This is Rick, a bartender here at Princess in Fairbanks. I came back to Alaska for another summer job in Alaska, making this my third season at Princess.
I first came to Alaska working for Princess in Copper River. Why did I leave the lower 48? Why do I keep returning to Alaska? These are the questions my friends and family ask continually. The short answer is I came here for adventure, a summer job, to explore a different part of our great country and a change in life.
Coming here was quite an experience and I would do it all over again. My job with Princess that first year was a fine dining server. It was very impressing to work with all my new friends there in the Copper Valley. The housing and employee meals provided made the transition from a house in NY to a summer in Alaska really easy. I did explore that summer, driving 18,000 miles around Alaska and back to the lower 48; the memories will remain for a long time. One word about the season here in Alaska – awesome!
So, after my first summer season, a friend and I drove back to the lower 48. The drive was great, but things just were not the same down there. It seemed like Alaska kept my spirit. I tried staying in the lower 48, skipping the next summer season in Alaska, all the while having this desire to return. I had a good job, but then spring came and I knew that applications for the summer were being taken, so I made some calls and decided I must return to Alaska.
Once I made the decision to return to a summer job in Alaska there was no stopping me. Another season came and went. But that season I worked at the Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge. What a great summer that was, then the drive down to the lower 48 with another good friend I made up here. The winter season, living in Florida now, was good, but the longing to return to Alaska was still there. So here I am in my third season. When I returned Leanne asked me how it felt to be back. My reply was “feels like I am home”. I do not plan on the driving this fall. I am on my way to the outfitters for winter clothing now. By the way, my family no longer asks the same questions, some of them came here and experienced Alaska first hand. I think they all understand my dilemma now.