Sometimes it can feel like you are stationed in the middle of nowhere, because…well…you are stationed in the middle of nowhere.
Shops, restaurants and recreational amenities are scant, internet service is spotty and the one Redbox in town is perpetually out-of-order. While the lack of resources can be a downer, a good time can still be found if you’re resourceful. Below are some ideas to keep boredom at bay in your less-than-thrilling community.
1. Look to your MWR office on base for local hot spots, deals and discounts.
Grab some brochures and a price list. You may find fun opportunities that never popped up in your Google search. Some destinations require travel, but MWR often arranges group trips with transportation.
2. Stay active in your military spouse club.
Chances are, your fellow spouses are equally eager to find things to do and friends to do them with. If you are not yet connected to your designated group, let your husband or wife know so that you can be added to the email list. Most spouse clubs organize at least one social event monthly, so take this opportunity to join forces with like-minded people.
3. Start a book club.
Choose a new title every month, and take turns hosting meetings for discussion. Add interest with refreshments inspired by the book, like ale and mini pies à la “Game of Thrones” or hors d’oeuvre and mint juleps for “The Great Gatsby.”
4. Make your home a playdate central.
If your locale is lacking in parks and indoor playgrounds for children, offer up your backyard or designated playroom for kiddos while you and fellow parents chat over coffee. Use an inexpensive inflatable pool and foam balls to mimic a ball pit, create an obstacle course or set up sprinklers to let the kids go wild and burn energy. Break out a milk frother and flavored syrups to show off your barista skills.
5. Volunteer for a good cause.
Contact your local animal shelter, school district or hospital to find rewarding community service opportunities, or refine your search with online organizations like VolunteerMatch and Idealist.
6. Participate in team sports or a fitness group.
Your base gym may be the best resource to find upcoming 5Ks, workout classes and organized sports teams, but if you have trouble finding what you like in your community, consider organizing pick-up games or starting a running club with your fellow spouses. Some friendly competition adds fun and motivation to staying fit.