In my luxurious life as an EFM, I look forward to dragging my reluctant bum away from yet another home. A home that, once again, I will have spent five months resisting, one month enjoying, and four months freaking out about leaving.
This life would be so much easier if I didn't have dogs, child, cars, or any material goods whatsoever. Of course, such unencumbered and unaccompanied lives have their own challenges, and, all things considered, I would not choose that for myself.
SO, once again, we prepare for packout. Do other people stress out about not having access to a rocking chair for two months? Do they stay up at night wondering if their dog will not be allowed to re-board the plane in Vienna because the Austrians use a 15 digit chip reader instead of a 10 digit reader? Do they spend a great deal of time wondering if they should ship crates of tomato paste to their new homes?
Probably not. Unless they also drag their reluctant bums around the world every year or three.
There are many gaps of support in the FAM, the FS regulations for everything domestic. For example, we couldn't sell our truck in Manila without taking a huge loss (as in, $10K). But even though we were required to spend a year in DC for training, we were only allotted one car shipment, which we used to bring the truck home. The truck is just about sold, and for a good price for both buyer and seller--yay--but now we worry about buying a car in Albania. We could of course buy a new car from somewhere in Europe, but then won't we be in the same boat when we are leaving Albania? The boat where your car is too expensive for both the locals and the Embassy community, and you anticipate at least six months of training in NoVA, where you will need a car? Sigh.
There are also many strengths, most of which, having been back in the US for almost a year, I've forgotten about. But I remember feeling pretty well taken care of, despite our housing adventures. This time we have been assigned a 3 bedroom home where we will likely have enough room to unpack, and a guest room, which is all I want from my life in the FS. That, and a good babysitter who will also do the vacuuming.