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Our Family of Five is Moving to England!

familly posing in front of big ben in london

Since it’s officially official (our orders came in last week), I’m excited to share that our family of five is moving to England!

This summer we’ll pack up all of our belongings again and leave Germany, the place we’ve called home for four years, and move to a tiny town in the United Kingdom where we’ll be stationed for the next three years.

In case you’re keeping track, this will be our 7th move, and our 3rd OCONUS (overseas) move. Here’s a quick look at the places we’ve lived: Florida (husband) ☞ Georgia ☞ ItalyGeorgiaCalifornia ☞ Albuquerque/Afghanistan ☞ Germany ☞ United Kingdom. Whew!

Thankfully, we’re already prepping for our move, and I’ve got our PCS (Permanent Change of Station) binder ready to go; we’re hoping to make this an easy transition. But keep on reading to see what we really think about this move.

Here’s the announcement video I posted on Instagram that’s already had more than 100k views!

Military life certainly keeps us on our toes!

Where We’re Moving to in England

Contrary to all the pictures in this post, we’re not headed to London. We’re going to the city of Lincoln, UK, which is home to RAF Waddington. The bigger American bases in England are Lakenheath and Mildenhall; those will be around two hours away from us.

Technically, since there aren’t any US military support services near us, this will be considered a “remote” assignment. That means we won’t have (close) access to a commissary, medical, housing, etc.

Thankfully, we’ll be in an English-speaking country, so I think we’ll be just fine fending for ourselves. Plus, I’ve already “met” some incredibly helpful people in Facebook groups who’ve helped answer my never-ending list of questions.

Where Will The Kids Go to School?

two girls standing on a rainbow in london

There isn’t a DODEA (Department of Defence Education Activity) near us, and since we are going over there on military orders, the military (DOD) will assist with their education if we decide to put them in a Private school.

They will—much to their demise and our excitement—wear an adorable uniform. So, essentially, they’re going to Hogwarts.

How We “Got” England

Let me back up a bit and fill you in on how we “got” England.

Honestly, it feels like luck (and hard work on my husband’s end for being a badass at his job).

Unlike our PCS to Germany back in 2020, we didn’t get to outright pick our next duty station, but there were options available.

There’s this thing called the “Marketplace” where all the jobs and locations available appear and the service member can rank these spots from most desirable to least desirable.

We saw the list and made our decisions. And in case you’re wondering, some of the places on his list were: England, Canada (for a hot minute), Ramstein, Stuttgart, France, the Pentagon, and a few other places in America.

But England was at the top of our list.

Because who wouldn’t want to live in Great Britain?!

After the service member looks into each job and ranks them, the person in command at that job can look at all the applicants and rank them based on who they want.

It’s kind of like an online matchmaker system, except the military is holding your fate for the next three years instead of your love life.

So you play matchmaker (you can actually see who “bid” on you, but you don’t know how many other people they bid on as well), and then you wait, wait, wait, and then you wait some more.

There was a deadline when we were supposed to find out where we were going, but that day came and went And then another week, then two went by without us knowing.

To say I was growing impatient was an understatement. We just wanted to know!

We went on our February break cruise, came home, and ended up finding out a couple of days later on our anniversary.

How We’re Feeling About This Move

This isn’t our first move; it will actually be the third time we’ve moved overseas as a family (and my second time living in England; I studied abroad for a year at Bournemouth University during college), but it honestly already feels like it will be one of the hardest moves emotionally for our family.

The last time we moved we had a toddler and two very early elementary school-aged kids, but we’re leaving with full-grown kids (including one starting middle school!). They realize exactly what’s about to happen and what they’re about to say bye to, and it’s heartbreaking.

We’ve put down some pretty fantastic roots here. The friends and community we’ve made have become our family, and uprooting our lives is definitely going to disrupt our system.

I realize this is bound to happen with any PCS, but as excited as we are to move to England, I’m just not ready to say, “See ya later,” to my friends and home. Except for those really hard months/years during the pandoozy, we’ve genuinely loved living here.

On the flip side: this is what we (my husband and I) wanted. We love Europe and we like experiencing new places. While we miss our family, and certain amenities from America, we weren’t ready to go back quite yet.

We realize this is yet another once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we’re extremely grateful for this extra chance to stay overseas. Of course, it’s hard to explain just how rare this “opportunity” is to our kids, so we just hope they’ll thank us later.

We’re VERY excited to explore the United Kingdom more. We bought a great book about road trips around Great Britain that we’re eager to use.

I still have soooooo many trips, tips, and thoughts to share from our time in Europe, so my content here won’t change. But we are planning on doing more road trips around the UK, at least for the first year, as opposed to traveling around to more countries on the “mainland.”

So, there we have it! We’re moving to England in a few short months, and I hope you’ll (continue to) follow along with our adventure!

3 Comments

  1. Can’t wait to follow along your journey! Also low key can’t wait to see what hashtag you chose 🤣

  2. Awesome! We’ve been in Australia for 3 years and moving back stateside this summer. Your binder was very handy on the last move and already have it set up for this next one.

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