Wednesday, May 17, 2017

5 Things You Need When You PCS to the "Worst" Place on Earth

Your spouses' orders are in! You are going to the middle of nowhere with a neverending winter for three years! It's two hours north of nowhere and the equivalent of the 7th circle of hell...or so you've been told.

The military has some "interesting" places they choose to send people to. We might try to avoid these places the best we can, but the needs of the military come first...or better or worse.

Our current post is this exact place. I had multiple people tell me how awful this place was. There is nothing to do and nowhere to go. 

I decided I was not going to have a terrible experience...even though I thought I might. 

To have the best experience at your next need to have 5 things (wine is not included but encouraged). 

1. An Open Mind
   People can tell you all they want about their experience at a post and sometimes they might be right. People have loved Fort Polk....yes, Polk. People have also hated Fort Carson for reasons I cannot fathom but that is okay. 

    Everyone is different and we all come from different places and previous experiences. No one is going to have the same feeling about a post and no one can tell you exactly what it is like. Your job hunt, spouse's unit, neighbors, etc. etc. will be entirely different from other people's experience when they moved to that post.

   Take EVERYTHING with a grain of salt and come to your own conclusions before just accepting the attitude of everyone else around you.

2. Research
   I love trip advisor. Not because I can necessarily afford a trip anywhere right now, but because I can learn more about the places around the area where I am going to be living. I was able to find amazing spots in Arizona so far that would not have gone near at all if I didn't do some quick online searches. For example, did you know Arizona has a wine country??? Also that they do shuttle bus tours to those wineries??? 

   Joining spouses pages on facebook has also helped me find little things like a good dentist and a woman who does the most AMAZING eyebrow waxing on the planet. They send out useful info and are great at answering questions. Keep in mind, some of these groups have a bit more drama than keep that in mind.

3. Embracing the Differences 
   I am originally from North Jersey (it is different from South Jersey so it is important to make this distinction) and am used to everyone moving at a million miles a second. The fact that I have moved to a place where everything shuts down by 8:00 pm is insane to me. However, this slower pace has been a lot better for me. 

I feel like people are less stressed out here, but that could also be because most of them are retired.

Either way, I have learned a lot from moving away from my comfort zone. For all of the craziness the military can throw at us, I have learned a lot from living in parts of the country I never thought I would even visit.

4. Your Tribe
    I knew a woman who was stationed at Fort Sill in Oklahoma for six years. Most people hate Sill with the passion of a thousand suns. 
    I asked her if she missed and she responded, "What I miss the most is my friends. I hate the most fantastic group of girlfriends ever. "

     When you really think about it, being sent to a place with not much to do really makes people come together. You are able to come together with other spouses who are in the same boat as you are. If you want someone to just sip wine and commiserate about the endless winter you now live can do that! This is a great opportunity to learn new about new places, job opportunities and just create fantastic friendships!

5. A Chance
     Just go easy on yourself and your new place. You might end up loving it or you might simply just want to light the whole place aflame. I was in a mourning period when we PCSd from Carson. After about two weeks I knew that would not be happy if I didn't just try to enjoy this journey. 

     Post assignments do not last forever but they will leave an impact on you no matter what. We all want those dream assignments but sometimes we will end up at places that are nowhere near what we wanted. I have learned so much about the army, myself and the place I live since we PCSd. I did not think I would even remotely enjoy my time here but I know I will be sad once we leave. 


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