Making Plans is Overrated: A Military Wife's Travel Tale by Mindy Morris of Walking Through Wonderland

Making Plans is Overrated: A Military Wife’s Travel Tale

Plans… We all make them. Some of us keep them. Some of us change them. And for some of us, life changes them for us.

I’m writing this from a little apartment in Okinawa, Japan. (Japan was never part of my plan). I still have boxes stacked up in the kitchen. Boxes! As a seasoned backpacker, the idea of bringing boxes on an adventure still doesn’t jive with me!

So how did I get here? So far away from any of my planned destinations? The short answer is a boy. Am I beating a dead theme at this point if I mention that it was NOT ever a part of my plan to make life-altering decisions for a boy? Probably. But it needs to be said.

Three years ago, everything was different. Back then I’d wake up every day and head to my office in Clearwater, Florida. Every night (let’s be honest, about half the nights) I’d head to the gym on my way home. Then I’d walk the dog, make dinner for one, and go to bed, just to rinse and repeat when the alarm sounded the next morning. It was a good life. Until one day it hit me: I spent a third of my time in a box made from carpeted walls. Suddenly, I felt like I was drowning, no matter how many cute push pins decorated my cubicle. So I started making plans.

Off to Laos #backpacking

A photo posted by Mindy Morris Arnholt (@melindybek) on

The first plan was to leave the daily grind and spend the next four months backpacking through seven countries in Southeast Asia.

I wanted to get purposely lost, until I found my voice again. The voice that wrote for me… not for a corporate publication.

At the end of those four months, determined not to fall back into a rut, I returned to the States and moved to Midtown Manhattan. I planned for the New York chapter of my life to last for years, if not forever! But after only ten months in the city, I finally decided that the boy I’d been slowly falling in love with for years might be worth making (or changing) plans for.

In the spring of 2014, I was sitting in the shotgun seat of a U-haul, next to a boy who could make even a move to middle-of-America Kansas feel like an adventure. We had just reached Texas when he got a phone call that changed the course of our lives and every plan we’d made for the next few years.

Last big stop on the way home. This picture was taken the day before everything changed. #wichitabound #sxsw

A photo posted by Mindy Morris Arnholt (@melindybek) on

His commander had called to tell him he would be leaving his current post in Kansas and reporting to Okinawa, Japan no later than September 30, 2014.

We never unpacked the boxes from that U-haul.

We just transferred it all into a storage facility, and I went back to my backpacker days, living out of a suitcase, splitting my remaining time in the U.S. between my family in Florida and my fiancee in Kansas. (Did I mention he proposed?!?) Plans- Ha! I’ve decided that half the fun of making plans is watching how life just plays around with them. At that point everything changed. Rather than settling into a “normal” life together in the States as we’d hoped to, he went into planning mode for a move to the other side of the world and I got busy planning a wedding with a majorly sped up timeline!


A week ago today! #luckiestgirl #arnholtwedding #bestthingthatseverbeenmine


A photo posted by Mindy Morris Arnholt (@melindybek) on

Now, six months after our life-altering news, the dust is finally settling. And it’s settling in Japan. Every day has been an adventure as we adjust to both married life and expat life. As for future plans… we’re keeping them hushed for now. Who knows what might change them next!


Off to Japan #arnholtadventures #sydneyoverseas


A photo posted by Mindy Morris Arnholt (@melindybek) on

Author Profile

Mindy Morris
Mindy is an avid traveler turned military wife, who after 3 years on the move has finally made a home in Okinawa, Japan. She blogs about her travels, DIY projects, and newlywed nesting on her blog: walkingthroughwonderland.

Follow Mindy on Facebook and Instagram.