Being in the military is not just a job like any other; it’s a lifestyle.
When your spouse is in the military, you can expect major life changes without notice. Anticipating such changes, like orders for an overseas posting, can help you handle the stresses involved.
And while some of those stresses are certainly pleasurable — like the excitement of living in and discovering a new country and continent — others are not. The fact that you’ll soon be separated from your family and friends and everything you’re used to can be tough to deal with.
Culture shock should be expected. The upside here is that while your spouse may be expected to hit the ground running, you have time to acclimate.
And once you conquer the initial challenges that come with such a move, you may find that it has actually become the best experience of your life.
Here are a few tips that will come in handy when you get your first OCONUS (Outside the Continental United States) orders.
1. Choose where you want to live
Deciding whether to live on or off-post is one of the most important things you will have to do when it comes to your overseas PCS. There are benefits and drawbacks to each, but the ultimate decision is uniquely yours. What may work for one family won’t necessarily be right for another, so weigh the pros and cons in light of you and your family.
2. But don’t hide in the comfort zone
One of the major challenges about being posted to a new place is the newness of everything.
Living on base is so much easier; you are basically recreating the same lifestyle you had stateside. According to Spousebuzz, living off base allows you to experience and explore a new environment when you are still fresh to it all. Although it may be harder at first, it allows you and your family to learn about the local culture that surrounds you, including the cuisine and language.