Academic, Yazdan Mansourian, explains why developing hobbies can be an incredibly important part of life in the open road
Travelling is exciting but can also be physically and mentally demanding.
Engaging in hobbies, voluntary activities and amateurism, known as ‘serious leisure’, can balance the excitement and pressure.
A serious leisure pursuit, like knitting, birdwatching or painting, gives you a sense of purpose beyond just travelling. It provides a feeling of accomplishment as you set new goals alongside your journey schedule.
Pursuing serious leisure usually helps you find like-minded people along the way and build a sense of community.
Moreover, life on the road can be unpredictable and hobbies serve as a source of comfort and relaxation. Depending on the hobby, it often contributes to your overall wellbeing. For example, walking and swimming help you stay fit while on the road.
While the choice of hobbies depends on your interests, some may be more compatible with a nomadic lifestyle due to their flexibility.
For example, photography is an excellent choice because it allows you to capture your travel experiences. Keeping a travel blog is another option. It will enable you to share your insights with others while serving as a personal record of your expedition.
Both blogging and photography can help you better cherish your experiences. That is how hobbies can make your journey more joyful and meaningful. Portable hobbies, such as knitting and painting, allow you to express yourself creatively.
Similarly, playing a portable musical instrument, like a ukulele, can be a fulfilling experience. It is a way to connect with locals through music.
You may also enjoy a sense of achievement in volunteering while on the road, whether helping with environmental projects or participating in cultural events.
If you are travelling with a partner, you may engage in separate hobbies and share your experiences with each other. Having separate hobbies gives you the space to explore your passions. Moreover, it often leads to fascinating conversations.
On the other hand, shared hobbies create opportunities for spending quality time together. Both social and solitary hobbies have their own merits. For example, hobbies with social interaction allow you to expand your social network.
It creates belongingness and normally helps you improve your teamwork skills. On the other hand, solitary hobbies offer a sense of independence and allow more time for contemplation.
Also, you have more control over your schedule. Finally, switching between them is often possible. The key is to choose hobbies or other forms of serious leisure activities that align with your interests and bring you joy and fulfilment.
* Yazdan Mansourian is the Senior Lecturer, School of Information & Communication Studies, Charles Sturt University
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