By the time we were lucky enough to receive orders for an overseas PCS move, my husband had been in the military for over 15 years. Before that, we used to joke that we couldn’t even buy an overseas assignment if we wanted to!
As the years went by, we’d watch longingly and a little bit jealously as other military friends moved overseas and back again and reminisced with each other about the German Christmas markets or awesome scuba diving in Okinawa.
We wanted to be part of that club.
Then, quite suddenly it seemed, we found ourselves with our 4 small children and 18 pieces of luggage (Yes, 18, don’t judge. We used the absolute limit allowed since we knew we’d be without our household goods for months!), on a layover at the Honolulu airport on the longest flight of my life to an island in the far western Pacific.
Reality began to set in.
There were so many things I was unprepared for, living in an isolated location.
I was unprepared for the feeling as a category 5 hurricane (typhoon in the Eastern Hemisphere) bore down on the tiny speck we lived on, with no place to evacuate.
I was unprepared for “island fever,” the slower pace of life, how much I’d miss my extended family, and how long simple things like updating my driver’s license would take.
I was unprepared for how foreign it would feel (well, duh).
But you know what else I was unprepared for?
How close our military friends would become, how much broader the world would seem to my kids, and how living in other cultures would enrich my life from that point on.