Now that I am away from Alaska and my summer job I have had some time to reflect on all of it. Had I decided early enough in the year, my living arrangements would have been different. I would have rented a room from a private individual and saved myself money and aggravation. Or, I would have stayed in a hostel near where I was working. Some of the people who rent out rooms are trustworthy and some are not, the same as in any place in the world. In some cases you just need to take a giant leap of faith.
I would have purchased a bicycle sooner and ridden it all over the place. While riding the bus was very reasonably priced, free is certainly cheaper. With those 2 changes, I would have been able to save a lot of money over the summer. While that was not my primary goal, it would have been a great secondary achievement.
I would have taken more excursions early in the summer rather than try to settle into my living arrangements. I should have looked at my apartment as a semester of college and just used whatever, rather than try to recreate my home.
Don’t get me wrong I did a ton of stuff while I was there, but I may have had a few missed opportunities to see and do other things. Or I might have done some things a second or third time over the summer. I’m sure I would have still spent all my money in Alaska.
Would I do it again, in a heartbeat. I would also strongly recommend it to any and every person who is able to try this. You will work very hard over the summer, but the rewards are worth it. If you are from another country, what a great way to have a working vacation and learn a different way of life. I had a friend who spent her summer in New Zealand and it changed her life forever in ways she did not expect. So jump in, the water’s fine.