As we all know, one of the constants of military life is the goodbyes.  Right now, I feel like I am surrounded by PCSers.  In fact, we’ve got a number of OkiHai-ians heading out soon… *sniff*sniff*.  And though I’m so glad they are “going before” so that I can learn from all of their mistakes (heehee), I just thought I’d take a moment today to remind myself, and any of you who still have a good chunk of time left on this lovely island, to PLAN.

I love reading the posts here about various places to eat and shop and play and do, and I always think, “Man, we’ve gotta do that sometime.”

And then a year has flown past.

So today for my “to do” spot, I just wanted to take a moment to say, “PLAN what you’re going to do.”  And I don’t mean in that vague it’ll-never-really-happen sort of way, but in the get-out-the-calendar-and -find-a-free-day sort of way.  I mean the track-down-a-babysitter- so-we-can-try-that-restaurant -without-the-kids sort of way.  I mean the I’m-going-to-save-$20-out-of-my -grocery-money-each-week -so-we-can-afford-the-cost-of-the-ferry-to-the-island sort of way.  The I-am-implementing-a-REAL-plan sort of way.

Otherwise, I’m afraid this time may just slip right on by.

I’d suggest making some lists — places you want to go (Kerama Islands), places where you want to eat (the little Italian place in Yomitan), cultural experience you want to have (joining an eisa group), classes you want to take (Japanese language class), and the lists could go on.  Post them on the fridge or other oft visited sight and let it remind you to GET OUT THERE.

I want us all to get to our PCS day and be able to say, “Ahhhh.  We really, truly LIVED here.”  And be able to jump on the plane for the next adventure without feeling like we’ve missed out on something.  Seize the day?  Seize the tour?  Seize this life.


  1. I would appreciate any info on the Kerama Islands for snorkeling. Would anyone recommend the base tours (ITT, MCCS, or Kadena Marina)? Or where is a good place for NOVICE snorklers that want to be “wowed”.

  2. Good words. I didn’t have too many reqrets when we left here the first time but there were a few places in the theater that I hadn’t seen that I wished I had and there were a few items I didn’t buy that I wished I had. I never thought in a million years we would be back…I plan to get the rest of it done this time, if I can.

    I have a few countries still to check off my list but the first one I am going to is going to be a favorite…Thailand. Been there 5 times but get to go back this summer after being away for 3 years…should be awesome.

  3. Hi Joelle,

    What good, sage advice. I’m coming back in July, after 33 years, with a list a mile long for things my family didn’t do, places I haven’t seen, destinations that weren’t even conceived when we were there, places I want to see again and just to be able to breathe deeply and say “ahhh, I’m finally back”. I only have 3 weeks to do it in. That might seem a bit long to be away from my daughter and husband, but it seems mighty short when I consider all I want and need to do while I’m there.

    Please know I’m taking your advice into my own present life here, in Atlanta. You remind us all to take advantage of where we are, wherever that may be. Live it fully, schedule it, enjoy it.

    Thanks so much,