I live in a remote Alaskan village 200 miles from the nearest city. Here's what a day in my life is like.

·4 min read
salina standing outside the post office and salina holding a bag of takeout in front of the planes
I'm from a very small village called Port Alsworth.Salina Alsworth
  • I live in a remote Alaskan town that shares my family's name, and you can only get to it by plane.

  • I work for my family's air-taxi business, so I coordinate flights in and out of town every day.

  • Living so far away from the city has helped me appreciate the little things in life.

My morning routine depends on the time of year and the weather.

sun setting over a remote alaskan town
The sun is an occasional visitor in the winter.Salina Alsworth

I live in a remote Alaskan village that shares my last name. Port Alsworth can really only be reached by small plane, the nearest store is almost 200 miles away, and the population is less than 200.

On a typical morning, I wake up at 6:45 a.m. to get ready for the day.

In the summer, the sun rises well before me. In the winter it's still a few hours away — if the weather allows us to see it at all.

Typically I'll down a simple breakfast, spend a few minutes of quiet time with my cat, and do some morning cleaning before heading to work.

Since I'm only a couple of minutes from my family's air taxi, where I help out in the winter months, it usually takes longer to bundle up in my snow pants, coat, hat, and gloves than it does to walk to work.

I spend my winter days coordinating flights in and out of my town.

plane on a frozen tundra in alaska
My family runs an air taxi.Salina Alsworth

By 8:00 a.m. I weave my way through a full aircraft hangar we share a building with before settling in at the dispatch office.

I work a desk job tracking flights, coordinating loads, and making phone calls to the small villages our planes stop in to pick up and drop off travelers and freight.

In the summer, there's boat travel between some villages, and in the winter, people drive snow machines (AKA snowmobiles) over the frozen lakes and tundra. But in order to travel to and from Anchorage to see a doctor, buy your groceries, or just wander around Target, we travel by air or not at all.

Our fleet varies from little bush planes that can land on the tundra, to relatively larger twin-engine planes that hold up to nine passengers.

These planes are public buses, private limos, mail trucks, grocery carts, pizza deliveries, ambulances, and much more to the people who live here.

My workday ends in the afternoon, leaving plenty of time for errands and long walks.

salina walking to the post office with her sled
Getting mail is very exciting.Salina Alsworth

Once 1:00 p.m. rolls around, I pack up and head home for the day.

Some days I head to the post office. Other days are just so beautiful that I have to stay out a little longer, asking my mom or one of my cousins to join me on a walk.

The post office is all the way on the other side of town, which is still only a little less than a mile from my home. The walk takes me across two active runways, where I dodge airplanes, ATVs, snow machines, and vehicle traffic.

In the winter, even for that short trip, you have to dress in full arctic-expedition mode because it can drop to negative 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mail is delivered to our village three times a week unless the weather blocks the planes from getting in.

I love getting mail — even packages I ordered for myself feel like Christmas morning — so the journey to the post office is worth the walk even when I return with an empty sled.

Overall, living in such a small town has made me appreciate life's little luxuries.

salina holding a bag of takeout in front of the small bush planes
Sometimes people will send me takeout from the city.Salina Alsworth

Because the sun makes such a short and timid appearance in the winter, my evenings are usually spent indoors visiting family or unwinding with a cup of my favorite tea and a good movie.

As I sit and watch the temperatures plummet, I think about how wonderful it'll be when the sun is around day and night in the summer.

I love my remote Alaskan life, but sometimes I crave things most people can find a few blocks from home. Fresh fruit and good takeout — or even not-so-good takeout — are rare luxuries.

Sometimes my sister, who works in our office in the city, or other family or friends will send an order of Chinese, and even though it might take two days to reach me, it's still a delicacy.

I'm happy that I live in this small place where mundane things can still be special.

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