5 Things I learned Growing Up In Alaska

Today’s blog post can be found in audio format on
The Blossoming Mommy And Baby Show {iTunes + Sticher!}

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It has been a moment since I’ve shared a personal post with you mamas! I love being able to pull back the curtain to share more of my personal life with you and today I thought it would be fun to tackle one of the most frequently asked questions I get on a regular basis….

“What is it like living in Alaska?”

To be honest, I didn’t realize how unique my upbringing was until I left Alaska for college. Born and raised in a small fishing town just south of Anchorage, Alaska, I thought all kids chopped wood for heat, spent weekends ice fishing and snow-machining, and had 10,000 foot snow capped mountains in the backyard! Thanks to my college friends for the eye opener! ;)

After living in Alaska for almost 30 years, I’ve grown to appreciate the lifestyle… even though I used to dream about living on a warm, sandy beach in southern California! But if any of you know Mr. Alaska a.k.a. My husband, he would rather live in the mountains with no running water or electricity, and would prefer to have bears, moose, and caribou as our neighbors… so there’s that LOL :)

Living in Alaska isn’t always easy and Brian and I have had to compromise on a lot of things to make it work for us and our family but you know what?! I wouldn’t change it for the world!!

Here are the five most impactful things I learned while growing up in Alaska!

Friendly people are EVERYWHERE (including me!)

Casually striking up conversations with strangers, asking for directions, and getting the local fishing report never get old up here! One of the greatest things about Alaska is the down to earth and welcoming personalities people have. Taking time to recognize strangers simply by making eye contact, smiling, or saying hello is something Alaskans do well - especially if we’re the only people out on a mountain top ;)

Respect and harvest natural resources

Catching and canning salmon, freezing halibut fillets, And processing moose meat is something I grew up with and a lifestyle Brian and I have continued as we grow and raise our family. I learned at a young age the importance of respecting and taking care of natural resources and the nourishment it brings to our bodies! We work hard to grow produce, catch fish, and process wild game so we can have a freezer full of organic food straight from the source all year round. Harvesting your own food is not easy, but it’s incredibly rewarding and for that I am forever grateful!

Simple, slow paced living + loving it!

Living off the grid with Alaskan spruce trees, acres of the tundra and snow capped mountains is a lifestyle we’ve intentionally chosen as a family and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Brian’s family homesteaded up to Alaska in 1940 and my family drove up the AlCan highway with a rundown slug-bug in the 1960s, later putting down deep roots in the small town we still live in today! With both of our families being early settlers here, Brian and I very much have a pioneer spirit and have learned to appreciate our home roots and the beauty of cultivating a still, slow, and simple lifestyle… the kind of lifestyle where you can ride bikes as a family to get ice cream on a Friday night, spend long Saturday afternoons with a tacklebox and fishing pole, and driving 3 hours to the nearest target is our reality! :)

Common sense smart

Growing up, my sister and I had hardly watched any TV. In-fact, we only had 5 channels on our television and were allowed to watch 30 minutes of PBS kids on Saturday morning. At first glance, this may sound intense, but honestly, I am so thankful for the way my parents raised us- with minimal electronics. Instead, we would spend hours upon hours outside, learning how to build snow forts with, how to dress warmly for rigid temperatures, and what to do if your snow machine breaks down 20 miles away from home. My parents taught us how to be common sense SMART and to this day, it continues to serve me well.  Times have most definitely changed these days, so having boundaries with technology and teaching my children how to think smart and safe is a critical life skill I embed in our day to day lives.

Now how about some BONUS facts about Alaska…..

  • Brown bears may walk up onto your deck when grilling steaks

  • It’s impossible to feel tired at 11pm when the sun is so bright and it looks like it’s 1pm outside

  • The Northern Lights never get old (even for us locals!)

  • My dad climbed mount Denali and was up there during a huge earthquake - SCARY!

  • The Alaska state sport is dog mushing and used to be the main mode of transportation for  ALL THE THINGS!

We love hearing from you Mommas! I chose 3 of your submitted questions on Instagram about Alaska life to answer on the show. Be sure to tune in via podcast to hear my responses!  

I answered these 3 questions on air:

  • How do you prepare for winter?

  • Do you get paid to live in Alaska?

  • Do you like living in Alaska?

Now it’s your turn! What state are you from?! Let me know in the comments or over on Instagram!

XO,
Jen