FAMILY UPDATE: 𝚆𝚎‘𝚛𝚎 𝚖𝚘𝚟𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚝𝚘 JERSEY! 📦 —
The orders are in and we can finally share with everyone our next duty station! My husband has accepted a broadening assignment and we’re off to make New Jersey our home for the next couple of years. We are so excited to be back on the East Coast, but man, it has been a roller coaster of emotions! 🤪
Traveling while black, during a pandemic, with an SUV full of kids and luggage was STRESSFUL to say the least. Add in the fact that the military had a few travel bans so we weren’t sure if this PCS move was even happening until a WEEK before we left the state. Can you even imagine the frenzy?
Moving During COVID-19
I’m thankful for the military and move.mil with providing quick reference guides & checklists for an already stressful time. Our moving company was chosen by the military as usual, and the company provided our survey to plan for the shipment of our household goods virtually. So, that was one headache that I didn’t have to worry about. But if you’ve ever hired a moving company, you know like I do how much paperwork can be involved during the move. I wish that part could have been done virtually as well.
The movers packed and loaded our belongings onto the semi-truck with a military inspector present to monitor their safety practices. But of course, the move did not come without hiccups. We had the option to move everything ourselves, but honestly, that was the furthest from our minds. My only advice is, if wearing masks isn’t already mandated in your state, have some handy if you have any immune-compromised family members present.
Road Tripping While Black
I think this was the scariest part of our journey. Planning a route that would allow you to stop for gas in areas that aren’t afraid of our skin color, that you wouldn’t have to worry about being stopped & possibly not make it to the next destination… shouldn’t have to be the norm. But this is our reality as a black family. My teenagers googled every nearby city, and warned us if that was an area they read about in the news or on social media. They didn’t want this road trip to our new home to be the start of a new hashtag, and I didn’t either. Especially during this time. Thankfully, we only ran into friendly faces and a few wild animals along the way.
The sad part about being a military family is starting over when our PCS season comes. We lived in Colorado for over 4 years. We had such a beautiful community of friends and military family in Colorado, that it felt like home. 💛
We’ve learned so much about nature, about ourselves, and about life while living in CO. Like – we’re from Florida so we didn’t see mountains on a regular basis and didn’t know how much we were missing out. I’m still terrified of driving through the mountains (fear of heights) but I’ll always love looking at them. Also, I didn’t know how much I enjoyed being outdoors until I went on my first hike in 2016. And if you love the outdoors too, you’ll definitely love the countless number of things to do and see while in Colorado.
Luckily for us, we’ve crossed off a bunch of things from our Colorado bucket list. If you’re moving to or PCSing to the Colorado Springs area soon, my top 3 places to see/do are:
- Garden of Gods: for a hike, of course, but also take a drive through the path and soak in the views. It’s a great spot for family pictures too!
- Cripple Creek: visit some old Gold Mines, and then try your luck at the casinos. Thank me later.
- Pueblo Lake: Grab a boat and some friends & have a good time 🙂
For more ideas on things to do and places to visit throughout the state, check out the Colorado Tourism Office.
Honestly, as much as I love Colorado, I knew that it wouldn’t be our forever home due to his career. If I had to choose, though, we’d probably be staying put. 😩 But for now – duty calls, so we are super excited to see what’s next for us in New Jersey!
Stay tuned for more updates 🙂
Photos by Colorado Springs Photographer, Amanda Hughes Photography LLC (also, a fellow military wife)