I moved to the Alaskan Bush to become a teacher after COVID-19 ruined my plans. It’s wildly expensive, but I feel at home in my village of 270 people.

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I grew up reading “Little House on the Prairie” and daydreaming of how different my life would be if I lived in a rural community. As a child in suburbia, I thought every life that was different from mine was wildly exciting.

I imagined what it would be like to wake up early to tend to the animals, collect the food I ate with my bare hands, and live somewhere where I could see for miles with nothing in the way. I imagined a life without television and the internet, a world where I couldn’t just jump in the car and drive to get everything I needed.

For me, those dreams went away and were replaced by the flashing lights of the big city — until last year, when, at 28, I was looking to start anew after COVID-19 derailed my carefully curated plans.

I’d spent the previous five years living in places like Philadelphia, Germany, and most recently Atlanta, and was set on spending the next two-and-a-half years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic.

Two days into our training, the Peace Corps informed us that we wouldn’t be going due to COVID-19.

We only had an hour to tell them where to book our next flight, and we had to leave first thing the following day.

I spent the next six weeks living in a friend’s guest bedroom in Colorado Springs, at a loss for what would come next.

My life for the next 27 months had been planned, and I suddenly had to rethink everything. Should I return to Philly or Atlanta — two places where I had roots and friends who would help me get settled, and could easily secure a position teaching in the districts I’d been at before?

Either would’ve been easy.

Yet, I knew that returning to those places would’ve left me feeling unfulfilled. When I thought about that possibility, I saw stability and ease, not adventure and excitement.

Instead, I started looking at different possibilities in places I’d never considered before, like Hawaii, Alaska, and Kentucky. I still wanted to go abroad (didn’t we all at that time?) but knew that was unlikely to happen for the foreseeable future.

When an advertisement reading “Come Teach in the Alaskan Bush!” popped up in my Indeed notifications, I thought, Now this is something.

I knew a bit about the Bush from books I’d read and stories I’d heard but had never experienced anything like it myself. The closest I’d come to living in a rural community was a small German town that was a 12-minute train ride from the nearest major city.

A few months later, I was on my first Bush plane out to a tiny village called Goodnews Bay — spread across 3 square miles and boasting 270 residents — flying over the vast tundra. 

I was shocked at the price — $220 for a one-hour flight, nearly the same price I paid to fly from Boston to Anchorage — and terrified about flying in a 50-year-old, six-seater plane only a few …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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