If you read my military spouse story last week, you probably know that I didn’t make my first move away from my family due to the military. However, I did uproot my life at 18 to move across the country…and I have been gone for over ten years now. My how the time flies when you are having fun right?
In some ways moving away from home was easier for me because it wasn’t a military move. I got to choose where I was moving, when and ultimately it was entirely my idea to move. However, it was also more challenging because I was doing it entirely alone. As a spouse, you have your service member moving along with you. (usually…or eventually)
All that to say, if you are moving away from home, it can be really tough. And while it does get easier, it never really goes entirely away. Like I said, I have been away from home for over ten years yet I was still tearing up in Hallmark yesterday thinking about having to mail my mom her Christmas card rather than giving it to her in person. But there are ways to make the transition easier!
Thriving Far From Home
Too often our emphases is on getting through. How to cope, how to deal, how to make the best of it. My opinion is that our problems often start because of that mindset. As a military spouse you will be moving. Rather than dreading it, go into your move away from home believing that this is your opportunity to thrive. This is your opportunity to become the best person you can be. Do I sound corny yet? I don’t really care because it’s true!
If you believe your move is a negative experience you have to overcome, it will be. If you believe your move is an amazing opportunity, it will be.
Try Something New
There are so many unique opportunities and experiences in this world that you might miss out on if you were still living in your hometown. I have seen mountains and oceans. I have eaten foods I never knew existed when I was 18. I’ve seen live armadillos which blow my mind every single time. I was an annual pass holder to DisneyWorld. I got to teach a famous rapper’s daughter how to ride a pony. You just never know what will happen if you put yourself out there.
Look at your move away from home as an opportunity to explore and experience so many new things that are unique to the area you are moving to!
Strengthen Your Marriage
This is a huge shared experience for you and your spouse. Use it as an opportunity to learn more about each other. If your spouse is moving with you, you have an automatic partner in adventure. If they are not with you when you first move (due to a deployment, training, etc.) Look for new things to do when they get there. I love to scope out fun things to do and see that I can take my husband to when he can join me. Plus they are always a little impressed when you can tell them you have found the best burger in town 😉
Marriage can start to feel stale after a while if you never do anything new, so moving away from home is a perfect opportunity to freshen things up! Sharing your goals and struggles can help build your relationship, and sharing new experiences can create memories that will last a lifetime!
This move also gives you the opportunity to lean on your spouse for support. Do not make them your entire world, but help each other to grow and thrive in this transition.
Ditch Bad Habits…and Start Good Ones!
Bad habits are easy to come by and usually hard to break. Maybe you order takeout more often than you should, maybe you drink more soda than you would like to. Often our bad habits become part of our routine which makes them hard to kick. (I rarely drink soda at home, but as soon as I go to work I hit up the soda fountain because it’s part of my lunchtime routine.)
Moving means creating new routines so it is a great opportunity to kick the habits you’ve been meaning to leave behind and make create new habits. Maybe you have been meaning to exercise more, drink more water, or meal plan/prep. If you are able to incorporate these things in your new routine, they are more likely to become habits you can maintain!
Make New Friends
A new place to call home means the opportunity to meet tons of new people and make new friends! Making friends as an adult can be challenging, but it is 110% worth the effort. It is also easy to fall into the trap of dreading being lonely, so if you go in with the mindset that this is an opportunity to meet new friends, it will help you to stay positive. And staying positive is the key to success!
I’ll have a whole post in the future on tips for making friends when you move…but the most important thing is to go out and get involved! Find groups that you are interested in and you will automatically be surrounded by like minded people. Putting your self in the position to meet new people is always the first step.
Invest in the Friendships You Want to Maintain
Just because you are making new friends does not mean you have to abandon the friendships you have. While moving away from your hometown and the friends you have there will definitely be a challenge, there will be people in your friends group that you stay friends with despite the distance. It is so important to make the time to stay invested in those friendships. Even if you do not see those friends as often, they are still an invaluable part of your support network and maintaining your relationship with them is always worth the effort.
The most important thing is to remember that moving away from home is a privilege not a punishment!
This is your opportunity to thrive. If you make the most of this move you will set yourself up for so much fun and happiness. So remember to stay positive, lean on your spouse when you need to, and get out there so you can enjoy your life!
Have you moved away from your home town? What advice do you wish you had gotten?