In February of 1997 my sister moved to Anchorage, Alaska to work at a local hospital. She called me in March and suggested I come up for the summer and play. I had never been to Alaska and was excited for the adventure. I moved to Anchorage in April and started searching for a summer job (to help pay for all the playing I hoped to do). I was hired as a Guest Service Host (GSH) and planned to spend the summer working and playing in Alaska. I made friends from all over the country and tried to experience as much as I could that first summer thinking it would be my only opportunity. My days off were filled with tons of cool activities – flightseeing, river rafting, hiking, camping, a train ride to Denali, day cruises in Kenai Fjords National Park and many other adventures.
I fell in love with Alaska and when fall came and my summer job ended I decided to try out an Alaskan winter. Born and raised in Arizona, I was a little nervous about the cold and darkness of which I had heard rumor. I was pleasantly surprised that Anchorage was more temperate than the far northern part of the state. I learned to cross country ski and enjoyed many winter outdoor activities. In my second summer season I was hired as a Guest Service Supervisor. Fortunately for me a full time, year round job opened up a few weeks later and I was hired as Assistant Guest Service Manager. Working in tourism is a challenging and rewarding experience. Right away I knew that the combination of this amazing state and my new rewarding job would entice me to make Alaska my new home.
The fact that this industry is always changing makes every day at work a little different. I’m also fortunate to work with some extraordinary people that help make the job more fun and worthwhile. Here it is, almost a decade and a half later and I still love Alaska and my job!