Solidarités numériques

our own experiences, real stories from fellow expats and in-depth interviews with the local community

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Background

First things first. Alaska, what is this place. It’s one of the coldest states in the US, I believe it is even the coldest. It’s famous among the television viewers thanks to the Discovery channel hit tv shows with truckers and fisherman.

Also many films have played in this area for example scenes from the Xmen and the famous movie Into the wild with a crazy good soundtrack. All this media portrait this area as a deserted and not fun place to stay. However every year still thousands of people come here to explore the country side. To get away from the familiar urban stress and explore the roots of living on your own.

We have to agree that while being here we feel completely different. We said goodbye to luxury and comfort and learned to live in the wild. Let’s keep it straight and the image that is created is not 100% true, of course not. Also Alaska know some immense large cities with people living there. Technology is not uncommon and even the internet speed can be quite fast at the right spots.

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From city to city

Our 10-month program is divided over 3 areas: Urban city, country side and as we call the wilderness. Because we didn’t want to go cold turkey we were going into this adventure in this order. While working here we had to get a cheap expat health insurance, after all we just graduated. We figured we want to stay here for a while without taking any risks.

The urban city is great and was much more believable then I first imagined it would be. We didn’t thought the city would look so familiar. And here is where our research start and the quest to find information about the expat community has begun.

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Little city

After a while we found out where the expats come together and how they find each other. Mostly via certain bars and pubs which is known by the expats. For example English pubs are always in favor and they pretend to be the expat heaven for drinkers.

It’s also a great way to find new people over there and to get information. We noticed after a while that there are a couple of expat communities living here. Interesting was that people of all ages are in these groups and some people hop from one community into another.

Most people who have the same interested are attracted to hang out with each other. In general it is a very small city, as they referred it to little city because of the famous Little Italy in New York City. People know very well what another expat is up to, hanging out with, where that person is hanging out etc.

Interesting to know is that new media plays a large part in all this. People use it to get direct and fast answers to their questions.

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Social life

We could fill in the groups in a couple of categories so far.

The most noise-making group were the drinkers. Let’s refer them to the drinkers. They were almost every other night out and they were very social towards everyone. So it seems. They are great in getting first contact, but that’s it. After that they will see if you are the same kind or not. Conversations with these people always stayed quite superficial and was more about appearances and gossip than about something which was necessary.

We had a very mixed feeling within this first group. From a very warm feeling to we don’t belong in the group if we don’t show up, drink and participate. Very fast the table was turned on us and we became sort of the laughing stock.

The next group was much more interesting. We parted our ways, thanked them for a peek into their community and started with a new group. These were the do-ers. More about that later.

2016 . Solidarites & Numeriques