Welcome to MilSpouse Mondays, a weekly series dedicated to tackling some of the biggest challenges today’s military spouses are facing. Each week, Meditec will feature a unique guest to share their experiences and offer a new perspective on the military spouse experience. Our first guest is Krystel Spell, an inspiring and motivated MilSpouse with a constant drive to help other military families around the world. Over time, Krystel’s work has created a platform for military spouses to share their stories, advice, and struggles. You can read our interview with Krystel below: Krystel, can you provide a brief overview of your spouse’s service and your experience as a military spouse? My spouse served in the 3 branches of the US Military from 1996-2014. We were lucky enough to PCS only 4 times since we got married in 2003. You started Army Wife 101 back in 2008 initially as an outlet to share your military spouse experiences with friends and family. Since then, Army Wife 101 has grown into a global community where military spouses around the world come together and share experiences, stories, and advice. What do you attribute to the success of Army Wife 101 and what have you enjoyed most about your experience growing the site? Yes, Army Wife 101 was really an outlet for me. Because of that our content was real and touched on things that some of the more formal military sites may have not touched on. Additionally, this was early 2008 so there were no FB groups and major social media outlets. Blogging was pretty new in this capacity and I think because military spouses were searching for one place with this information is what contributed to the fast growth and success of the site. I’ve truly enjoyed developing fun content on the site and even more so creating a career for myself in which I can work from anywhere and give other military spouses the chance to write and earn money. In addition to Army Wife 101, you also manage SoFluential, an agency that connects brands to military spouse bloggers, and co-created Rosie Planner, the first lifestyle planner for military families. How has being an entrepreneur, and having the ability to work from home, impacted your experience as a military spouse? Being an entrepreneur has it’s up and downs, but in this lifestyle the upside works for the best because I was able to work from anywhere at any time. I could contribute to the household financially, and still manage the unique style of life on the homefront. I’ve been able to introduce so many military spouses to the idea of portable careers as well.
[bctt tweet="I was able to work from anywhere at any time. I could contribute to the household financially, and still manage the unique style of life on the homefront."]
I’m sure there many surprises throughout your time as a military spouse, but what are some of the more unexpected challenges and hurdles you encountered that you’ve had to overcome? One of the biggest challenges is moving far away from home to Hawaii and then finding out your spouse has to deploy right away. Don’t get me wrong it was a beautiful thing to live in Hawaii, but the reality is that we lived there and weren’t on vacation. Living somewhere so far without the ability or closeness to go visit frequently is tough. Exploring Hawaii was awesome, but guilt tends to set in when you spouse is in a combat zone and your lying on a beach.
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What advice do you have for new military spouses that are going through the same emotions you experienced at the beginning of your new life with the military? Actually, this would tie in with the above. I feel like a lot of spouses choose not to enjoy life at their new home because of guilt if their spouse is deployed or away. I think it makes it easier for your spouse to function in their job if they know you are happy and making the best of each situation. I truly believe in the saying “bloom where you are planted”. Use the internet to make friends before your arrival, ask questions online and form your tribe and you will survive life as a military spouse. We at Meditec want to thank Krystel for taking part in MilSpouse Mondays. You can stay up to date with Krystal and ArmyWife101 on Twitter and Facebook. Also, be sure to check back in with us next Monday for another installment of MilSpouse Mondays, presented by Meditec. About Meditec Meditec is a career training site specifically designed to help America’s military spouses succeed professionally, regardless of where life takes them. Our accredited, affordable, MyCAA-approved courses are centered around career opportunities that allow individuals to work from home or on the road. Not only that, but we also guide military spouses throughout the MyCAA process, helping them earn scholarships to put towards career advancement programs.