Try these 10 hobbies during your spouse’s next deployment

By Julie Provost

They’re deployed. . . and you need a distraction. Time to pick up a new hobby. Deployments are the best time to do this. You probably have a little extra money in your budget and more time to focus on things that you will enjoy. Here are some ideas.

1. Photography

If you don’t have a camera (other than your phone), think about purchasing one. You can get a point-and-shoot or a DSLR. If you get the DSLR, learn about how to use the camera and all of the settings. Get out and go on photo walks, take pictures of your children, and practice as much as you want. Photography is not only a good way to pass the time, but you can share the photos with your deployed spouse.

2. Blogging

If you like to write or just want to get things out into the world, you could start a blog. Hobby blogging is a lot of fun. There isn’t a lot of pressure, and you can learn about what you like to write about and what you don’t.

3. Working out

Working out can look different based on what you find interesting. The price point doesn’t have to be painful; while you could join a gym and take some classes, you can also easily buy videos to use when you work out at home. Once you start tracking your workouts, figure out what you like to do and what you don’t.

4. Reading

Use deployment to get into reading. There are so many books out there to get lost in, both fiction and non-fiction. Learn more about other cultures. . .  or lose yourself in a sappy romantic story. Even better, find a series and you will be set for the whole deployment.

5. Hiking

No matter where you live, there are going to be places to explore, even if you have to drive a little bit to get there. You can do so in the mountains, around a lake, or even in a city setting. Wander the beauty that is around you. Find some friends that want to go on hikes too and take your kids and look for a hiking group to join. You will have some new trails to share with your spouse when they get home.

6. Baking

Cookies, brownies, homemade frosting. . . there are so many yummy desserts out there, and some of them take time to perfect. Use the deployment to learn more about baking and start experimenting with new treats.

7. Gardening

Gardening takes a lot of time and patience which is why it is one of the perfect hobbies for a deployment. Plant seeds and watch them grow or buy developed plants. Do your research and learn what grows well in your area. Connect with local gardening groups and see if you have a community garden in your area.

8. Geocaching

This fun hobby is something you could easily do with your kids. Geocaching is a treasure hunting game: You use your phone or another GPS-enabled device to look up the coordinates of the geocache container. Once you find the container, you can take something from it, but you have to replace the item with something of equal or greater value. You then log your find on

9. Calligraphy

Learn calligraphy and show off your new talent in letters to your spouse. Buy a calligraphy set and have a lot of fun learning how to stylize your writing. Cards and other designs are always a hit, and you can create a lot of amazing pieces for your home this way.

10. Genealogy

Learn about where you came from and who you are. There are a lot of online resources you can use these days, but don’t forget to also talk to your older relatives. They probably have a lot to tell you about their family and may have already done some research of their own. A lot of public libraries also have genealogy resources that you can use to get you started, too.

Julie Provost is an associate editor at Military One Click and a National Guard spouse. She can be reached at