When my husband was honorably discharged from the Marines after a lifelong career, we had already fallen in love with living in California where he had been stationed at Camp Pendleton. We knew there was no way we could take the winters of our home state of Iowa again and began to check out luxury apartments in Oceanside CA for a new place to live.
Oceanside offered the very best of both worlds for us. Close enough to the base for my husband to drop by and visit friends and far enough away that we weren’t living in the camouflage world of military housing. We opted for an apartment because throughout my husband’s career in the military, while he was able to do a lot of traveling, I had always stayed and maintained our home at the base and he promised once out of the Marines, we would travel the world. An apartment just made more sense for our plans for the future and offered us many of the services and extras we had been able to take advantage of while living on base.
I have to admit, after 25 years of military base living, there were many amenities provided to us there that I took for granted until confronted with real life off base. I never had to think about where I would need to park my car and going to work out was always just a few minute walk away at the base gym. Just about all of my shopping needs were available on base as well so it was important that we have at least a few of those conveniences close to our new home. Safety was a factor as well and finding a place that offered us at least a modicum of the security we felt while living surrounded by the military would be key as well, especially when we were looking at leaving for extended periods of time in our travels.