Moving from state to state is a hard adjustment for any family, but what about moving to an entirely new continent? Military families all know that there is always a possibility that they will need to uproot their lives and move to Europe. There are 36 US Army installations in Germany, alone. While many people may find that idea exciting in their twenties, it may not seem so thrilling to a 10-year-old. Granted some kids are ready to take on any adventure, but if you’re a military kid who’s moved all over the US, moving to Germany might seem a little daunting.
Preparing for the Move
Megan Aaron, who moved 10 times in 18 years, knows the struggles of a military kid all too well. When she relocated to Kelley Barracks in Stuttgart, Germany as a 10-year-old, she was far from thrilled. However, as a college student today, she admits that her worldly experience as a military kid shaped her into who she is. She says, “Realize that as a military child, you have more resiliency of any average child and even some adults”. Additionally, she gives advice to kids about to move to Europe, saying “Remind yourself that the last time you moved, you swore you’d hate the place you live now… and now, you don’t want to leave it.
Megan writes in her article, The Advantages of the Military Kid, “Although we complain about every move we’ve had to make and sometimes we wish we would have had one friend group to grow up with, we still recognize the benefits of being raised in a military household. And to be honest, I wouldn’t want it any other way”.
Get Excited for New Experiences
Just like Megan, most military kids that hated moving, learn to appreciate the cultural exposure they grew up with. Before you move to an incredible place like Stuttgart, Germany, check out tourism guides online. It will give you something that you can look forward to. Did you know that Stuttgart is home to a Porsche Museum, Palace Square, and the Stuttgart Christmas Market?
As a military kid living in Germany, you have so many opportunities that average kids in the US don’t have. “I had insane experiences like climbing the Eiffel Tower and camping between the Alps,” Megan says. Also, how on earth could you hate living in a place as beautiful as Stuttgart? As a military kid, myself, I feel like I got a little gypped because I never got to live in Europe.
Megan explains that since her dad retired, she looks at her experiences a little differently now. “Although you won’t admit this now, you’ll be thankful. Not many Americans can say they’ve lived in that many states, flown on that many planes, and talked to that many people. But, you have, and I promise that that will be the difference in your success as an American,” Megan says. So, for all the kids about to relocate to another country this fall, get excited.