Nick and I have been living in Anchorage for over two months now! It’s kind of crazy to believe that it’s already been that long. The weeks have been flying by, especially in November. Where did it go?!
Anyways, I’ve been trying to catch up with some friends back home, and they inevitably ask me how I’m liking Alaska. My initial response is that I love it! Really, I do. But it is a bit different than I expected. Now that it’s been a couple months, and I’ve been able to navigate around the city a little, here are my first impressions of Anchorage, Alaska.
Firstly, it’s not as cold as I expected. We’ve only gotten snow a couple times so far, and it’s been colder in Texas and Arkansas than here on some days. We’ve seen a lot of snow and ice the past month, so it was nice to get some fresh snow this week. I’ve been told that the real cold will get here in January. I guess the heated garage helps me forget that it’s 10 degrees outside in the mornings. I used to always hate starting the car on cold mornings.
One thing I am excited to experience more here is the outdoors. There is a massive community of people here that loves nature. And there are so many amazing things to see here. Mountains, wildlife, the Northern Lights, snow sports, mushing. I’ve found so many Facebook groups for locals doing all of these cool outdoor activities.
Next, there is a wide spectrum of people here. The biggest thing that surprised me, though, was the large size of the homeless population. We saw a lot of homeless in Fayetteville, but the numbers were shocking when we first got here. There is also quite a bit of crime up here. There are some pretty sketchy parts of town, but I guess you have that in any larger city.
Coffee shops are very popular everywhere, but I have never seen so many coffee trucks as I have here. They are everywhere! It’s really cool though, because there are so many small local businesses to support. Kaladi Brother Coffee is extremely popular up here. You can find it all over town, so it’s nice to see a coffee shop that started in Anchorage competing with Starbucks.
Daylight hours are another thing that I’ve been having to get used to. When we first got here in September, we saw fairly standard sunrise and sunset times. Now that it’s almost December, I see the sun rise at 9:40 am and set at 3:50 pm. While the sunset might be very early, it’s almost always beautiful. Besides having the urge to sleep in way to late, the short days don’t affect our days too much. I’m interested to see how the summer goes, though! I’ve been told that it’s hard to get used to the extremely long days.
There is just so much to do and see here. I’m excited for the winter and even more excited for next summer. All in all, I’ve really been loving Alaska.