What is the 104 Project?
Ten years ago we went on our first cruise as part of a family celebration for retirement. Like many, we had been so entangled in our jobs, keeping up our home, caring for our pets and family that we thought a cruise was a waste of time. Seriously, who has time to just sit on a pool deck and play bingo or shuffleboard? Little did we know that trip would be the inspiration for a life changing project we came up with after we noticed how we had changed our perspective on things once we were back on land. The short version, we had a taste of what doing new things did to our relationship, our level of happiness, love of learning, and level of excitement for life. Over the course of a week long trip we had tried so many new things, been to new places, tried new foods, had laughs with new people, and had a new outlook on life. When we got back to land we didn’t want to settle back into our boring routine, we wanted to maintain that feeling but knew we couldn’t afford to do a cruise constantly (plus we couldn’t take our pets on a cruise ship and we did really miss them). We came up with the next best thing. Little by little we incorporated what we liked on this trip into our daily lives, and over the years it has been the foundation upon which we live our crazy life. The 104 Project didn’t get an official title until a few years after this trip, but the inklings for the idea come directly from this one experience. The 104 Project encourages you to try 104 different things. These “things” could be anything you choose, it is your project! We will be happy to give you tips and pointers along the way, ideas for more fun, opportunities to share your fun, and learn more about our story. You could do 104 classes, visit 104 parks, maybe shoot to make 104 new friends! We specifically classify our 104 Project as “activities”, which leaves us open to count whatever we want as an activity. It is your project and you can do it your way!
Why is the number 104?
We get this question a lot, and it too has a beginning as quirky as how the idea came to us after that infamous trip. We are an active duty military family. We are moved around A LOT. Currently we are on our 17th address and on average stay at each duty station was about 24 months. We decided that since our inspiration trip was 1 week long, and there are 52 weeks in a year, and we lived each place about 2 years, we would shoot to do 104 different activities at each duty station. (For those playing along at home 52 weeks per year X 2 years is 104.) We hit the ground running before our next move, looking at museums, parks, concerts, festivals, adult education classes, local businesses, you name it! By the end of our time at the first duty station we did The 104 Project we knew the area better than locals, we had learned about marine wildlife, tried surfing, hiked up a mountain, ran over a bridge in a 4 mile race, saw world famous zoos, small tourist towns, the Hollywood sign above LA, the La Brea tar pits, went rock climbing, and so many more things. In two years it felt like we had lived and experienced a lifetime of learning and new opportunities! We met some amazing people who are still friends to this day! Each duty station we have gone to after this has been the same result, fun, friends, and learning. We picked up new hobbies at each duty station as we tried new things that we connected with for various reasons. Soon we had activities we were organizing for our group of friends, spreading the word of getting out an experiencing your community. As hard as it was to say goodbye to each area, we had something to look forward to with each subsequent move. We found new places to explore, new museums to see and learn from, new classes to try and new friends to meet. The 104 Project not only allowed us to get out there and really involve ourselves in our community, it allowed us to say goodbye a little easier.
What if I don’t move around? Can I still do the 104 Project?
YES!!! Absolutely yes! The best thing about this project is that you can individualize it to your family, your area, your desires, your likes and dislikes, your calling in life! It is literally YOUR 104 Project! We will have tons of great ideas for things to try and would love to hear new ideas from readers! We as a community can inspire each other to get out there and try new things, maybe even things we never thought possible for ourselves or our family!