Deployment, Military Life

The Ultimate Deployment Bucket List

On August 27, 2015 at 5:29 in the evening, I posted this status to Facebook:

“Sooo….Heff was FINALLY given an assignment & I know that this is the Army & plans can change at the drop of a hat, BUT I am wayyy too excited for next February when we should leave for HAWAII 🌴👙🐬☀🌊 “

On October 6, 2015 at 2:32 in the afternoon, my Facebook read:

“Heff’s orders came in. Honduras is NOT the same thing as Hawaii 😡 Saying goodbye to my husband in March for 12 months 😫

Though I seemed to have a healthy amount of skepticism in the first post, I was SURE that we were headed to Hawaii. I had researched (and even stressed about) the high cost of living on the island, sought out things to do and places to go, and looked up the cost of plane tickets for trips home. In my mind, I was already living the island life.

Deployment bucket list item to make a trip to Roatan, Honduras

I was more than disappointed when my imagined island life was ripped away by stupid Army paperwork. The ‘orders in hand’ said Honduras. It started with an ‘H’ but it was NOT the same thing.

As an official hardship tour, we couldn’t even go there with him. That meant that the kids and I were going to be left behind 

I was depressed. Who wants to watch their children live without their dad for a year?

Yet, being a {little} honest here; I was jealous 

He was off to live in a foreign country for a whole year! He had a whole, child-free, year to roam across Central America and explore Honduras in his free time. A whole year in front of him to see places that we’d only seen on TV or travel blogs. My husband doesn’t even LIKE to travel! I, on the other hand, LOVE it! This was the epitome of unfair.

Man spear fishing off the coast of Belize.

(My husband spear fishing in Belize.)

I stewed on this news for a couple of days, while I whined and cried. Then, I put on my big girl britches on started trying to get my life together. I decided to move back to my hometown in Florida. Hence, I found a house to rent, lined up a job, and enrolled the girls in their new schools.

I also decided that I wasn’t going to let this year pass me by, being a mopey, jealous little baby. Just because I was moving back to my familiar small town didn’t mean that I was going to sit around bored.

Therefore, the Deployment Bucket List was born!

Creating the Deployment Bucket List

(Side note: I am aware that my husband wasn’t technically ‘deployed’, but Hardship Tour Bucket List just didn’t have the same ring to it ooorrr have a hashtag on Instagram , so for the purposes of this post, we’ll refer to it as a Deployment Bucket List.)

This 100 item list consisted of places I hadn’t been to before, things that I’d been meaning to do but never got around to, and things to develop personal growth. There were items on the list that could be completed in one day and items that would take extended amounts of time. There were also some ‘freebie’ bucket list items included on the list. (These were mostly holiday traditions and small luxuries.)

Deployment bucket list item to do a Bible Study on the book of James

(Bucket List Item #46: Do a Bible Study)

Was the Deployment Bucket List a Success?

Did I finish the entire list? Nope.

Did I finish most of it? Heck yes!

Am I glad that I did it? Most definitely. (And I plan to do one each time he leaves in the future.)

The Deployment Bucket List was a HUGE success! That is how fun and motivating this list was, not just for me, but for the kids too!

I posted a picture of the list on Facebook, in addition to printing it out and adding it to our deployment wall. Every time we were bored or had some free time, I stared at it until I found something that we could do. After the item was complete, I took a picture to post to my Instagram, added it to an album on my Facebook, and crossed it off my list.

The ultimate deployment bucket list: a list of 100 things to do during deployment.

I’m aware that my list obsession crosses into weirdo territory (I’m okay with it ), but this is one list that everyone seemed to enjoy! My family and friends loved it. They asked me about it all the time and would look at the things I had crossed off when they came over to the house.

The Ultimate Deployment Bucket List

So, here it is! It’s not organized in any way, whatsoever. It’s random and a little quirky, but it’s me to a T. I hope it inspires you to create your own deployment bucket list.

  1. send Heff 12 care packages
  2. learn Spanish
  3. do something I’ve never done before
  4. go to the beach
  5. have a sleepover with Lexy
  6. read 12 books
  7. save money
  8. make at least 1 trip to Honduras
  9. spend the day in Pensacola
  10. watch Lexy’s cheerleading competitions
  11. go to church
  12. do 3 Pinterest crafts
  13. color Easter eggs
  14. train for a 5k
  15. finish Lainey’s baby scrapbook
  16. read 1 classic piece of literature
  17. host a craft night
  18. get a pedicure
  19. visit a state park I’ve never been to before
  20. run 365 miles
  21. mow my own grass
  22. watch some fireworks
  23. make a countdown
  24. celebrate Lyvi’s 4th birthday
  25. skype with Heff
  26. see a play
  27. do 3 pinterest hair tutorials
  28. go trick or treating
  29. do a big project
  30. find a show to binge-watch on Netflix
  31. do more yoga
  32. explore South Walton communities
  33. read all of the Harry Potter books
  34. have my parents over for dinner at least 6 times
  35. walk Lainey to her 1st day of Kindergarten
  36. feed the ducks
  37. buy a new outfit
  38. plant flowers
  39. go swimming at the springs
  40. read The Chronicles of Narnia to the girls
  41. make 12 new recipes
  42. take a bubble bath with candles
  43. make a chore chart for the girls
  44. re-decorate Lainey’s room
  45. go geocaching
  46. do a Bible Study
  47. go paddle boarding
  48. have a ‘spa night’ at home
  49. video the girls seeing Heff for the first time
  50. go to a festival
  51. make pumpkin rolls
  52. make a gingerbread house
  53. learn how to highlight & contour with make-up
  54. reconnect with an old friend
  55. go to the gym
  56. celebrate Valentine’s Day
  57. take the kids to Wonder Works in Panama City
  58. adopt a Christmas Angel
  59. train for a 10k
  60. go to the movies
  61. visit a town I’ve never been to before
  62. make a welcome home sign
  63. do 12 random acts of kindness
  64. go on a scavenger hunt
  65. finish Lyvi’s baby scrapbook
  66. watch a movie long distance with Heff
  67. celebrate Lainey’s 6th birthday
  68. try 3 new restaurants
  69. visit a museum
  70. complete a Pinterest fitness challenge
  71. host a game night
  72. go fishing
  73. clean the truck before Heff comes home
  74. spend time with my siblings
  75. watch a parade
  76. get a massage
  77. master 1 difficult yoga pose
  78. get a concealed carry permit
  79. get a tan
  80. visit a nature preserve
  81. do some nail art
  82. throw Heff a welcome home party
  83. take the girls’ picture in my wedding dress
  84. spend time with my grandparents
  85. go on a date when Heff is home on leave
  86. make a deployment wall
  87. lose 40 pounds
  88. spend the day in Mobile
  89. do some Bible art
  90. sew something
  91. grow some kind of food
  92. change my own oil
  93. paint something
  94. have a pity party
  95. go to a flea market
  96. take kids to cut down a real Christmas tree
  97. go on a picnic
  98. throw Des a baby shower
  99. take a road trip with mom
  100. do some target practice

What did I miss? What are you adding to your Deployment Bucket List?

Check here to see how I made my list and for help writing your own Deployment Bucket List!

The Ultimate Deployment Bucket List | Finding Mandee
The Ultimate Bucket List
Deployment Bucket List Ideas