Hi, I’m Stephanie! In 2015 my husband retired from the Army and we took a year off to travel. I quit my job, and we set off on an adventure to break from our routine and explore the world. Military resources and Space A travel were a major part of our strategy for making our voyage affordable. The other part – immersing ourselves in the local economy – not only saved money, but gave us unique experiences we never would have shared if we followed the tourist circuit or stayed exclusively on military bases.
About Poppin’ Smoke
I created this website for retired and soon-to-be retired members of the military community who are looking for new adventures after transitioning to civilian life. My goal is to share everything I can about what my husband and I are learning through our travels and inspire you to take advantage of the many benefits and privileges you’ve earned as a retiree: Space A flights; lodging on bases all over the world; access to base resources, like golf courses, boat rentals, and organized tours; use of Armed Forces Recreation Centers; and upon retirement, one final military-sponsored move that allows you to store your household goods for a year free of charge while you decide where you want to settle.
Having touted all those military-related benefits, another goal of this website is to explain why it’s so rewarding to get away from the comfort and familiarity of the military base to immerse yourself in the local community. Sure, staying on base is easy and convenient, and there’s peace of mind in knowing what to expect. My husband and I do it all the time, and we love it! But when we make the effort to venture out, live on the economy, and experience day-to-day living in a new city, even if it’s only for a week or two, we are always glad we were more adventurous. It’s a completely different travel experience, and I’ll explain how to do it.
The Name “Poppin’ Smoke”
Army folks probably figured this one out, but members of other services may not be familiar with the expression “pop smoke.” It means to get moving or take off. That’s exactly what you can do with all the benefits you’ve earned as a retiree! And you may recognize the purple in the Poppin’ Smoke logo as the color of Joint Forces. That color is a reminder that these benefits are available to retirees from all branches of service…and that you can use the facilities and resources on all bases: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard!