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Life in Spain

Military Spouse edition

By Haley RootPublished 8 months ago 3 min read
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Being a military spouse there can be some negative connotations that come with it. Being a "dependa" is not something I ever saw myself being. I prefer to work and make my own money. I don't like not being able to contribute to the household. However, now that I am a military spouse I've come to the realization that not being a "dependa" can be harder than you think. Especially when you're stationed overseas. Most military spouses aren't not working because they don't want to work, it's because they can't work.

Because I am a military spouse, I am able to experience parts of the world that a lot of people will never get to experience. So far, I've been to Japan, and now Spain. Being in Spain means I'll get to travel to other parts of Europe for a much more reasonable price than traveling from the US. These are all places I truly never thought I would be able to go to considering I grew up not very wealthy. Vacations growing up was just going to Myrtle Beach 3 hours away. I am truly grateful for all that military life has been able to give me. However, it is not all fun and games.

Spain is truly amazing, but living here also means I cannot work. Jobs on base are severely limited and nearly impossible to actually get hired if you do apply to anything. Because it is a Spanish base, and we are just guests here, they have a ratio of 70% must be employed by Spanish leaving only 30% to Americans. With that being said they do allow us to have home-based businesses. I am a photographer, so I'm able to offer those services to at least make some money. However, there are also a lot of other photographers here as well, which means my client base is also limited. All of that to say, being in Spain means being alone a lot of the time.

If you're an extravert and love to go out and explore and do things alone, then you might have a very different outlook than me. I, on the other hand, am very introverted and am scared to do anything alone. With my husband being gone for months at a time and not having a large group of girlfriends to hang out with means I'm alone most of the time. I spend most of my days sitting at home doing nothing. I don't have a job to go to. I don't see my friends every single day. And if I don't have a client then it's a pretty lonely day. I have our dogs to keep me company, but we all know dogs aren't the same as human interaction. I thought this would be easy. Deployments are pretty short, and we spent 3 years apart, so I thought this will be nothing. I didn't take into consideration that I had a job, friends, and family during that time though. Being here has been very isolating and lonely.

With all that being said, it's not all negative. Like I said earlier, I do get to travel all of Europe and see the beauty of Spain. We already road tripped through Spain this year, which was incredible. We found an amazing house with a fantastic yard that our dogs love. Our landlord is wonderful. Groceries are incredibly cheap here, which I think is my favorite part. I wouldn't trade any of that for anything. I just wish there was a better system in place for spouses. Never in my life would I have thought being a stay-at-home wife would be so depressing.

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Haley Root

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