Stuck on base in Okinawa? Try these 3 solo activities

Stuck on base in Okinawa? Try these 3 solo activities

by Jennifer Brown
Stripes Okinawa

Editor’s note: At Stripes Okinawa, we love to share your stories and share this space with our community members. Here is an article written by Jennifer Brown, a hospital corpsman at U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa. If you have a story or photos to share, let us know at okinawa@stripes.com.

If COVID-19 has you restricted to on-base only activities, don’t be discouraged. There are still plenty of productive ways to spend your free time and have fun, even if you spend a lot of time by yourself! Here are my top three activities to do solo:

1. Explore your base
This might be my favorite activity when I have some free time. There are no specific parameters or guidelines that I have to follow to find somewhere new and exciting on base. Perhaps the best example of this was the “aha” moment I had while exploring Camp Foster. I didn’t know there was another piece past the tunnel next to the PX. Not all of my mini adventures are that vast, though. Sometimes, all it takes is for me to take a different route than my normal one to find somewhere new. Wherever you are located, maybe you can take yourself on your own adventure and find somewhere new to explore.

2. Check out the library
While libraries may be less popular now than they were when I was growing up, they still provide so many incredible resources. When group activities are active again, you can also look into the weekly events such as story time for kids, coding classes, and 3D printing classes. While those activities are postponed, I still enjoy going to the library to borrow DVDs. The library also offers other great individual activities like checking out a computer to do your homework or try out the VR headsets. The Camp Foster library also has a piano so you can practice your musical chops.

3. Try the Single Marine Program or similar program on your base
This underutilized resource has been very helpful for me for multiple weekends stuck on base. Instead of being stuck in my room, I often go to the Single Marine Program (SMP) on Camp Foster. What I love about dropping by the SMP is that they have free snacks, beverages and access to massage chairs, a movie theater and a game room. It is the perfect spot to relax and unwind after a workout at the gym, to hang out on a Friday night or long weekend. When they are back to their normal operating hours and activities, they also have reduced price and group activities specifically for single sailors or Marines. These events can go anywhere from zip lining on the island, to traveling to Vietnam or Thailand!

These are just a few ideas of things you can do to occupy some time and get out of the barracks room or your house on base. And, try some others like bowling, Skyping with friends and family, dropping by the thrift store for some deals and even the arts and crafts store on base and try out a new hobby like knitting or painting. Stay safe and take this time to explore!

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