STEVE FARMER — 22 March 2013

Hobbies and interests — they’re hugely varied and everyone’s got at least a few. And their benefits are numerous and important.

Depending on what lights your fire, they can provide you with an escape from the everyday world, social interaction, healthy exercise, the pleasure of creating something beautiful, or even a modest financial reward. They’re very much a part of our lives at home and should also be important when we’re on the wallaby. In fact, I reckon that taking your hobbies with you on holiday can improve the travelling experience and rejuvenate interests that were becoming a little bit ho-hum at home.

You see, if you take your hobbies with you it means you’ve got even more reason to hit the road (as if that was necessary). It’s all to do with the new places, faces, experiences and challenges that travel presents.

For example, I’ve mentioned before in this blog that I’m a keen fisherman, but exploring and fishing new country, possibly for new species or using different techniques, excites me far more than chasing familiar species in the same country I’ve fished since I was a kid.

Even better, while pursuing my hobby, chances are I’ll meet some great, like-minded anglers along the way. The fact is I’ve never hit the road without a fishing rod or six onboard and it really adds in so many ways to my travelling experience.

I’m sure it’s the same for old-time and rock-and-roll dancers, photographers, artists, bushwalkers, lawn bowlers, golfers, quilters, crafters and so on. If you enjoy a particular interest (of course it has to be fairly compact and portable) then take it on the road with you — you’ll be surprised by the doors that open and the friendships that form because of shared passions. Even if your hobby is a solitary one, the new and often more relaxed surroundings will rekindle your enjoyment and maybe even get the creative juices flowing again.

If your hobby involves interacting with other people then you’ll have to be pro-active in getting in touch with local folk (or other RVers) who share your passion. Tourism information offices can often put you in touch with local clubs or tell you when local events are on. You can also ask at the caravan park where you’re staying, read the local paper, check community noticeboards and listen to community radio. Council websites may also have information on clubs and activities.

Hobbies can also contribute to the travel coffers of some RVers. Needle craft, paintings and carvings can sell well at local markets or from your annexe. Just be sure to check with park management first and be aware of any insurance issues.

By the way, technology has made it easier to take some hobbies on the road. For example, in this digital age photographers only need a laptop and internet connection to almost instantly download, save, manipulate and share photos taken just that day. Likewise, writers can blog about their travels or connect with friends and family about their latest adventures.

Having said that, sometimes the old ways seem to offer the most reward. An artist sitting in the shade of a palm tree with an easel and paints and slowly transferring a magnificent seascape to canvass seems to be the epitome of a relaxed, romantic, nomadic way of life.

YOUR SAY: Do you take your hobbies on holidays? Tell us how you enjoy your particular interests while you’re on the wallaby and how they add to the travelling experience.


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Caravan Staff