Trapped in Paradise – the DC Edition

Part travel blog, part philosophical musings. All tongue-in-cheek ridiculousness.

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Escape from Honolulu!

So I’ve been dreading logging into wordpress after such a long absence, to talk to what few readers (if any) might still be around. I have no excuse other than that life got crazy for a couple of months… okay, it got completely uprooted, and in fact I’m going to have to change the scope of my blog since I am no longer in Hawaii!

Hell yeah!

Hell yeah!

The tl;dr version: I got out of the military after ten years, and promptly relocated to Virginia so I could move in with my fiance on his sailboat. The ridiculousness of getting out of the Navy just so I could live on a boat has not escaped me. 🙂

And now I can live out my dream of being a pirate! (I kid. Sort of.)

And now I can live out my dream of being a pirate! (I kid. Sort of.)

The longer version: As one might guess from reading my posts, I hated being stuck in Hawaii but had been trying to make the best of it. My orders had me stationed there until the summer of 2015, after which I had been planning on getting out of the military and heading to the east coast where my fiance is stationed. That felt way too far in the future, so last summer I submitted a request to get out a year early, even though I knew that the odds of Big Navy approving it were slim to none. You see, it costs the government an absurd amount of money to station someone in Hawaii – they’re not just relocating the servicemember, but also their families if they have them, all their household goods, their car, and then paying around an extra $1000/month as a cost of living allowance to compensate for $6 gallons of milk and what-have-you. Because of this, there’s actually a rule that states that the minimum time one must spend stationed in Hawaii is three years, no matter what. (Contrast to only one or two years for almost every other duty station.) I’d been informed that this “three year minimum” rule was infallible and impossible to waiver… but extensive research pointed me to a little-known DOD instruction with a loophole I might be able to use (DODINST 1315.18, paragraph E3.7.2.2, in case there are any military members reading this who might also be looking for an early escape.) I figured I had nothing to lose, said “what the hell” and rolled the dice anyway.

Meanwhile, I continued on my not-so-merry way working at PACOM, doing my best to enjoy the island life while trying to stay sane at my inane job. I’d found I’d been basically blacklisted since it was now common knowledge that I was planning on leaving the military, and as a result had to deal with being given all the crap jobs and menial collateral duties so that the “career” junior officers could do the “important” work. Eh, whatever. I started this blog in January as an outlet to vent my frustrations with being stuck here, which I enjoyed immensely. Meanwhile, life at work got even more ridiculous, so much so that I had to put blogging on hold while I dealt with things. (It’s another long story I’ll save for another time – for now, I’ll only say that if anyone is contemplating a career in naval intelligence, please do your research so you know what you’re getting into! The work can be rewarding, but the management and the people… oh dear.)

And then, a miracle happened! In May, right when things were especially bleak, I got a call from my boss – my request for early separation had been approved! I would be free  a year early! It had been so long that I’d figured the request had gotten thrown out long before. Yet once it was done it was crazy how quickly it all happened – I had less than two months to take all the required “how to be a civilian” classes, get my stuff packed up and shipped back to the mainland, and do all the necessary outprocessing before my terminal leave started. Painful? Hellacious! But worth it in the end, because I’m now sitting in a coffee shop in Virginia typing this, enjoying being free at last to live wherever I want, with the ability to color my hair something ridiculous, while getting to go home to my wonderful fiance after two years of doing the long-distance thing.

May this now be a thing of the past *fingers crossed*

May sights like this be a thing of the past

So what’s next? There’s a lot on the distant horizon, like the wedding and graduate school. But for now, for the first time in ten years I actually have time to pursue some things that I had been wanting to do – specifically writing, which I plan to do much more of. I hope to continue blogging, although as I mentioned I’ll have to change the title now that I’ve escaped from paradise after all. I left the relative security of military life to live on a sailboat, for crying out loud! There are many more adventures to come, I believe, and I hope I can continue to entertain readers who manage to find their way here during an afternoon of bored internet surfing. 🙂 Please come visit again soon, as I hope to have the revamped blog up and running shortly!

Coming soon - Trapped in Paradise II: I'm on a Motherf'in Boat!

Coming soon – Trapped in Paradise II: Jobless with Pink Hair on a Motherf”in Boat!

Cheers! ❤

Brit “Crazy B”