We live in an optimized world. Everything is as efficient as it can possibly be. We have so much focus and energy put into making money, being a certain way, and securing the future, that we forget that there are things we can do for leisure. The fun doesn’t have to be limited to the happy hours sprinkled across town. There is a whole host of fascinating activities that we can all engage in, often for free. These are hobbies. Hobbies have fallen out of fashion over the last few years, having been taken over by social media and internet browsing. It’s time to take back that time and put it towards something productive for ourselves. That’s the beautiful thing about a hobby. You’re not posturing, flexing, or signaling online about how much you like or dislike an activity. You’re doing the actual activity. That’s so valuable nowadays, to unplug and dive into a singular focus. If you’re looking for ways to get back to that rhythm, here are some of the most interesting hobbies you can take up right now.
Ever found lost treasure? That’s a serious inquiry. Every single year, there are hundreds of lost pieces of treasure found all over the world. Everything from gold doubloons to entire Spanish galleon ships. There is a hidden treasure all around us, just underneath the soil. All you need is a metal detector. This is where quality really plays a big role. There are Metal Detector Lab detectors that can pick up anything underneath, and then there’s a lot of knockoffs. If you’re serious about getting into this hobby—which can potentially pay for itself over time, then a serious metal detector is a wise choice. Pro tip: people like to drink at the beach. If you find something, you should put a valiant effort for 30 days trying to let the public know what you’ve found. If nothing comes up, it’s yours.
Hiking has grown in popularity over the past few years. There’s a mountaineer industry in every country with a large cult-like following. But if you haven’t really done it much in the past, that’s alright. There’s no solid skill needed to go hiking. Simply find a trail and conquer it. If you’re someone that knows how to take on a challenge, find a hard trail and see how far you can go. You’ll probably end up somewhere in the upper two-thirds anyway. If you can’t take anymore, mark where you stopped on the map and try again. Hiking doesn’t need any special equipment, but there are a few items that would be wise. A backpack with first aid supplies, a solid knife, a cell phone with reliable service, and decent shoes. That’s all you need. That is, unless you want to find some hidden treasure like Yamashita’s Gold. Then you’ll need a metal detector. If you’re going to go out alone, let someone know exactly where you’re going. But as much as possible, go with a friend.
If you really want a perspective change, go out SCUBA diving. There are few things more exhilarating than finding yourself in the deep blue ocean, surrounded by mystery. You’ll never know what’s down there. You’ll never know what you’ll encounter. It’s just a wild ride of calm breathing and hyper-awareness. In order to actively go SCUBA diving, you need to have some training and a license.
PADI offers classes all over the world and pool introductions before heading out to the deep blue sea. Once you get everything scheduled, you can take your Open Water Diver test. That’s good up to 60 feet below the surface. The number of stories you can tell and the wild things you can see more than makeup for the cost of entry. It’s not a cheap hobby. But if you’ve got the passion and you’ve got the time, there’s no doubt you’ll fall in love.
For most people, speaking in front of a crowd is a fate worse than death. It’s true. More people are afraid of public speaking than actually dying. But if you’ve got the gift of gab, you should let the world know, audience or not. You can always start a podcast. Yes, it seems as though everybody has a podcast nowadays. It’s like the new “blog.” But the thing about podcasts is that it gives you the opportunity to express your ideas in the most intimate one-way form possible: through the sound of your voice. Anyone can edit text. Video can be cut and added onto. The human voice as a standalone is powerful. So if you’ve been pondering on something, or you have ideas you want to get off your chest, then go ahead and start your podcast. A word to the wise though, if you have any kind of professional affiliations that require you to censor yourself for an image, you best make sure that none of the topics that come up relate to that industry, or you make it abundantly clear that what you’re doing is an expressive form of satire. Can’t be too careful these days.
If you have access to a flame and a knife, there’s no reason for you not to be cooking. Long gone are the days where cooking is relegated to the side and, more often than not, gender-segregated. Cooking is for everyone. Start with knife skills and simple techniques. Keep notes. Most of us have experiences from our past to draw on. Maybe the people that raised us loved to cook and we can take that emotion and pour it into our own cooking journey. Some of us didn’t have that luxury. That’s fine. That means we can start our own cooking styles. Perfecting the art of creating and cooking a meal is something that isn’t only enjoyable, it can be incredibly lucrative if you play your cards right.
A hobby can be anything. They can be stamp collecting, baseball card trading, scrapbook making, etc. But if you really want to take a deep dive to enrich your life, take on one of the above endeavors. They’ll make you a more complete person. They’ll add value to your skillset. They are, above all, incredibly interesting.