Wouldn’t it be great to roll into, land or paddle up to your new duty station with the excitement and confidence of knowing how and where all of your needs will be met? Bursting with confidence, energy, and ready to tackle the town?
Have you stopped laughing at me yet?
I haven’t had that experience either after years and years of moving. What I have had in the past seven years is a pretty workable framework of where to start finding these leads and even had some things completed and scheduled before we arrived. That means there’s hope for those of you starting out, or moving on after a lengthy assignment to make the next acclimation better than the last. Sponsor programs don’t always fill that need.
Remember MySpace? That site was a lifesaver to me and many of the friends I made at an overseas location. Someone formed a group for that location and it was hit with the perfect storm of spouses to pass on ‘before you come’ information, what to bring, what to leave behind, and when can we meet type of talk. We did meet! Had ladies nights as often as we could. Babysat, barbecued, and enjoyed having relationships formed organically and not just by who was married to the person who worked with our spouse. Several of us have since moved and are still just as close today as were at that location. I can sum that experience up as awesome!
Now there are blogs and Facebook groups dedicated to helping others learn about their new home area. And Military.com has Installation Guides. These are great tools as well.
Outside of military related groups, there is a site that helped us out immensely when we were returning to the states and the PCS that followed. There is a heavy presence of locals posting on there. You can find major cities and some smaller towns on the forums of citydata.com. You get opinions and experiences beyond the Google search results. You can ask for/search for discussions on dog parks, dentists, Realtors, mechanics, future builder development, etc. You can read threads and ask questions prior to moving and have a better idea on the whole community, not just the military community.
Moving to a new place can now be a lot less of an unknown experience if you seek out the best resources, compare and contrast, and even view it through the Google tools. Take what’s pertinent and consider the source(s).
What resources do you use to research your new area?
Good luck to those who are moving, and drop me a line if you need some help!