Moving to a new base can be a grab bag of emotions. You may wonder, “Will I make friends? Will I belong? Where will I work?” Sometimes fear can keep you in your home on a new base, and you start getting homesick for places of your past. Here are my favorite tips for growing roots quickly before homesickness sets in.
Make a Bucket List!
One Air Force spouse shares, “We make a ‘bucket list’ of the things we want to go do or see in the area before we move. The list creates anticipation on the way in and eliminates the ‘there’s-nothing-to-do-here’ attitude.” You can make a bucket list of parks, festivals, or even breweries nearby! Each base is unique and has new things for you to discover.
Find a way to remember what you love.
Kate, an Air Force spouse, memorialized her time in Hawaii with a tattoo and decorates her house with beach vibes. Another spouse plants a garden of memories at each place she lives by finding plants that remind her of each previous base. Although, some of her more tropical plants have to stay indoors when it snows!
Make your house a home
Steph, a reserve member and military spouse, creates a home sanctuary, saying, “I honestly don’t feel grounded until I see my space come together. I am so dedicated to the idea that my home is my little slice of sanctuary that until it begins to take shape, I feel a bit adrift.” Other spouses advocate for unpacking quickly to lessen the transition feel. Find what makes your house feel cozy for you.
Find a clique you click with!
Getting connected helps us feel like we belong. Think of each relationship or activity as putting out tiny roots to help you grow at your new base. MeetUp is a fantastic website where you can search for your interests and find others near you who gather to participate in the same thing. Line Dancing? There’s a group. Abstract painting class? There’s a group. Slam poetry while dressing from the 1920s with themed drinks? That might be a little harder to find… The local mil spouse Facebook page and Base Spouses Club are also fantastic resources for activities, theme groups, and friends.
It’s okay to reminisce on great old memories, but make sure to keep your eyes open to making memories here at your new place that you can smile back on in the future.