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Seven Hobbies to Elevate Your Lifestyle

(And improve your health and quality of life.)

Man sits at his computer monitor, examining his new digital camera, his latest hobby.
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If you think hobbies are just a way to pass extra time or relieve stress, think again. There are many noteworthy hobbies that do more than achieve worthwhile goals like improving your health and increasing your quality of life. Each suggestion on this hobby list also seriously elevates the quality of your lifestyle by exposing you to fine aesthetics, interesting people and/or revelatory information.

1. Refine your artistic style by taking up photography.

If you have an artistic bent, you can always choose to become a collector of the art you love. But if you’d like to be physically involved with creating art, consider taking up serious photography. Here are four steps to becoming an amateur photographer who can confidently mingle with other artists and art lovers:

  • Invest in the best equipment: Investigate high-quality, digital cameras and treat yourself to one. The results will be worth it. Examples in the $1,500 to $4,000 range include the Canon EOS R7, the Nikon D850 and the Sony Alpha 7R V. Over time, you can add accessories like additional lenses, bags and tripods.
  • Learn from the best: Look for photography classes in your local area, especially ones offered by true professionals. Or you can always learn from the literal best by subscribing to Annie Leibovitz’ photography MasterClass.
  • Establish a workroom: Has your newly-adult child moved out? Turn their old bedroom into your photography workspace. Or hire a contractor to create a dedicated home photography studio.
  • Display your work: You can start by gracing your own walls, but as you progress, don’t be shy about asking local galleries or restaurants to showcase your work.

2. Enhance your world travels by learning another language.

When visiting another country, it’s so much easier to meet its citizens and appreciate the most memorable sites if you speak the local language. Before embarking on your next global adventure, whether it’s part of a supersized bucket list idea, a milestone anniversary gift or just for the heck of it, take time to study the language.

Depending on your learning style and preferences, these are your best options for getting comfortable with a new language or regaining fluency in one you’ve previously spoken:

  • Hire a private tutor who’s a native speaker.
  • Take a class at your local college or university.
  • Subscribe to an online language learning app, such as Babbel, Rosetta Stone or Super Duolingo (the ad-free version).

Once you get comfortable, practice and refine your new-found language skills by visiting restaurants, shops or community organizations in your city that are run by native speakers. And when you’re traveling, remember that the more you speak a foreign language, the quicker you’ll become proficient and eventually fluent.

3. Learn how to restore the classic cars you love.

If your idea of the perfect weekend is attending a classic car show or you regularly dream about buying your first vintage vehicle or expanding your existing collection, why not take your interest to the next level. That’s right, you can learn how to restore these beauties rather than letting someone else have all the fun.

It takes a little effort and outreach to get started, but if you have the inclination, it will be worth it:

  • Join a car club to find and connect with other people who have restoration experience.
  • Consult with professional and amateur restorers about the best way to gain more knowledge.
  • Shadow someone completing their own restoration project from start to finish.
  • Outfit your garage to make it a conducive workspace for your own project.
  • Start small by focusing on one component of your vehicle, such as restoring the chrome finishes or replacing a minor engine part.

As you gain knowledge and confidence, you can move on to bigger and more complex projects. Eventually, you should be able to restore your favorite classic model from headlight to taillight and in between.

4. Turn your love of open water into a regular activity.

Even if you’ve never sailed before or have only been the guest on someone else’s boat, you can become a yachtsman. Start by taking a sailing course, which you’ll find through organizations like the American Sailing Association, NauticEd or US Sailing. Once you get your sea legs, you can buy your own boat and host friends, family and colleagues as often as you’d like.

5.6. and 7. Find more inspiration in these additional hobby ideas.

Did the above suggestions pique your interest but none quite fit your personality or interests? Here are a few more ideas to consider:

  • Get back in the saddle by refreshing your childhood horseback riding skills. When you’re ready, buy your own horse so you can ride any time you want.
  • Tap into your inner daredevil via race car driving. Paul Newman made it look easy. So can you.
  • Find your roots through genealogy. You never know what prestigious or fascinating person is your long-lost relative.

Do you like all of these ideas? There’s nothing that says you can only pick one. Give as many a try as you like.

Editor’s note: Quorum derives no benefit from businesses for placement in this article.

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CUNA 2023 diamond award trophy icon

CUNA 2023 Diamond Award Winner

Financial Education

Quorum derives no benefit from businesses in return for placement in this blog.

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