Hobbies are an important part of a balanced lifestyle.
Doing things you enjoy simply because you enjoy them is a great method of self-care and can help to maintain good mental health.
However, some people may find traditional hobbies such as reading, painting, football, or gardening a little on the dull or predictable side…
Here are seven unusual hobbies that may sound more appealing to those who prefer to think outside the box!
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As enjoyable as a walk or a hike can be in itself, if you want to add a bit more excitement, you might be interested in geocaching – a real-world, global treasure hunt that anyone can join.
According to Geocaching.com, when the phenomenon began at the beginning of the Millenium, approximately 75 geocaches had been hidden, ready to be found. Fast-forward to today and there are approximately three million geocaches, with millions of people taking part.
If you would like to add a different element to your usual walks, you can find out more at Geocaching.com.
According to Wikipedia, Live-Action Role-Playing (also known as LARPing) is:
…a form of role-playing game where the participants in real life physically portray their characters. The players pursue goals within a fictional setting represented by the real world while interacting with each other in character.
LARPing settings are mainly based on fantasy worlds and situations, and LARPers are renowned for creating characters with extensive and extraordinary traits and backgrounds. This hobby is definitely one for the creative spirit!
If you are interested in learning more about LARPing, Geek & Sundry have an excellent beginner’s guide for the complete newbie.
3. Learning fictional languages
Learning a language other than your mother tongue is a great way to expand your ability to communicate on a global scale. However, perhaps you’ve already brushed up on your Spanish, Polish, or Mandarin and fancy a new, unusual challenge.
Sites like Duolingo are increasingly producing courses to learn fictional languages, such as Klingon (Star Trek) or High Valyrian (Game of Thrones). If you consider yourself something of a super-fan and would like to have a go at mastering the languages of your favourite fictional worlds, it’s never been easier!
Foraging (searching for and collecting food) is enjoyed for several reasons, including a feeling of “getting back to nature”, or simply to get free food! Either way, this hobby is not only enjoyable, but it can also produce useful resources.
From mushrooms to nettles, dandelions to berries, there are all sorts of edible treasures to find. Of course, it is important to do your research on wild foods so you don’t fall foul of unpleasant or even poisonous items. There are many books* and websites to explore. Also, make sure that you only forage on land where it is permitted – avoid private land and keep it legal!
5. Barefoot jogging
Let’s be honest, jogging can be quite tedious. However, I am morally obliged to admit that exercise is good for us, so how can we make it more exciting?
One way of doing this may be to experiment with barefoot jogging. It’s pretty self-explanatory, you go jogging whilst barefoot. Of course, if you are in an urban area, barefoot jogging may not be particularly safe, in terms of potential hazards such as broken glass or litter. It’s probably a better idea to try this hobby in areas such as grassy fields, woodland, or along a beach.
Many barefoot joggers rave about the benefits of losing the running shoes and connecting with the earth on a tangible level. There is something beautiful about feeling the grass, soil, sand under your feet. Make your jog feel like an adventure in nature!
6. Extreme ironing
Okay, hear me out. Yes, I’ve just suggested ironing as a hobby, but don’t switch off just yet. Extreme ironing is a little different to regular ironing, in that you take an ironing board, iron, and some clothes somewhere extreme, usually somewhere like atop a mountain or while abseiling, but some people have even included ironing in their skydives or scuba-diving! Make sure to grab a photo or a video of your efforts and give your friends and family a good laugh.
To learn more about extreme ironing, check out this article by Cool of the Wild.
Disclaimer: STAY SAFE. There are ways to be “extreme” without putting yourself or others at risk!
7. Learn to play the theremin
If you fancy learning to play an instrument but the guitar or the piano feel too “mainstream” for you, take a look at the theremin.
“What is a theremin?” I hear you ask. Well, a theremin is a musical instrument that is played without actually making physical contact with the instrument itself, rather using hand movements above the theremin to create electronic sounds.
If you decide to take the plunge and get started learning to play the theremin, this article by Theremin World is great for beginners.
I hope you found this list of unusual hobbies helpful.
I’d love to know if you have a go at any of them (or if you already do any of them!) so let me know in the comments.