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:
When 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