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Join The Navy, See The World

It's a common phrase in the Navy. "Join the Navy, see the world". Parker says it every time he goes on another Navy-sanctioned field trip.

I thought it would be fun today to share where in the world he has actually been! I've joined him on a small handful of these trips, but I pale in comparison as a world traveler to this guy. The Navy isn't always rainbows and sunshine, but there are a lot of wonderful perks, and traveling is one of them!

Note: An alternative title to this post could have been: "Selfies with Parker". When you're in a cool place by yourself, selfie or it didn't happen. ;)

I'm going to skip the places we have been stationed in Texas because we are from Texas, so that's not so much seeing the world and more just moving a couple of hours down the road.


Egypt

Parker got a cool opportunity to travel to Egypt and Morocco while he was still at Texas A&M with the Corps of Cadets. It's not every day you get to ride a camel around the pyramids.



Morocco

He got to stay with a family in Morocco and really submerge into the culture. Such a cool opportunity.



Hawaii

Parker went to Hawaii for one of his summer cruises (a Navy cruise, not the fun kind with margaritas) as a midshipman. He started a tradition where he brings this A&M flag with him when he travels so he can write the location and date of his trip on the left side.


Pensacola, Florida

This was our first big move away from Texas. We moved to Pensacola in January 2012 and lived there for 16 months. Parker started flight school there, and we made friends that we will have for a lifetime. All flight students start out in Pensacola, and the Navy really spoils you with that one. There aren't too many places that are better to get stationed than Pensacola, Fl! To top it off, my twin's husband was in the Navy at the time,and they were stationed an hour away. It was awesome!





Virginia Beach, Virginia

Ah, home away from home. We can't believe how much that place became home. In some ways, it feels more home than Texas, but it wasn't because of the location. It was because of the people. We miss our people in Virginia every day. We also miss all the greenery and trees everywhere! Virginia is beautiful!



Jacksonville, Florida

Parker had to spend a month in Jacksonville in April 2016 right before he deployed, and he was staying in a hotel on base that looked out onto the beach. Needless to say, Jenny and I hopped in the car and drove 9 hours to spend a week with him. He worked during the day, so Jenny and I roamed around the beach while we waited for him to get back to the hotel. That was such a fun week for all 3 of us.

Rota, Spain

Parker's first stop on deployment was Rota, Spain. He stayed there a few days before moving on to Italy, but he really enjoyed Spain while he was there! It was June, so nice and warm!


Rome, Italy

Parker's next stop was Naples, Italy, but he didn't have many pictures from that stop so here are pictures from his next visit to Rome. He got to see the Vatican and the Colosseum!



Crete

His final stop before arriving in Bahrain, where he would stay for 6 months, was the island of Crete. His hotel had views of the Mediterranean Sea, and everything was beautiful. He would have loved to spend his entire deployment there (wouldn't everyone!), but he stayed a couple of weeks before leaving for Bahrain.



Manama, Bahrain

Bahrain became home for 6 months. Parker was land based for deployment, so he actually stayed in Bahrain and not on a ship. It was incredibly hot in the summer (over 110 degrees many days) with no breeze or trees around. They speak Arabic there, and the people were very friendly. I actually flew to see Parker on deployment and got to stay in Bahrain for a week. It was the highlight of deployment for him and such a cool experience for both of us.



Granada, Spain

Parker stayed in Spain a few days before heading back to America after 7 months away. It was December for this trip, so he got to see some snow in the mountains!



The Navy has treated that husband of mine (and me too) to some pretty cool trips! We are excited to see where they take us next! 

Dear Future Military Spouse,

Maybe this was the direction you've always wanted your life to go. You are entering into a world of adventure, travel, and love with your best friend, and you are so ready to get this military journey started. Or maybe, you're like I was. You grew up in a small town and lived minutes from family and could have never imagined packing up and moving across the country after graduation. 

Maybe you grew up dreaming of the white picket fence. You wanted a husband with an 8-5 job, toddling kiddos, and grandparents that live right down the road. And now you're looking at your future realizing that will not be your reality. And it's scary. 


I want to take today to give three pieces of advice, from one military spouse to another. Take it or leave it, but these are things I wish someone would have told me. 

The first, and easily the most important, is that you have a choice to make. Right here, right now, you get to choose how much you are going to like military life. You get to decide if you will just survive or if you will thrive. Choose to thrive. See the joy and the good and relish in the adventure. You get one life, so don't waste your time being upset about the things you can't control. 

Secondly, don't compare. Don't keep a list of "things I can't do because we are in the military". Don't envy your friends back home for their "normal" lives. Don't resent them for whining about missing their husbands for a weekend when yours has been deployed 8 months. Comparison is the thief of joy, so focus on you, and surround yourself with people who will encourage you and build you up. 

Thirdly, and this is easily the most vague and cliche, but enjoy this. Seriously, enjoy it! You are going to travel the country and maybe even the world. You are going to move to cool places and meet new, fun people you never would have known otherwise. You are going to realize your strength through deployment and join the ranks of the few that get to experience one of life's greatest joys: homecoming. Military life is one great adventure, so enjoy the crap out of it. 

Future military spouse, this life won't always be easy, but it will be amazing. Congratulations on an exciting adventure ahead. I'm rooting for you to love it as much as I have. 

Sincerely, 

A military spouse of 7 years that couldn't imagine life any other way




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