In part one of this blog post, we talked about shipping your things overseas when a spouse is deployed. We hope it provided some valuable information and resources to make the move a little easier. In this post, we’ll give you four pieces of advice about what to do while you’re actually there to feel more at home, minimize homesickness and have a better overall experience living abroad as a military spouse.
Relax and Take a Breath
Yes, the first piece of advice we’re giving you is to relax. As the spouse of a service member, you’ve made a great sacrifice to move your family overseas for a deployment. It’s really happening, and much of it will be a whirlwind – the trick is to keep the times of chaos to a minimum and enjoy those moments regardless because it’s all going to happen whether you’re ready or not. The good new is, you’re not alone. You’ll be among other military families who can often give you great advice to help you get settled, find your bearings and to lean on when you need help. Other military families are often your best resource when it comes to learning your way around post and your local area – where to find the best baked goods, where to get your oil changed, etc.
Keep Your Social Connections Back Home
Just a few decades ago, deployed spouses would have limited choices for maintaining connections with friends and families back in the U.S. Phone calls were scarce and letters took time to write, send a receive. Today, though, we have access to email, Skype, Twitter, Facebook and other ways to maintain contact with those back home. Some military spouses on deployment choose to publicly document their travels on Twitter or through a blog they update with stories and photos on a regular basis. Not only does blogging and tweeting help maintain connections with friends and family back home, it opens up the chance to connect and help other military families who may be going through similar trials and tribulations.
Get Involved in Your Community – and Your New Country
There are countless ways to get involved in your host country to make your time more fulfilling. Treat your initial time there like your first days as a college freshman – get involved with events, meet other families and arrange play dates and birthday parties, or get a part-time job/volunteer. Better yet – get out into the community and immerse yourself in the culture. Go out and meet the people who call your host country home. You’ll likely find they are very welcoming to service members and their families.
Enjoy Your Time!
Yes, you’ll crave all the comforts of home. Your favorite places to shop, eat and hang out will be thousands of miles away, and there’s nothing you can do about it. The fact is, once your deployment is over and you move back to the U.S., traveling to your former host country could cost you thousands – so enjoy it now. Take the time to make memories for you and your family. Spend as much time together with your family as possible by taking trips when you can in and around your host country. You’ll thank yourself as you look back and cherish the memories you created on your overseas deployment.
These tip may seem simple, but they’re meant to be simple. It’s often the simple things that make a huge difference when it comes to being part of a military family deployed overseas. Think of your time in your host country as one where you must build an extended family. After all, they will be the ones with whom you spend holidays, birthdays and other special occasions.
Einat Mazafi is the owner of NY International Shipping, an International Shipping and moving company based in New York. She is also a specialist in providing the best relocation solutions to clients worldwide.