Language Learning

Looking for a new hobby? Here’s 10 inexpensive options to consider

By December 18, 2018 No Comments

Struggling to find a new hobby can feel like navigating a forest with no map, compass, or food while blindfolded. The number of options available deters the uninitiated, but fear not, because the activities below are what you need.

Suitable for all ages, personalities, and budgets, here’s a roadmap of 10 activities to consider while trying to navigate through the hobby jungle, and each is accompanied by some resources to help get you started.

Hiking

Illustration – Shutterstock | Boule          

For those wanting to get out and rekindle their relationship with mother nature, hiking could be precisely what you’re looking for, and hang on, before you say “there are no good hiking trails nearby,” we’ve got you covered: You can turn anything into a hike. You want to hike the local park? Go for it. Don’t want to do it alone? Give a friend a ring. With a little imagination, anything can be turned into a hiking trail.

But firstit’s crucial to ensure your shoes are fit for the task. There are some resources to help guide you through this process and show you the ins and outs of proper hiking gear. Before setting out, check out Backpacker.com for some useful tips and Discover Outdoors if you want to go on a hike with some professional guidance.

And make sure to check out this comprehensive guide on backpacking for beginners! Happy hiking!

Reading

Illustration – Shutterstock | Pazargic Liviu

What I’m about to say might sound like an oxymoron for some, but I’m not a well-read writer. While it took making a total career change to rekindle my passion for reading, I can help you avoid all of that.

But first, head over to Goodreads and make an account; it’s free. The site has loads of useful recommendations and resources for starting your reading list and countless discussion groups to share your thoughts about your newest pickup.

Armed with your reading list, all that’s left is to march down to your local bookstore and pick those books up. Of course, there’s always the Amazon Kindle if you’re not the type who feels compelled to hold a physical book to read it. I have the Paper White 2, and it is fantastic. The best part is you can use an e-book manager to convert PDFs, and other formats, to be Kindle-friendly!

Writing

Illustration – Shutterstock | Teechai

You don’t have to be an aspiring novelist to feel the benefits of channeling your thoughts through a pen, or keyboard if you prefer. Studies have found journaling to be an overwhelmingly healthy behavior for dealing with stress all the way up to lessening symptoms of PTSD.

But first, no, regardless of your writing goal, the basics rarely change. If you want to brush up on grammar basics, check out The Elements of Style by Strunk and White—a brief reference guide highly recommended by English professors and writers alike. Reference text in hand, now it’s time to get writing. If you’re struggling to think of something to write about, you can check out 21 Creative Writing Prompts That Will Unleash Your Creativity or The Writing Collective‘s 2018 writing challenges to help get the creative juices flowing. Write, write, and write some more! You’ll be shocked by how quickly your skills improve.

Video Games

Illustration – Shutterstock | lassedesignen

Who doesn’t love a good game? With all our fancy mobile device doo-dads, getting your gaming fix has never been easier.

But first, games aren’t needless sources of entertainment; research has associated casual gaming with reduced levels of stress. Hop onto iTunes or Google Play and give the popular chart a look. There’s usually at least one thing that piques my interest whenever I’m on the hunt for some digital distraction. Alternatively, if a controller or mouse and keyboard are more your speed, there’s always the gaming subreddit for r/gaming to help point you towards the latest hot release.

Learn how to make music

Illustration – Shutterstock | beeboys

Nowadays, you don’t have to know how to play an instrument to make a song, although it would certainly help a bit. Regardless, scratching that creative itch is now easier than ever—and it’s free!

But first, if you don’t have regular access to a computer, hop onto your mobile device’s app store. There are a lot of outstanding free options to choose from, and while you can pay extra for some of their “premium” add-ons, the free version has enough to make something pleasant to listen to. An excellent portable Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) to get you started is Auxy. Give it a try; it’s a lot more fun than you might think!

Photography

Illustration – Shutterstock | lOvE lOvE

Cellphone cameras have improved leaps and bounds over the last 10 years, but so have DSLR cameras, so much so that getting a used, high-end model from a few years ago won’t break the bank anymore.

But first, you’ve got to learn all the basics and terminology. I highly recommend hopping onto YouTube and checking out Jared Polin. I learned how to use my first camera, a Nikon D3200, from a video in his user guides playlist there earlier this year. I also learned the basics of lighting, exposure, and the rule of three’s from his beginner’s guide. Alternatively, Udemy.com has a free photography beginners course if you’re the type of person who needs a little extra structure.

Cooking

Illustration – Shutterstock | Flamingo Images

The benefits of taking this hobby up are pretty obvious, unless, of course, you’re an outlier who hates eating good food.

But first, if you’re new to the kitchen, shopping can be a bit much, and if you’re anything like me, your inexperience will likely cost you way more money than necessary. A convenient way around this problem is Blue Apron, an affordable subscription box for the budding home chef that takes the hassle out of the equation so you can focus on learning your way around a pan.

Meditate

Illustration – Shutterstock | everst

In today’s environment, it’s so easy to leave your mind in the future, always thinking about what needs to get done and how busy you’ll be, but with meditation, you can learn how to focus on the moment and free yourself of tomorrow’s worries.

But first, let’s clear something up: Meditation doesn’t have to be an extended exercise nor do you have to close your eyes. You can meditate standing in line at the coffee shop using the method’s Deepak Chopra discusses in this short video. I’ve been using a similar approach for years, probably not as much as I should, and can say that the benefits are remarkable, and it costs absolutely nothing!

Learning a new language

Illustration – Shutterstock | fizkes

Like with the other hobbies listed, you don’t have to sit down in a classroom to learn a language anymore, though it will undoubtedly help. If you’re considering an overseas vacation soon, this might be your ideal after-work activity.

But first, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on Rosetta Stone or weeks in a classroom. Learning a language can be done in only five minutes a day, and, of course, it can be done on your phone. The best app I’ve encountered so far is Duolingo, and while you don’t need a computer to complete all of their lessons, I would recommend starting each lesson on your desktop if possible. There’s some additional information that isn’t accessible by phone that can help the learning process.

Coloring books for adults

Illustration – Shutterstock | ABO PHOTOGRAPHY

Drawing is hard to pick up as a 20-something who can hardly doodle an acceptable stick man, and the process of painting is elusive to a late-blooming, aspiring creative. If only there were a happy middle-ground—there is, and they’re coloring books for adults.

But first, thanks to the wonder that is the internet, Amazon’s selection of adult coloring books is bountiful. There are a ton of options and themes to choose from. Crack open your old bookbag, grab your Crayola pencils, and get to coloring, because sometimes the answers to today’s problems lie in past behaviors. Looking back on the things you enjoyed as a child sheds some light on how to attack the plague that is boredom properly.

Still not find what you’re looking for?

Illustration – Shutterstock | FGC

There are several other good websites that can teach you anything you could ever want to know, and I’m not just referring to YouTube. Skillshare, for example, is an excellent place to pick up a hobby or to learn some skills for work. Whatever the goal is, Skillshare can likely help you meet it.

The one downside to Skillshare is that anyone can teach a class, which can create some obvious problems. If you’re willing to pay a little extra, I highly recommend investing in a Masterclass.com membership. Their class selection is more limited than Skillshare, but you’re learning from real experts like Samuel L. Jackson, Gordon Ramsay, Ron Howard, Steve Martin, and James Patterson to name a few.

Hopefully, by now you’ve found that thing you’ve been looking for; or at the very least, the list has provided you with some interest-piquing ideas. Whichever the case, best of luck in your newest endeavors!

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