There are times when you take trips that are full of non-stop action – where you’re moving in from one activity to the next so you can follow your itinerary closely and make the most out of your destination. But some trips are more leisurely, where you plan to simply soak up the beautiful views and have alone time with your thoughts. If your next trip fits the latter category, then your travels can inspire you to pick up a new hobby.
There’s no doubt about it – hobbies are good for anyone. But if you travel a lot and can’t commit to regular classes in a particular place and time, that’s no problem at all. There are some great hobbies that frequent travelers can still try.
1. Drawing or Sketching
Indulging in your love of art is a hobby that travels well. All you need to bring is a sketchbook, a couple of pencils, or a few colored pencils. If you’re naturally talented or have an art background, you can start to draw or sketch the places, scenes, or people you encounter on your travels. If you’re not much of an artist, you can try doodling – it’s a great way to highlight your adventures.
If you’ve never tried making your own art before (besides in grade school), you can sign up for a foundation course in your hometown or find a class in a place you’ll be visiting. Group classes are also a great place to get to know new people. But even if you discover you have no talent at drawing, remember that art isn’t always about producing a replica of scenery or a person. Just enjoy it – it’s beneficial for your eyes, hands, and mind.
If you find that drawing isn’t really your thing, photography can be a travel hobby for you. For most of us, snapping a picture makes its way into our travels in one form or another. So, why not use the extra time that you have to develop your skills and get yourself ready to document your next vacation like a pro?
Turn photography into more than some images you take from your travels – go at it at a more conscious level. Learn about exposure, ISO, and some photography techniques by watching online tutorials. You can also learn to use software to give your photos additional drama by editing. You may also want to try your hand at underwater photography if you like diving and snorkeling on your trips.
3. Learning a new language
What hobby says travel more than learning a foreign language? If you want a hobby that will set you up to be a better traveler, you can take a stab at learning a new tongue. You can start doing this in your hometown, using apps and software, and then tweak your learning approach once you get to your destination. There might be some phrases or rules of using some words that you can only pick once you travel to the land where they speak that language natively.
You can either choose just to learn a few key phrases that will help you communicate with locals more easily or go for all-out fluency. Once you become fluent in another language, it can spice up your resume and open up a whole new world of job opportunities.
This is one of the most travel-friendly yet rewarding hobbies to try out. You don’t have to start by writing a novel or a book – you can begin by writing a simple blog where you share your travel experiences with friends or family, or maybe even a wider audience. All you need is a laptop or a tablet (which you usually already bring with you all the time), or a pen and a small notebook to start. If you like to keep your experiences to yourself but still want to write, there’s nothing like handwriting in a journal. Journaling is like a time capsule, and when you document all those memories – you will remember more of the details when you look back years later.
If you’ve always had a desire to produce some sort of written creative work but lacked the motivation or time, then traveling could be the perfect opportunity to come up with something interesting. Losing yourself in a new environment can be a great source of inspiration, where you can gain new perspectives on your existing ideas. All those time spent waiting at the airport, while on the plane, or during downtime at your hotel or destination – you can use it to write.
Like writing, reading is also a travel-friendly hobby. Books are relatively lightweight and easy to transport, and if you have an e-book reader, then you can take a library of books with you. You can immerse yourself in a story to entertain yourself while on those dull, boring moments of a trip, like at the airport waiting for your flight. Also, reading offers you a great way to stay connected to a deeper level to the world around you. For instance, you can read European classics to connect you to the culture more deeply than tourist hotspots.
However, it can also be the most dangerous of travel hobbies. When traveling with a book, it’s easy to get sucked into that you skip your traveling adventures altogether to read the next chapter. Or, you can go read a book just to have something to read but be distracted altogether. Try to find a balance – read on your personal time and not on your adventure time. But if all you want to do at your destination is to lounge and admire the scenery, then bring your book with you!
6. Yoga and meditation
Constant travel can take a toll on both your physical and mental well-being. But yoga and meditation can help you ease all that stress. Learning and practicing the ancient movements of yoga can benefit you physically, mentally, and even spiritually. Plus, it’s a travel-friendly hobby – you don’t need any sports shoes, a bike or some form of equipment – all you need is a peaceful environment, some comfy clothes, a space to work in, and maybe a yoga mat if you really want to get into it.
However your trip is going, yoga can be a perfect relief. If you’re finding that the challenges of your travel are becoming overwhelming, yoga can help ease the stress and calm your mind. Maybe you’re blown away by the natural beauty of the place you’re visiting, and you can do some outdoor yoga to help you connect even more deeply with your surroundings.
Cooking is one of the best backpacking hobbies, and you may even pick it up without trying. If you travel to hostels with communal kitchens often, you’re guaranteed to meet tourists from all over the world with great cooking skills. When you see someone whipping up a delicious-looking dish, it’s the perfect excuse to introduce yourself, learn a new recipe, and make a new friend. But if you already love to cook at home, this hobby will make you an invaluable member of a group you’re traveling with. After all, everybody has to eat, and we all know dining out for every meal can be steep.
Whether you’re a beginner or already some kind of a chef (pro or just the chef at home), you can always pick up a few delicious dishes that you can bring home with you. You can make it your hobby to take some cooking classes in each country you visit, especially in those places where you love the local dishes.