Making the Most of a New Duty Station

Kara Carlson |
Author

Here are 10 Things I learned when my husband and I were stationed in the middle of nowhere:

1. Meet your neighbors

Unless you’re someone who enjoys keeping to yourself, getting to know other people is crucial. You never know, your new best friend may be next door! Even if your new best friend isn’t next door, having a friendly relationship with your neighbors always makes life more comforting.

2. Learn the local culture

While the local culture may not be your “cup of tea,” learn to appreciate it and enjoy having a new surrounding and new experience. Appreciate the smaller things your area may have to offer rather it be a local restaurant or farmers market. Once you leave- you will miss these things!

3. Make friends with the “Locals”

Don’t be afraid to make friends with the “locals.” While locals to an area may not be able to relate to constant change and deployment, they are still people! Get to know them. It’s always comforting to find a local family you can always count on if you need something while your spouse is away!

4. Step outside of your comfort zone

If you have the opportunity to go to a spouse event or family event, even if you don’t know anybody, take it! While it may be awkward to show up and not know anyone, one thing I’ve learned in the military world is friendly faces always await!

5. Host SOMETHING

You don’t need fancy china, food, or even really close friends to host a party. Try to reach out and invite people to your house for a gathering. Good friends and conversation are just waiting to be had!

6. Be a Tourist for a Day

Fill an entire day to do tourist activities. This will help you get to know the area and appreciate all it has to offer!

7. SHOPPING VS. FRIENDS

Rather your new station comes with great shops and restaurants or just a close-knit community, appreciate what you do have! Regardless, you will miss it when you leave.

8. Traffic VS. No Traffic

If your new area comes with heavy traffic and a hassle to get ANYWHERE. Look at the PLUS. This means you are probably living somewhere with lots to DO!  Lucky you! If you’re area comes with little to no traffic. Also, look at the plus. This means you have no traffic and you can get somewhere in little to no hassle.

9. No excuses

Every duty station comes with “problems” be it traffic, no where “fun” to go, too far of a distance to drive. Don’t let these types of “excuses” hold you back from trying things to make the most of what your area has to offer. Excuses will ALWAYS exist.

10. YOU’RE IN CONTROL

Remember only YOU can make the Duty Station great. No person, place or thing will do it for you. Make the most of it and don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. What do you have to lose?

 

What are some other tips that have helped you adjust?

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