So technically we didn't "hunt" for any houses here, we merely chose between two different options the military gave us. Housing on Okinawa for all bases and branches is a little unique because all service members and their dependents are required to live on base unless housing capacity reaches 98%. When we arrived housing was teetering around 95%, which meant that we would definitely be on base. We were actually happy to hear this news because even though we'd get more of a cultural experience living in town, it's honestly just way more convenient being on base. We wouldn't have to worry about utilities,BAH or a long commute for Ben. A number of different factors affected what houses we were shown including rank, number of dependents, and proximity to work i.e. the "work where you live" policy.
Ben and I are currently sprawled out on an oversized couch in our suite at a beach front hotel. We went from sleeping on the airport floor to being on a legitimate vacation in what seemed like less time than it took for us to figure out how to use our high-tech butt-washing toilet (which is life changing btw). Due to a change in our flight date, base lodging was full so we will be spending our temporary lodging in this hotel.... How the hell did we get so lucky? Our hotel room has a living area, mini kitchen, beautiful bathroom and a balcony that faces the East China Sea. Although modern, it has it's fair amount of Japanese flair which include low-to-the-ground furniture, kimono style robes, Japanese appliances, and of course an extremely high tech toilet.
Words of advice to anyone who ever lets the military book their flights: Prepare for misery. It took 5 separate flights and a total of ~49 hours to travel from Philadelphia to Okinawa. I hate to complain because I am extremely grateful for the complimentary flights and the fact that we didn't have to book them, however, I'm not sure most people could maintain their sanity after 2+ days of airport living.
Family, friends, fellow Okinawa PCSers, and whoever else may wander onto this page... Welcome to my blog! I hope this site will give you all a better look at mine and Ben's newlywed lives in Okinawa and of course, some much needed Asia-Pacific wanderlust. I must forewarn you though, be prepared for grammatical mistakes and ramblings - I am not a professional blogger nor writer, I solely created this page to unashamedly post millions of pictures and my raw thoughts on Okinawan life. Flaws and all, I look forward to sharing this experience with my American compatriots (while hopefully convincing them to come visit us) during the next three years.
Since I am currently planted on my parents couch in Pennsylvania, the only real insight I can give into this experience so far is simple: I am UNBELIEVABLY excited and grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Ben and I have always dreamt of travel and adventure, but being both so young and Ben's military career have hindered any chances of vacation due to logistical and financial constraints. It's unavoidable that we will both miss our family, friends, and the creature comforts of America terribly, but I know for a fact that missing out on this experience would've been the biggest mistake of my life. In true millennial style, I'm embracing the ever-so-popular "YOLO" motto and diving head first into my new life as a marine wife and Okinawan resident.
We're Kara, Ben and baby Zoe also known as the Lesniaks. We’re a Marine Corps family currently stationed in Yorktown, Virginia after a three year tour in Okinawa, Japan. Enjoy our adventures, travels, photos, thoughts, and life together!
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