Thinking back to flag day and our bid list, we know so much more now about the process to date and our post than back then. Our highs, mediums and lows would not change much if we were able to rebid -- our highs probably not at all. But I would have approached the list differently:
1. Try to be more practical - Alan and I love travel and learning new things so it was very hard to not let the allure of the culture and location drive our decisions. I have to remember that we will have many more opportunities in the future.
2. Get more details on immunizations, autos and pet import specifics for the post - we only made time to research general post and country information, because there is so much to understand about so many posts. We did not dive deeper into the most current and specific post information. For example, the procedures for importing pets is different at the Kolkata airport than at other airports in India. This would have helped to set our expectations and start preparations to move earlier.
3. Be more specific and detailed about your desired posts with your career counselor - we were lucky in that we ended up with a great first post. Like one person from the 138th said "it seems like they knew me better than I knew myself." But looking back, we could have also given them even more information.
One thing we did do well, we made and discussed a list of our priorities prior to getting the list. This helped a lot. We both knew what was important to the other and we did it without having those really exciting locations clouding our judgement.