Our readers have been asking me some awesome questions both here on the blog and on our Facebook page about big new life adventure forward to Alaska. Questions like — “what exactly are we doing?” And “Why the heck would we pick Alaska?”
You’ve got questions, I’ve got answers.
So no really, what the heck are you doing? We are selling almost everything. We are packing up our lives. And we are moving to Alaska. It’s as simple as that … and also as complicated. Because whoa is moving to Alaska NOT simple.
Why the heck would you pick Alaska? When we started thinking about what we wanted with our lives, we realized a few things. First, Luke needs time and space to heal from war. Second, we want lives focused on getting outside, being active, being together and helping others do the same. And, finally, we wanted to do that somewhere totally different from anywhere we had ever lived. What’s more different than Tennessee, where we currently live, than Alaska?
Does all this mean you’re getting out of the Army? Sort of. Luke has been a soldier in the U.S. Army for almost 11 years. Despite an awesome career that is really going places, we have decided to call it a day with that. Instead, he is going to join the Alaska Army National Guard. That means part-time military service instead of the full-time gig.
Are you (Amy) going to still work for Military.com? You might not know this, but my day job is with Military.com where I manage all of the site’s military spouse and family news and content. I work from home and it’s awesome. Being a military spouse helps with that a lot – it’s easier to cover something you’re living. But now that we are getting out, I’m often asked whether or not I’m keeping my job. The simple answer is: yes. Yes, I’ll still be editing spouse and family content. Since we’ll be a National Guard family, I’ll personally be shifting to a different kind of military service and lifestyle — but I’ll still be living the life. Plus, my professional reporter and editing skill that I developed long before I married into the military won’t just fall out of my head when I turn in that active duty dependent ID card.
Why in the world are you doing this? The biggest reason is adventure and change. We are ready to completely dismantle life as we know it, and we can imagine little more different than moving to a faraway place we’ve never been where the weather is wildly different than anything most of the family has ever experienced, and an outdoor lifestyle is implied.
What will you do there for, you know, money? We knew we really wanted to get up to Alaska, so Luke applied to a graduate school in the area that offers a program that fits what he ultimately wants to do – outdoor education. Thanks to the GI Bill, which he earned through military service, we’ll be getting a housing allowance from Uncle Sam. Combined with my job and any income we bring in through this site, we will (hopefully!) put food on our table on the regular.
What do the kids think about all of this? Huck and Dave are military kids – they are used to the idea of moving. Huck has been a little worried about when, exactly, we’ll arrive at his new house and whether or not all his toys will be there. Overall they are excited for our adventure and the camping we plan to do along the way. They are also excited for the bunk beds we’ve promised them when we move into wherever we will be living.
You mentioned camping. Have you decided how you’re going to get there? We know, for sure, that we’ll be driving. The available ferry, which would keep us from driving through Canada, is a whopping $7,000 for all of us and the car to ride and sleep on. Whew. So we’re driving. We also don’t want to miss seeing that part of the world. Right now our itinerary has us meandering through Rocky Mountain National Park, Dinosaur National Monument and City of Rocks to Boise, Idaho for a stop to see my (Amy’s) mom and siblings – with a bonus backpacking adventure with her brother while there – then up to Tacoma, Washington and then through Canada to Anchorage.