Okinawa Hai fallback


On February 1st of last year, I wrote the first Okinawa hai! post. In just shy of a year we have put out 310 additional posts and received 1515 comments. We haven’t broken any world records or lined our pockets but we’ve reached out to each other. We have created a place for people to share their experiences, ask their questions or lurk behind the scenes. The team of us does our best to share everything we know about how to live well in Okinawa.

What we haven’t shared much about is how to leave Okinawa because none of us have done so yet.

I want to do that. I want to use this Tuesday space as a corner to document the details and emotions of what it takes to leave the scene.

Let’s say this is a six month countdown. Likely, maybe, possibly it will be shorter than that. I am both elated and horrified at the time that is caving in on me.

We know very little about what’s next for us only that NEXT is upon us. I like to say we’ll be headed to DC. But I have no reason to believe this will happen. I just want that to happen.

I have a fantasy that we’ll get orders by April and then when Joe deploys I can pack out of our house and leave with the boys and the dog by myself. That way my last two months here won’t be spent waiting for him to come home so that we can turn around leave. I picture buying a car, renting a home, sleeping in, visiting each and every living relative and shopping daily at Target before Joe flies home to join us in some balloon-filled reunion. I mention this to people as if it’s a plan.

It sounds like a plan and sounding like I have a plan is a great way to forget how uncomfortable I am with all the unknowns that will be my life in six months. Or five. Or four.

What I do know right now is that Joe will e-mail his monitor with a handful of billets that match his rank and desire when the FULL list comes out. When I ask him when that list comes out he tells me that it should have come out already.

So here I am waiting on some FULL list.

Stay tuned next Tuesday for more riveting details about a girl who waits very impatiently.


All the posts in Meredith’s “Me & My Big PCS” series: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII, XIX, XX

For posterity’s sake we have left this universally euphoric, terrified, confused, “what am I doing?!” series on Okinawa Hai.  However, we have closed comments for future readers.  If there is relevant information for all readers to benefit from, we have taken elements from this series and created new posts, which we’ve linked to from the original text. Thank you for joining us on this ride.


  1. sniff.sniff. again. Everytime I get ready to move (not a gypsy, married to the military) I think of my favorite John Lennon quote:
    “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans”
    Lennon probably didn’t move that much, though.

  2. Jeanne, AKA my mother-in-law, I can hardly explain how excited I am to leave the boys at your house for hours on end. I may just park down at the end of the road and read a book but they’re yours for as long as you want them starting whenever we get home!

    Shelly! It seems like you just left. Like wasn’t it yesterday that I saw you shopping at Uni-qlo? Trying on clothes with TWO kids in tow? You juggle well! You sound happy where you are. So glad to hear that and to know that you still check in on us from afar. Always love to hear from you. Please add any insights to my journey here as I go along since you’ve got the move behind you.

    Julia, BETHESDA, please!

    Mishka, It is so hard to imagine that I won’t ever come back here or that if I did it would only be to visit. So nice that you have a second round here. As for remembering you, I have messed up the code in the right sidebar in such a way that no one gets remembered. I have no idea how to fix it. I think it may just stay that way unless any of you all have an idea! Sorry…

  3. I have left before. This is our second time here. It really wasn’t as tough as I imagined it to be hence the stressing was for nothing.

    The packers are great, we had nothing broken by them (although the unpackers on the other end left something to be desired). We had a total of 4 shipments (2 from here and 2 from storage in the States) and it all went well.

    I worried mostly about finding all the things I wanted to take with me and all the pictures I wanted to have before we left because we never in a million years thought we would be back here in 3 years time….now I get the chance that most don’t, to get all the things done I felt I left unfinished last time….if I can’t do that, there is no hope for me…haha.

    It is still not remembering me on here…don’t know why.

  4. Meredith, April is coming up fast! I will be so sad to see you leave.

    Shelly, I was wondering why you had cement blocks packed away! Good luck with your move to northern CA. Still not confirmed where we’ll be next year but will have to pick your brains if we end up in CA too!

  5. Waiting is not easy, even when you know what you’re waiting on. Waiting without knowing….much different! Glad for this post. Now I can wait without bugging people about the unknowns of it all.
    Much Love from PA

  6. Hey there! Sending “Hi’s” from here in Coronado, CA. I haven’t written anything here, probably since we’ve moved, but I check the site alot…too much probably! Really makes me miss Okinawa more! Don’t get me wrong, we love it here, but Okinawa is very special!

    Meredith, good luck with finding out where you all are going next and if I you end up on this side of the US, let me know if I can help you with anything.

    The Okinawans are super duper packers! Our best yet, they take such care and we had no problems! Our Shisa’s made it here unscathed as did my HUGE pots from that Pot store up by the pineapple factory! We even got some cement blocks safely packed away and wrapped….(If you don’t want your cement blocks packed…..move them away from the house! hee hee)

    If you have cell phones, check your contract. We had a 2 year contract and then after that, they automatically put you on a year contract and if you cancel before your year is up, you pay an extra 50 bucks. Fred had his switched to a month to month contract and didn’t have to pay the early cut off charge.

    We’ll be moving up to Northern California in the summer, hopefully to settle a while there! Funny, this from a girl who did not want to come to CA for even a year at first, and now we are settling down here! Bloom where your planted and love where you grow!

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