When we first got orders to Miami I was sure that we were the luckiest Army family in the world. I mean what’s not to like about palm trees and beaches? Plus, how many people in the Army actually get a duty station like this? It was a miracle! We counted down the months, drooled over the BAH amount (before we realized how expensive it was to live here ) and in September we hurried on our way to Miami for early report..The Redmonds were going south for the winter! Then we arrived in the city of Cuba (I mean Miami) and I realized that the grass was not as green as it looked from Missouri. It took me 7 months to learn how to fall in love with my new duty station (Don’t roll your eyes) and I am here to help you not waste time and begin falling in love with yours.
Be optimistic !
The most important way to fall in love with your duty station is having a positive attitude and being optimistic about the new adventure. There are absolutely some duty stations that are better than others but a duty station is truly only as good as you make it. There will be some things that you love and some that you can do without everywhere you go. If you remember this step and go into the move with a great attitude, you’re already half way there.
Start a Bucket List BEFORE you arrive!
One of the things that gets me super excited before we move or go on vacation is Pinterest! Pinterest is my all time favorite app because you can literally look up every destination and find a list of things to do, eat, or see. Even if you think that you are moving somewhere with nothing around, I guarantee you that you can find something to get into. After I got out of my PCS blues, I made a bucket list for things up to 2 hours away and we have been crossing things off the list every chance we get. Not only does a bucket list get you excited about being at a duty station but when you leave you will feel like you truly took full advantage of what the city had to offer and made amazing memories.
Join Facebook Groups and Pages for the Duty Station
One thing that I did before we PCS’d was reach out to the Facebook groups and pages. They are an excellent way to meet new friends ahead of time so you won’t feel as lonely when you arrive. You can also ask questions about the duty station like: Where should we live? How is traffic? What are the pros and cons? All you have to do is type in the duty station in the Facebook search bar or call the ACS building to ask for a list of official Facebook pages.
One thing that really grinds my gears are spouses who complain about not liking a duty station or not having friends when they haven’t left their home to change that. It is up to you to get out there to be involved and meet new people. The groups that I told you about above offer information about upcoming events most of the time. You can even contact the FRG leader if you have one. I am not saying that you have to attend everything but making an effort to attend a spouse meet up or FRG meeting is a start!
If you’re getting ready to PCS I know that it can be a scary and stressful experience but remember that the years are short and the memories are endless. Try to make each move the best 2 to 3 years of your life and that is how you fall in love with your new duty station.
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