Around the time when our contracts in South Korea were finishing up, Gabby and I started to make plans for what we would do in 2014. We wanted to explore the United States more thoroughly before venturing out to explore the rest of the world. So, we decided to move to Oregon. It was somewhat difficult to explain to our families, but eventually the day came, and we left for our 5,000-mile cross-country road trip.
We had planned to settle into our luxuriously HUGE farmhouse in the rural Willamette Valley, Oregon, and then worry about finding jobs as quickly as possible. Things didn’t quite go as planned. Our house was beautiful, our new roommates were great, but we were having a very difficult time finding jobs. We spent weeks on end searching through craigslist, applying for jobs, and receiving no responses. Money was becoming tight and stress levels were running high, when Gabby and I both ended up getting jobs just before we had to start eating the furniture.
Oregon is beautiful, if you can get past the rain eight months out of the year. Don’t get me wrong here; the summers absolutely make up for it. But shortly after we finally got our feet back underneath us, our landlords informed us that they would be selling our luxurious farmhouse.
We only had 30 days to figure something out.
The search for new apartments began, as stress levels began to rise yet again. We looked at about a dozen apartment complexes in a range of prices and in various types of neighborhoods. Nothing was perfect but we had little time so we were going to have to end up settling for something, and soon. This was not the life we’d envisioned for ourselves in Oregon. With 20 days left until the sale of our house, I showed up to work on a Monday only to find out that I had been let go from my beloved barista job. I felt like the world was crashing down around me.
Thankfully, since Gabby and I had been spending so much time on craigslist, we were aware that a seasonal job market existed in Alaska. The jobs paid well and were great for people who had few attachments and could afford a plane ticket to Alaska for the summer. That night, we looked on coolworks.com and applied to three different places. The very next day, we received a call back from a man who was interested in hiring both of us to be servers in his restaurant. The deal was sealed, housing was provided (at a cost), and our arrival date was set for May 10th, exactly two weeks later.
The subsequent fourteen days consisted of several trips to the local Goodwill for unloading the stuff we’d accumulated. We sold our mattress to a friend, and packed the few items that we wanted to keep into a small storage unit. We stored our car with a friend for the summer, since we wouldn’t be needing it, and set off for our next adventure.
It really is that easy, there are a HUGE number of jobs in Alaska for the summer. Many of them offer employee housing, and pay very well. There are jobs in various fields ranging from fishing, tour guiding, hospitality, food and beverage, retail, etc. It’s perfect for anyone who’s excited by nature and wilderness. You’ll be amazed how much you can fit into a day when you have 20 hours of daylight to work with.
If you have any questions or comments about finding work in Alaska, or any comments is general, please feel free to leave them below! We’d love to help you take the leap!