We always planned on visiting Alaska, but were a little uncertain about moving there. We thought it might be a place best seen in a couple weeks or from the security of a cruise ship, not a place to commit to for three months. Thankfully we chose to commit!
The difference between visiting Alaska and living there is similar to the difference between camp-site camping and backpacking. Sure, metaphorically we didn't hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail. We didn't live there through a winter or visit any remote native villages. We're not residents or experts, but I feel like we got a really good idea of the area.