3 Ways to Actually Enjoy Your Upcoming PCS

Women at a party

Post from MilitaryByOwner

Yes, amidst all the stress associated with a PCS move, I really do believe there are ways you can enjoy it.

Take a minute to pause your moving tasks. Put down your list and stop thinking about if you should sell your home, where you’ll live at your new duty station, where you’ll send the kids to school, and take a minute to focus on the good stuff.

Once the movers come and go, you’re left with the company of your family and what you can carry on your back. Let that reality ignite a sense of freedom and mobility as you prepare for your move.

1) Travel

A PCS move is often a great opportunity for your service member to take a little extra leave. If you can, take it!

Road trip. Use the extra time to drive slowly. Instead of leaving the East Coast, driving day in and day out to arrive at your west coast destination, look at a map and find points of interest along the way. If you have to drive an hour or two out of the way to see the Grand Canyon, do it. If Mount Rushmore is always something you’ve wanted to take the kids to see, do it. Use this opportunity to create something for the whole family to look forward to in the middle of your move.

Be sure to look up military lodging and famcamps along the way to save some money, too. You’d be surprised how many are scattered across the states.

Travel by train. Have you ever traveled by train? You should try it! Especially if you’re moving across the country or along the West Coast, incorporating a train ride into your move can be an incredibly rewarding form of travel. Check your bags, hop on and off at the stops, try the food, and sit back and enjoy the view!

Go international. If you’re feeling more adventurous, use the leave to go on the vacation you’ve been wanting to take. Fly to Europe, spend a few days on the beach, take that hunting trip in Alaska your spouse has been passively mentioning for years.

2) Try Something New

If you can get past feeling displaced when you’re living in hotel after you’ve reached your new duty station, you’ll realize how much freedom you have to do something you’ve never done before.

Go out to eat. The fact that you may not have your stuff, a house, or a kitchen means that you can’t cook, clean, or enforce a normal routine... so don’t try to! Instead, use the time on your hands to explore the local culture through food and try yummy restaurants.

Visit local attractions. Don’t close yourself in the hotel room and let yourself feel depressed by the uncertainty of you current living situation; get out and be a tourist. Do all the cheesy things around town that you know you won’t do after you get settled into your new home.

Volunteer. One of the best ways to get to know your new community is through volunteer work. You quickly learn the community’s needs and ambitions and ultimately get to know the heart of its people.

Look up volunteer organizations near your new duty station and take the whole family. Not only will you get out of the hotel and interact with locals, but you’ll also be a positive role model for your kids.

3) Accept Hospitality

Instead of declining offers from friends or new acquaintances to have you over for a meal, whether from of fear of putting them out or another reason, accept their hospitality.

It lets them do something nice. If the roles were reversed, would you feel more thankful that your friends felt comfortable accepting your invitation for dinner or would you be grateful that they chose not to inconvenience you? Your answer could be different, but I’m more flattered when they join us for dinner.

It gives an opportunity for quality time. Sometimes the best friendships grow from the strangest circumstances. If you’re invited over for a home cooked dinner, join the family and see where the conversation takes you. You could leave the evening simply knowing there are people out there you can call on for help or you might leave with new friends.

Taking the time to get to know people is difficult when you get settled into a routine. So setting aside time to spend while you’re “homeless,” so to speak, can be a great opportunity to make better friends!

It connects you to other community. Chances are, the friends inviting you to dinner have other friends. After getting to know you better, they may be able to connect you with people you’d get along with. And we know all too well how important a strong community is in this military life.

Let your upcoming PCS be something to look forward to. Get through the list of things you need to do, then use these tips to plan something fun for the whole family!

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