Updated: Sep 1, 2022
As a military family, it's common for us to only live in a place for a few years. Some families love it, and some hate it. I will be the first to admit that I have a running list of the places I would rather not move to. Ironically, our current duty station used to be on that list (haha, jokes on me).
No matter what, I have always been under the mindset that the duty station is what you make it. If you move to an area you are not overly excited about and mope or complain the whole time; chances are you are probably not going to enjoy yourself for the next few years.
However, if you use your time wisely and make the most of your limited time at your current duty station, you could make some incredible memories and not want to leave when the next PCS comes around.
What is a Bucket List Challenge: Military Edition
In short, a Bucket List is a list of experiences or goals one might want to complete during a lifetime. Now, add in the military edition aspect of this challenge, and it takes your bucket list to a new level. The list is specific to one area. Instead of aiming to see or do these tasks on your military edition bucket list over a lifetime, you now have a limited amount of time. Making a list is something I have done no matter where we move. By doing this challenge, you are allowing yourself the opportunity to make the most of your time and dig into the culture in which you may find yourself. As a seasoned military spouse with several duty stations under my belt, I can genuinely say that doing this simple task will increase your enthusiasm and excitement to go to your next duty station.
What do I add to my bucket list challenge?
This next part is the fun part. You can add anything and everything that interest you to your bucket list. The things I add to mine may not interest you at all, but here is a start for some ideas.
- Hikes within a 1-hour drive from your new home
- Local annual events/festivals
- Restaurants (Not Chain Restaurants)
- Goals that involve your new home state (i.e., races, contests)
- Unique attractions that are well known in the area
How to Research Bucket List Ideas...
When I first hear the word research it immediately takes me back to my college days. Gone are the days that were filled with research for APA paper after APA paper (Thank the Lord). Bucket list idea research is much more fun. One second you are learning about the new place that you will call home and the next thing you know, hours have gone by. Those hours are totally justified in the sense that you will be familiar with your new area prior to even stepping foot there.
I'm sure this goes without saying but just in case, Facebook and Pinterest are going to be your best friend. Basically any of the social media handles help with this type of research. From military spouse groups, to scouring pinterest for your new town; you are bound to find some incredible ideas to add to your Bucket List Challenge.
Make a list on your phone or start a pinterest board dedicated to your bucket list challenge. Find a convenient way to have the list at arms reach at all times. This way you can continue adding items to your list or check them off once you have completed one.
Okay, I researched,I made my list, I PCS'd, Now What?
Now is the fun part. Start checking those boxes. If you are intentional with your time from the moment you arrive to your new home to the very last day, then you will be able to look back and be proud of everything that you got to see and do. Don't make excuses and put off what could rejuvinate your soul. Take the leap and find the one idea that excites you the most, then go for it. Doing something for yourself, something that will create a special memory of this time to look back on is so important. As a military family there are a lot of aspects of our lifestyle that are out of our hands. From deployments, lonely nights, no community, the lifestyle we lead can be very isolating and can send one into a downward spiral. Doing something as simple as making a list of fun things to see and do, then checking those off one by one can be just the thing that will get you through the hard days of this military life.
So, friends, make the list. Check the boxes. Do something for yourself. We have one life to live. Make the most of each moment and every season. What do you have to lose?
Will you accept my bucket list challenge?