It’s all about perspective

It’s amazing what a difference perspective can make. Two people look at the exact same set of circumstance, but come to radically different conclusions. You know what they say…

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

I’ve known a few military families in my time, and it’s always interesting to hear what they say. Some of them complain about it – they don’t like the “always moving around” aspect of military life. Some of them love it.

It’s all about perspective.

Sarah Vernetti, who blogs at Wandering Off has chosen to look upon it as an adventure. Each move their military family makes gives them yet another excuse for discovering another part of the country. She’s learned that “you shouldn’t judge a place until you get there” and lots more. Here’s Sarah:

Military life travelWhen my husband joined the military, we knew it would be a life-changing experience for our family of three. Rather than seeing the frequent moving and uncertainty as negatives, we decided to view this as one big adventure.

This lifestyle isn’t for everyone. We realize we don’t have the same freedom that most travelers do. At any time, we could be told to pack up and move to a new place; the timing and the destination are, in many ways, out of our control. We can’t decline the assignment and my husband can’t go on sabbatical.  Some people wouldn’t want to move as often as we do, but like many things in life, it’s all about perspective.

Each time we move, we use our new home as a jumping off point for nearby adventures, which has helped us explore much of the United States inexpensively. We still take “typical” 1 or 2 week vacations, but many of our travels come in the form of shorter weekend trips.

The moving process itself is also seen as an adventure, not an inconvenience. Whenever we move, I spend hours plotting our drive and looking for interesting sights along the way. If you piece together our various “moving routes,” we’ve practically driven from one end of the country to the other.

While these might sound like humble accomplishments to some, it has been an educational experience for my husband and I who both grew up in the Midwest and had never lived outside of a three-state radius until he joined the military. In fact, I was in my 20’s before I moved away from Missouri. By contrast, our four-year-old daughter has already gone through the moving process twice and has traveled more than some adults I know.

It can be difficult living far away from our extended family and feeling like we are constantly on a quest to meet people and make new friends. However, I’ve learned to overcome my natural tendency to be shy and reserved around people I don’t know. And I see our lifestyle reflected in my daughter, who is friendly and outgoing even with her newest friends.

One thing I’ve learned thanks to the military life is that you shouldn’t judge a place until you get there.

Some of our friends and acquaintances were skeptical about our move to Las Vegas. Why would anyone want to live in Sin City with a child? But we’ve enjoyed our adventures here so far, and this might even be my favorite place that I’ve ever lived. We’ve discovered that with a little effort, one can find plenty of kid-friendly activities despite Vegas’ reputation. We also see this as a great jumping-off point for nearby adventures in Arizona, California, and Utah. Luckily, it looks like we’ll be here for a few years, so we have plenty of time to explore.

Our goal is to eventually visit all 50 US states. My husband and I are about halfway there, and our daughter is not far behind.

Where will we go next? Who knows, but I look forward to the journey.

Follow Sarah and her family at Wandering Off

one way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

About Nancy Sathre-Vogel

After 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy Sathre-Vogel finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people's kids. She and her husband quit their jobs and, together with their twin sons, climbed aboard bicycles to see the world. They enjoyed four years cycling as a family - three of them riding from Alaska to Argentina and one exploring the USA and Mexico. Now they are back in Idaho, putting down roots, enjoying life at home, and living a different type of adventure. It's a fairly sure bet that you'll find her either writing on her computer or creating fantastical pieces with the beads she's collected all over the world.

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4 Responses to It’s all about perspective

  1. Rachel @ the minimalist mom March 12, 2012 at 7:25 am #

    Lovely post. We recently moved from Vancouver, Canada to the Isle of Man (yes, I had to look it up too).

    We have a similar perspective: there will be challenges but it’s an adventure. And isn’t that a beautiful part of life? The not knowing, the getting out of your comfort zone and the learning.

    • Nancy March 12, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

      @Rachel @ the minimalist mom, You learn so much more when you get out of your comfort zone. It might not be comfortable, but it’s the best place to be!

  2. Heather Caliri March 12, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    I’ve found having kids has made me more likely to explore, not less. Discovering new places together and having buddies to explore with makes travelling a richer experience. Sure, I might not have the same freedom to travel on a whim as before I got pregnant, and I might stay closer to home, at least for now, but I’m more of an explorer than I ever was before I had them to share things with.

    • Nancy March 12, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

      @Heather Caliri, I so totally agree! I know once I had kids I got out a lot more. It was so much fun to take the kids out exploring!

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