Fairbanks in Fairbanks?

Fairbanks in Fairbanks?
Alina Fairbanks

Image result for welcome to fairbanksMany people ask me if I moved up to Fairbanks because my last name is Fairbanks. They think it’s funny so I laugh and smile every time. “I get that a lot” I say. I moved up here because I wanted to move out of my home town. I am from Bellingham, WA where many people shopped at Co-op and thrift stores way before Macklemore made it cool. I’m 21, and I still see myself as a child who's just starting to live. Personally, I think you grow up the moment you move out of your home town. It’s easy to be too comfortable and live in your bubble.
My bubble consisted of the same group of friends from elementary school, and they still think it’s crazy that I moved up here. Some of them moved to Portland, San Diego, Seattle, Texas and other areas. They imagine I live in an igloo and have a pet polar bear. Little do they know Fairbanks is a lot more city like then they think. They were surprised to hear we have an REI, Fred Meyer, Old Navy and other popular stores. No igloos anywhere to be found.
I was a little nervous moving away, especially out of state. I was interested in UAF as a student at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. UAF's Fisheries Department caught my attention, although I contemplated if I could endure the intense winters. Little did I know I would absolutely love it here! Fairbanks has a unique sense of community because we are all living in interior Alaska with harsh weather. If you ever have car trouble or need help in any way, somewhere will be there to help in an instant.
Speaking of help, earlier this week I was driving to work at the university. A wandering dog walked across the busy road on Chena Ridge. It was 7:45 in the morning, and I assumed people were on their way to work. Instantly, seven cars pulled over and hopped outside their car trying to catch the dog. It blew my mind! These are the types of people who act in the moment to help someone else. It’s relieving to live in a city where people are incredibly kind. I was in complete awe because I am not use to this humbleness. I believe anyone who visits Fairbanks will easily see the beauty it holds.  

Did I ever imagine I would live in this city? Absolutely Not. Life can be funny that way. Maybe it was meant to be; Fairbanks living in Fairbanks. Although I’m forever grateful I moved up here to explore being on my own and living life outside my bubble.    

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