In Alaska, there is a city (actually, it’s more like a small town) named Barrow at the northernmost part of the state. It is home to about 4,500 people who live in the coldest and most bizarre climate on the planet. I, personally, have never been there. But from what I know of it and the people that live there, it seems to be a unique metaphor for the state as whole. Indulge in my thought process for a moment or two.
First of all, weather conditions in Barrow are extremely harsh. In the winter, the average temperature is a whopping -15 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind that’s just the average. During the winter solstice, there is a mere 3 hours of twilight as the city is plunged into near permanent-darkness for about a month’s time. The wind howls, the clouds never leave, and the snow constantly falls. Seems pretty miserable, right? Well something funny happens in the summer up in Barrow. There is a period of nearly three months where the sun literally never sets. The temperatures aren’t that high (maybe 40 degrees), but it’s always light out. The rest of the state experiences a similar phenomenon with extended daylight (20 – 21 hours per day), but nowhere else in Alaska gets as much sunlight during the summer as Barrow does. It’s a very unique event that very few people experience during their lifetime and one you can’t go many other places to see for yourself.
Now, I say that Barrow and the midnight sun are a metaphor for Alaska because of this; in order to experience such a wondrous occasion, you have to take the time to travel north. Alaska as a whole is truly incredible. Not many people (in this country alone) take the time to experience it, but those who do never forget it. Some never leave and they find they don’t really want to be anywhere else. Alaska may not be synonymous with romanticism or being suave, but it is synonymous with being extraordinary and unforgettable. If you want to do something memorable, then take the time to visit the final frontier. If you want to do something amazing, there are plenty of Alaska summer jobs that you can work in and stay for an extended period of time. Take advantage of the opportunities available to you. What are you waiting for?