Alaska is an alluring place that many people dream about or have on their travel bucket list. Bucket lists include lots of dream destinations for most people; however, the best part about bucket lists is actually doing or achieving something on that list. Visit Nepal. Hike the Appalachian Trail. See the Northern Lights.
How to Achieve that Goal
For me, my number one dream destination and my top of the bucket list item was Alaska. My initial goal was to work in Alaska as a teacher in the Alaskan bush. You know the place where you can only reach via airplane. The places where you are completely isolated from the world except the few hundred fellow villagers that live in your village. Most of which are Native Alaskans and have customs which are completely different than you are accustom. Yeah, that’s where I wanted to live.
However, I was stuck in an 8-to-5 job. All my life I had stuck in my head achievement as my first priority in life. I was your typical first born, Type A personality overachiever. I think even my body knew to follow this path as I had 2 children, a boy and a girl. Typical, right? Well, about the age of 38, I’m laying in bed reading this book about, you guessed it, achievement. I flip the page and the next paragraph jumps out at me. It said something like, “So you will be 40 in two years and have a steady job but want to go back to school, do it. No one is stopping you but yourself.”
I sat straight up. It was comical, I’m sure. What are the chances of reading this book right at that moment in time? It spoke to me directly. Creepy.
From that moment on, my plan to escape the doldrums of the financial banking world hatched. A notebook dedicated to this plan became filled with pro and con lists, steps to take, who to tell, bills and financial strategy, places to apply for school, timelines, and work places that would be flexible enough in scheduling to fit a school schedule. Plus I needed to clear this drastic change with my children who were teenagers. They only had a few years left at home and I felt it imperative they be in on the plan as it would affect their lives too. If they were dead set against it, I could always wait the few years until they graduated but I wanted to be done with my college schooling before they started theirs.
Game. Set. Go.
The plan was in action. Three months later, I quit my job and started my new life.
Life gets in the way sometimes and that plan got a little off track. However, I still REALLY wanted to go to Alaska. And I never once regretted my decision to quit my 8-to-5 life. Best.Decision.Ever.
Enter: Google search for Jobs in Alaska.
Yup, that is how I eventually got to Alaska. Both kids were in college and I had moved to Chicago to live the big city life about three years after quitting my job. Moving to Chicago was to get in motion my dream of a life of travel of which Alaska was a part. I knew I would make it there someday.
You can too!
Between the months of May and September, Alaska becomes tourist central. Every little town swells to two or three even four times its normal size because of season workers. Seasonal workers are a hot commodity here.
Seasonal workers are needed in the industries of:
- tour guides
- park workers
- any industry that services these industries
Cruise ships drop tourists off at the ports in hoards. Daily.
These tourists need service.
Some port towns to look for work:
Then these cruise tourists usually book land packages which opens up further areas for seasonal work. Try googling jobs in:
This is not an end-all, be-all list. There are many opportunities for seasonal employment in Alaska. It truly depends on what type of work you are interested as well as where you want to live. Keep in mind when Google kicks back your list of potential employers, it is going to give you the big employers first such as Princess and Holland America. Look beyond those two if they don’t appeal to you. Anywhere there is one of their lodges or a port their ships dock, there are restaurants, other hotels, shops and tour companies that need employees. Some provide employee housing and some do not. Keep that in mind.
Working in Alaska is not for everyone. You must take into consideration the isolation. Depending on the place you are working, you may be surrounded by people all day long; however, the location may be very remote. Which means, if you need to go to the grocery store or want to go to the movies, you have to find a ride to the nearest city 2, 3 or 4 hours away.
Personally, I love it here and recommend the experience to anyone who asks. This is my second season in the Denali area and I already have plans to return for a third season.
Get paid to visit Alaska. You got the job. You’ve achieved the hard part and got yourself here. Now, go and visit other areas. Take the train to another town. Rent a car and drive around. Get that hook up with a flight tour that other people talk about.
Go and see your newly adopted work place!
Traveler – Author – Blogger, The Adventure List
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