Get Out of Your Room
Most people think that getting out of the room is easy: walking to work, catching a ride or eating at the dining facility. Some people hit the gym and even run on the base roads.
However, only going to a few places doesn’t allow you to appreciate being in a regular area all the time. By leaving your room, you leave where you work or live and just get out. Sitting at the library, MWR or USO areas, for example, can keep you occupied without sitting in your room.
Take a Walk
Taking a walk is a simple idea that leads to seeing the base in a new light. Explore areas where you wouldn’t normally go, find a new spot to meet friends or stroll without your colleagues breathing down your neck.
Take a side street and get to work a new way. It’s easy and free to do, but will add to your memories as your time ends and you return stateside.
Get Off Base (if you can)
Those stationed on overseas bases can enjoy what war zone service members can not—local culture that doesn’t go boom (excluding fireworks displays).
Getting off base and enjoying the local environment adds to your killer memories overseas as you reflect on your time riding a train to Seoul or taking a bus around a foreign capital.
Explore Food Beyond the D-FAC
Yes, the dining facility can offer free food, but try to enjoy some local cuisine. Think of it as greeting a new culture with your stomach.
Eating new foods won’t always be pleasant, as you learn your own tolerances to spices and different meats (camel, anyone?) but it’ll be a unique memory later on.
Take a Picture
Your friends and relations will want to see where you have run off to.
Point and shoot cameras today are inexpensive, and even the most modest of investments snags a great camera to take in memories and places that can wow the folks back home.
Meet New People
Meeting new people is easy to do and is wholly worthwhile.
Members of military teams are usually determined by their commanders and sergeants, but making friends is something completely up to you. Ask someone out to tea and a walk, or dinner if that’s an option.
Socializing helps you get out of your own head as you learn a new friend’s likes, dislikes and personality. You’ll also have someone beyond your coworkers to confide in without fear of the wrong person being told.
Read a Book
Reading is a simple thing that most of us take for granted or ignore completely. Any book can provide an additional viewpoint that we might never have considered, or give us a break from the day-to-day.
Learn a Language
Another idea for something to do is to improve on a language. Be it of your host country, or one you plan to travel to someday, language learning is easy (and free on certain language learning websites).
Learning a language gives you something other than repeated duties to look forward to as the days begin to drag on.
Learn to Play or Improve Playing an Instrument
Make friends or angry neighbors by picking up any instrument and taking the time to learn it well or improve on what you know.
Music lessons come packaged on DVDs for a number of instruments, from drums to violins. These lessons are cheap and delivered from online stores.
Improve and Challenge Yourself
Beyond improving in the physical realm, set goals to improve in other aspects of your life.
Improve your mind with personal or military skills. Even spiritual goals can be met while waiting to go home; things such as learning patience with another person’s mistakes or learning to control your anger.
Focus on improving the good in your life while you have the time overseas.
The Matador Team wants to hear from military members stationed overseas. If you’re a service member who has stories from time in the military, please join our community today!