At some point in their lives, most Alaskans feel an itch to leave the state. Some consider it a rite of passage and split as soon as they turn 18, while others take longer to succumb to the urge. Either way, leaving can be exhilarating — but we’re not always prepared for the culture shock. We know things are different Outside, but sometimes getting acclimated takes more prolonged exposure than we would have thought.

Here’s what happens to Alaskans when we decide to leave Alaska.

1. When you can’t wait to GTFO.

You love Alaska, but you’re ready for sunshine, some conveniences, and a new adventure.

2. Counting down the days ’til you leave like.

Are we there yet?

3. How you feel on your last day of work.

Time to get outta here!

4. On your flight out of Anchorage.

Until we meet again, Alaska!

5. You’ll have to learn to navigate a new city.

Driving around Anchorage did not prepare you for this.

6. You’ll realize Costco, Home Depot, and your favorite fast food joint are within a 15-minute drive of each other.

No more long car trips or stocking up on a month’s worth of goods for you!

7. And spend less than $100 dollars at the grocery store.

You can’t believe how cheap the produce is.

8. You’ll discover chains that don’t exist in Alaska.

Red Lobster, Popeye’s, In-N-Out Burger — what is this magic?

9. And everyone will ask you what it’s like to live in Alaska.

You only get a little carried away.

10. None of your footwear will be socially acceptable.

But you still refuse to throw out your Danskos or Xtratufs.

11. Someone will offer you farmed salmon.

Trying to educate them on the superiority of Wild Alaska salmon doesn’t always go over well.

12. When it’s dark by 6 in the summertime.

Is this a joke?

13. People will freak out after seeing a moose.


14. Meeting someone else who’s from Alaska.

Finally — somebody who gets it!

15. And you hear juicy gossip about people from back home.

His ex got together with who??

16. All your friends will post about fishing and their summer adventures.

And your FOMO will kick in hard.

17. When you go back to visit.

And do everything you’ve been missing out on.

18. You’ll have mountains on the brain.

And only Alaska will cut it.

19. And you’ll no longer be eligible for the PFD.

Nothing prepared you for this pain.

20. When you realize you might not be cut out for this non-Alaska life.

And finally, accept that nowhere in the world compares to back home.