by Xamara L Maisonet
Is that time of the year , fishing poles are lined up on boats, restaurants are roaring with guests and tour companies are ready to show the world what The Last Frontier State has to offer. After the long 3,000-mile trek, humpback whales are ready to feed and greet tourists . Wild life is happy feeling the change, glaciers are sweating and breaking away.
Alaska is not the first place people normally think of in the summer months, however, Arthur has signed up for his first summer job in Seward. At Ray’s Waterfront restaurant, the orders never stop from May through September keeping Arthur busy as a seasonal server.
Outdoor lovers, fishing aficionados, RV adventures and cruisers are some of the guests that visit national parks like Glacier Bay and Kenai Fjords during this time of year. According to the state of Alaska, the peak employment months are May through September when 1.78 million (summer 2015) visitors come, creating thousands of jobs covering different industries from tourism, hospitality, and healthcare among others.
“I really enjoy it, I like the change in scenery when is quite in the winter time and very busy on the summer, we have that diversity. There is a lot of wildlife, always amaze me the wildlife I see every day. This morning I saw a bull moose out in the field with three calves and then we often walk to the beach and see sea otters in the water, so living in Alaska… is an amazing place. There is wildlife everywhere!,” said Steven Schaller, 57, a permanent resident of Alaska for eight years. The Supervisory Park Ranger of the Glacier Bay National Park is in charge of hiring the 21 seasonal rangers that the park needs during the busy season.
Having an outdoor paradise while working is just the ticket for some.
“I go out and shoot, and get photos for myself, build my brand and sell photography online” “For the most part I go on hikes, and to the ocean as well whatever is outdoor, I like outdoors!”, said Brian Doyle, 28 who works as a seasonal photography naturalist guide for Gastineau Guiding in Juneau, Alaska. “Anybody who likes the outdoors and who is interested working with multiple people and enjoy changing environments”, said Doyle. Doyle says these are the kind of people who should apply for this kind of seasonal jobs.
Putting on boots and taking pictures of nature is not for everyone. “ I am a city person, I don’t like the outdoors”, affirm Lizette Rivera, 50, who lived in Sitka for three years. She worked as a pharmacist tech in Mt Edgecumbe Hospital and didn’t enjoy what most people like of Alaska, the outdoors, as well the cold and dark winters. “I did not like the darkness, in the Winter period, the icy roads, the snow. I don’t like the weather in general,” said Rivera that lives now in St. Cloud Florida. For this same reason according to Schaller is that guests don’t visit during the winter months and most businesses shut down during October through April.
Besides the outdoors, wildlife and beautiful mountains, another asset that Alaska have is good people. Despite that it was difficult for Rivera to adapt to the weather, not everything was bad. “Is a very casual life, relax, comfort, everybody is so friendly, a friendly environment”, she confessed. “I would say , is a little paradise with the limitations of the weather.”