Since its debut in 2013, Life Below Zero has captured the attention of countless people. Although most people would never even want to imagine living in a remote area of Alaska, there’s something about watching other people do it that seems to be intriguing. The show’s spin-off, Life Below Zero: Next Generation has proven to be equally as interesting. Next Generation cast member Michael Manzo has quickly become a fan favorite. After giving up the comforts of a ‘normal’ life to rough it in middle of nowhere Alaska, Michael has built a solid fan base of people who love keeping up with his journey. Here are 10 things you didn’t know about Michael Manzo.
1. He Studied Sustainability
Anyone who knows Michael probably wasn’t too surprised by his decision to go live in a remote area of Alaska. The outdoors has always been his favorite place and he’s always been interested in surviving off the land. Michael earned a degree in sustainability from Alaska Pacific University.
2. He’s A Veteran
Michael is the kind of person who has already had more unique experiences than some people will have in their entire lives. At one point he was a member of the United States military and he even did a tour in Iraq. It’s unclear exactly how long he served in the military.
3. He’s An Entrepreneur
Michael grew up with a love for canoes and he eventually decided to turn that love into a business opportunity. He owns a business called Yukon Freightwords Canoe Company where he makes canoes. Apparently, his work has become quite popular in the area.
4. He’s Originally From Maine
Alaska may be the place Michael calls home these days, but he’s actually from Maine. Even though Maine and Alaska are thousands of miles apart, cold weather and lots of rural areas is something they have in common. Luckily for him, years of living in Maine helped prepare him for the harsh weather in Alaska.
5. He Loves Fishing
The concept of living off the land isn’t really anything new to Michael and he’s already pretty well prepared to rely on his own devices for survival. One of Michael’s favorite activities has always been fishing. This experience will certainly come in handy in his current lifestyle. He also enjoys hunting.
6. He’s A Dog Musher
Michael Manzo is the true definition of a man with many talents. Fortunately, all of his talents work together nicely and will certainly come in handy during his time living in Alaska. According to Alaskashows.com, he is also a dog musher and is currently raising several dogs.
7. He’s Not Into Social Media
Now that Michael is a reality TV star, there are lots of people who want to stay in the loop with what he has going on. We weren’t able to track down any official social media profiles for Michael. Overall, he seems to be a pretty private guy. That coupled with the fact that he lives in an isolated area makes it easy to understand why he wouldn’t be interested in being on social media.
8. He Never Backs Down From A Challenge
There are plenty of people who live their entire lives within the bubble of their comfort zone. Michael has never been that kind of person, though. He’s always looking for ways to challenge himself and he’s never afraid to keep pushing when things get difficult. Michael’s motto is “there’s a cure for restlessness in the human spirit & that’s not getting too comfortable, pushing the boundaries & facing the unknown, facing your fears.”
9. Life Below Zero: Next Generation Is His Only TV Experience
These days, there’s a wider variety of reality shows than ever before which means we’re seeing an influx in new stars who never imagined they’d be on TV. Michael is one of them. As far as we can tell, he has never had an interest in becoming a reality TV star and he’s never been on any other show.
10. He Has Indigenous Roots
There isn’t much information out there about Michael’s personal life, but an interview with his alma mater revealed that he has indigenous roots. While talking to Alaska Pacific University he said, “It’s in my blood to want to build and design dog sleds and canoe. As a Miꞌkmaw Indian, culturally APU understood that.” Michael is grateful for his time at the school and felt that it gave him an opportunity to connect with his roots. The Miꞌkmaq people are originally from Canada and has a population of about 170,000 people according to Wikipedia.