Maybe it's because Alaska is so far away from what we like to call the “lower 48.” Maybe it's that whole "midnight sun" thing. Or maybe the state’s 750,000 residents just really like to be different.
Whatever the reasons, people who live in Alaska have some particular quirks and habits that set them apart from the rest of the country. When I first moved to Alaska, it took me some time to get used to these things; now I realize these qualities don't just make Alaskans stand out, they also make our communities fun and welcoming places to call home.
Without further ado, here are five ways Alaskans are unlike anyone else...
1. Everyone in the state has a mutual friend.
At over 663,000 square miles, Alaska is more than twice the size of Texas, yet has a population smaller than that of the city of San Francisco. But even with all of that land mass, Alaskans are tightly connected to one another through mutual friends or family. When chatting with someone new, it usually doesn't take long to discover a shared friend or colleague. This makes it easy to network, develop new friendships, and just enjoy the comforting, small-town feeling that comes from everyone knowing everyone.
2. Our license plates tell a story.
Forget 140 characters, can you communicate your enthusiasm or opinions in six? If so, this unique Alaskan habit might be for you. Thanks to no extra fees for the service, personalized vehicle tags are all the rage for Alaskans (there's even an Instagram account, @AlaskaPlates, dedicated to documenting the unique vanity plates around the state).
Beyond the six character space limit, the only state rule for customizing is that tags not contain “ethnic, racial or vulgar connotations.” That means you’ll be able to get in “ILUVAK,” but not “COLDAF.” SOSRY.