Part of being an Alaskan requires tolerance, selective observation, quasi-scientific data gathering or a bit of each. If the decision of residency came simply down to a matter of degrees Fahrenheit, Alaska would be the land of the most irrational folks in the United States. But comfort is relative. We, of course, know that while some might shake their heads at our cold, we shake our heads at their traffic and noise. There’s something really right about us, some deep-rooted optimism that allows us to stick it out, if not enjoy things here.
You can’t just put Alaska into a Venn Diagram or make a list of the Pros and Cons. On some level, you just have to feel it. The U.S. News and World Report released its list of best places to live by attempting to plug things like “quality of life” and “desirability” into an equation. In 2019 Austin, Texas, earned the top spot despite not having fishing, hunting, hiking or an ocean. Boulder ranked No. 1 in 2020 (Anchorage was 107) and scored an 8.6 in desirability though the average commute time is 22.8 minutes and it doesn’t have an ocean either. Somethings you can’t put a number to, as rankings like that prove.