other competing for a spot in line, or an item on a store shelf or watch kids out of control in a restaurant or store and wonder how people can live like that. I’ll never forget the day we were in a check out line and my 7 year old son asked me about the surveillance camera. I tried to explain the concept of stealing to him, but he couldn’t understand why someone would take something that wasn’t theirs. The whole time the clerk stared at us like we were from another planet.


    Good luck,
    Kelvin

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    Hi Onestep,

    It's encouraging that you girlfriend is willing to consider this.

    Another fellow and his girlfriend spent some time in AK over the last few years and he wrote and took some great pics of their experiences. Do a search here on the forum for posts made by " sodabiscuit12345 " (start with his earliest ones) and you'll read and see someone who's entheusiasm might be quite similar to yours. I think your girlfriend would find it interesting too.

    Good luck!

    - Jay

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    Hi Oldmil007,
    Thanks for the info, she is slowly opening up to the idea more and more. Thank you very much for the link, we both looked at the pictures and she really enjoyed what she saw!

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    To Survivalist,
    I feel you man I am in the same boat. I am just hoping everything works out to where I can pull this off. Good luck to you!

  16. #16
    Member WaterWolf's Avatar
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    Feeling the Calling!!!
    Pay no attention to it, Its probably just gas pains.

    Being away from Family is probably the worse case, or best case, depending on how ya look at it. They'll complain ya don't come home and visit enough, you'll tell the planes fly both directions....yadda yadda.
    I'm Pro-Pike.

  17. #17
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    Thank you for the helpful information Kelvin!

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    Member kantill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockdoc View Post
    I just turned 63 last month; I’ve always loved the outdoors hiking, camping, mountaineering, hunting, fishing, and shooting sports. When I was a kid I wanted to move to Alaska so much that I even subscribed to Alaska Magazine. The years went by and I grew up in the mid-west. I had a chance to take a road trip to Alaska in 1969; I was going to be the on-board mechanic. It never happened. Then in 1970 a beautiful 6’2” woman walked into my life and became my lifelong love. Unfortunately, we are polar opposites, she’s a suburban girl while I love the country, her idea of camping is staying at Motel 6. Somehow we’ve stayed together these past 40 years, even raising two wonderful kids together. My one regret is that I could never talk her into moving to Alaska with me. We’ve shared many adventures and have lived in IL, WA, CA and now TX, but my love drew the line at Alaska (“Go ahead move there, but be sure to write to me!”). We now live in Houston TX, a subtropical hell hole during the summer, because of the availability of world class cancer care. I regret to say that when I do finally move to Alaska it will be because my sweetheart has gone to be with God.
    My advice to you is when you graduate move up to Alaska; try it for at least a year. If your girlfriend won’t go with you then you have a year to decide which is most important too you. If you and your girlfriend breakup then your relationship wasn’t that strong to begin with. Believe me, life can be hard, better to have a relationship end before marriage and kids then after. As for family and friends, my best friend lives in Anchorage and he sees family and friends all the time. Every summer they flock up to Alaska and stay with him and his wife. Again, move to Alaska, give it a year, I doubt that you’ll ever regret your decision.
    I almost forgot, don’t be afraid to try other work on a temporary basis. I’m a geologist by profession, but early in my career I worked in sales for 5 years. Sales was a wonderful life experience with lessons learned that I’ve used all my life.
    Steve
    Thanks Rockdoc that helps fuel my fire as well to get up there I can't wait.

  19. #19
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    I have been getting the call for the last FIVE years!
    Only problem .......WIFE KEEPS HANGING UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. #20
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KelvinG View Post
    Hello,
    I would tell you to give it a try. Just understand it doesn't work out for most people. My wife and I have lived both on the road system and off of the road system. We've raised seven kids, (down to the last three) most of whom were home schooled and all seem to be doing well.

    I’ll never forget the day we were in a check out line and my 7 year old son asked me about the surveillance camera. I tried to explain the concept of stealing to him, but he couldn’t understand why someone would take something that wasn’t theirs. The whole time the clerk stared at us like we were from another planet.
    Man, that is a great quote/story, I'd listen to that guy, "Kids all seem to be doing well," I'll say that sounds about right.........

    "One Step," All I would add to these bits of advice is, "Don't let everyone else decide your future,"
    If you're actually feeling the calling, I think you might discover this much,

    if your Family, Girlfriend, (even the title they gave you after finishing school)
    are allowed to Define You, they might actually regret it as much as you......

    You are the one to make the call, I'm fairly sure your girlfriend will appreciate you making that decision yourself. I'd bet she'll be right behind a man who knows what he's called to...... might be right in front of a man who doesn't. You might want to know what she'll choose sooner rather than later.

    You said it yourself, "Just Do It, Who Knows What Could Happen....."
    All the other defining moments and titles will follow and be Just Fine in the end.

    Guarantee you this much, Your Own Determination, will make or break you in Wild Alaska.
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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