Moving on up
Moving on up
No, not closer to any of our families or friends. Not even out of Alaska. Not even 10 miles away. But we’re moving because we decided on a spontaneous whim this week we (me) needed to stop counting down the days until we move to our next duty station and get a better place to live, and just make it happen – NOW.
I need to live in the now. Today. I need to look forward to Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday, and not just the weekends or trips. I can’t do that in the apartment we’re in. I moved from my parent’s house to dorms to my sister’s to two different apartments back to my sister’s and then to this apartment in the last 3.5 years. This particular apartment is the worst living situation I’ve been in. I don’t mean to complain (although my husband may beg to differ), but it’s a very old, dilapidated building. The kitchen floors have giant gaps filled with goodness knows what, and the living room has carpets that are packed so tightly down with smells we’ve fought to get out to no avail. The cupboards are crooked. The sink randomly clogs. We have no yard. Or garage. And we use coin-op laundry with about 15 other units of which 3 washers and 1 dryer work.
Your next question – WHY on earth would you move there?
Well because when I was first moving here in June we had NO idea if I’d find a job, so we wanted something that would be livable if all I could get was minimum wage. Even with my college degree, I wanted to be prepared for the worst. Oh, and we live in Fairbanks. If you were ever under the impression that Alaska is cheap to live because it’s less populated than major cities…
HA-HA. Joke’s on you, dude.
Minneapolis, MN is a fairly sizable metropolitan city in a colder climate. Apartments in Minneapolis are fairly pricey, UNTIL you look at that fun little line called “Utilities”. Energy costs in Fairbanks are 423.6% more expensive than the national average. Electric? 210.5% higher. Utilities in Fairbanks are higher than both New York City and San Francisco, two of the most, if not the MOST expensive cities to live in the United States. In case you think I’m exaggerating:
Also, groceries, gas, & even tickets to the movie theater are all significantly more expensive in good ol’ Fairbanks. Food has to be shipped from every corner of the planet to get to this frozen tundra so if you’re hoping to visit and see a dollar menu at McDonald’s or a $5 foot long at Subway, you’re in for some serious disappointment.
So, we got this first apartment because we were concerned about living on one income, it was one of the cheapest with heat still included (you don’t rent if heat’s not included), and we were young and living on love anyway.
Fast forward 8 months and two comfortable incomes later.
We’ve had an amazing time being newlyweds and living in this place, but it’s time for the next step.
It’s time to go somewhere NICE. Somewhere that we’re not grouchy about going outside to do laundry only to find the dryer is still being used. Somewhere our cars can be kept inside and we don’t have to worry about warming them up or shoveling snow off. Somewhere I can continue my new found love for cooking without questioning whether the stove is going to stop working or whether I have enough counter space. Somewhere I’m proud to have family and friends visit.
It’s a little bittersweet knowing that this will be our last few night’s in our first ever home, but we are both so incredibly excited to spend the next year and a half in this new place.
Always, always on adventures with this amazing husband of mine. I literally wouldn’t have it any other way.
The screen shots I took above are from the website Area Vibes. It’s a great website that measures the livability of cities around the United States and compares them with other cities giving you an idea of the cost of living, crime, education, etc. Pretty fun to play around on if you’re bored, or a great resource if you’re considering moving!
“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!” So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit