I'm in need of a (new) hobby!
November 24, 2009 1:10 PM   Subscribe

How do I go about getting back into hobbies, or finding new ones (suggest some)?

I'm slowly lost a few of my hobbies - stores close, friends move on, interests wane and change. I've recently finished uni, and I'm just having a break until I start full-time work next year.

What I'm after is something (or more than one something) to get me out of the house and doing things that are quite different from my usual routine. Stuff I can start now and keep going even when I have less time due to work.

Some background: I'm a web developer, both as my job and my past-time. I have a large collection of Magic The Gathering cards, I cycle (although I don't want to cycle competitively), I used to (and want to) play sports - volleyball, touch, indoor soccer. I'm interested in creative pursuits but have never really given any a good go.

I have some ideas, but what I'm really after is brand new ideas or some discussion of how best to get into something, and stay with it.
posted by cofie to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (15 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
One of the best ways to get into a hobby and stay in is to go with a buddy. I used to do woodworking with another guy and since we had it scheduled at a regular time, we found it a lot harder to skip it lest we let the other guy down.
posted by plinth at 1:23 PM on November 24, 2009

Check out geocaching. It'll get you out of the house and you'll probably visit a whole bunch of different locations around town. Give it a chance.
posted by aeighty at 1:53 PM on November 24, 2009

to piggyback on plinth, rock climbing is a great way to do stuff with friends (or make new ones). It's both cooperative and competitive, fun, approachable from any skill level, and good exercise. Find an indoor gym in your area and look for a bulletin board -- if there aren't tons of postings for people looking for climbing partners, post your own or just approach people already there and ask to join up. Climbers tend to be friendly!
posted by Chris4d at 1:53 PM on November 24, 2009

Try anything once. Don't think about it too much, and don't judge it beforehand, just go and try it.
posted by leigh1 at 1:54 PM on November 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

How about photography?
posted by cleverevans at 2:10 PM on November 24, 2009

posted by jingzuo at 2:32 PM on November 24, 2009

You could join a running group, I've heard good things about Pat Carroll. You could take your enjoyment of cycling further and start training for the Brisbane to the Gold Coast cycle challenge.
The triathlon season's just started. Why not try one of the Enticer races?

Really, the way I've stuck with my pursuits/hobbies is because I absolutely love them. My thing was getting over the fear of starting something new in the first place.
posted by WayOutWest at 4:10 PM on November 24, 2009

I tried a lot (a LOT) of different hobbies until I found one that stuck (knitting - although it isn't as likely to get you out of the house as other hobbies). Don't feel that you have to keep at a hobby if you're feeling "meh" about it. Make "trying out a new hobby" your new hobby!

If you're a web dev, then I suggest hobbies that are as real-world, concrete, and physical as possible. How about taking a pottery class?
posted by ErikaB at 5:43 PM on November 24, 2009

You're out of school and not working yet. Go bicycle touring, you won't have a better opportunity once you get settled.
posted by BeaverTerror at 6:10 PM on November 24, 2009

Seconding the suggestions of knitting and pottery.

Knitting most definitely gets me out of the house. I'm part of a group that meets in the same location every Wednesday.

To be fair, I also work at a LYS ("local yarn store") 2 days a week, so for me, it's am extremely social pastime. I teach knitting and crochet, which forces me to keep abreast of new patterns, flashy techniques, and I know who just released what yumny new yarn. We have some customers who stop in every week, and a few who take classes often.

So, if you have any knitting questions, feel free to drop a me-mail my way.
posted by bilabial at 7:51 PM on November 24, 2009

Hello, girlfriend of cofie here.

He just graduated uni and is working part-time 2 days a week. We both live in St Lucia and rely on public transport (though he does have the advantage of cycling). I do a lot of performance-based work, which he isn't really into - he likes watching improv and has helped me stage manage something but that's about as far as he'll go. (Pity that, because he has an absolute knack for making funny voices and characters and should really go into voice acting!!)

Thanks for the suggestions; I've been trying to help him too but was out of ideas. Some of these are great (why didn't I think of that?). He seems so much happier with a hobby but lately he's just been mopey about not having anything to do, so you all are helping a lot.
posted by divabat at 9:57 PM on November 24, 2009

Speaking as a fellow web developer, I am drawn to hobbies that get me away from the computer. Since I'm not an athlete the ones I've stuck with are playing guitar and collecting antique fountain pens.

I won't recommend a specific hobby to you, since you need to find it yourself. So I'll just say this: try as many of them as possible. Browse around Wikipedia, go to craft fairs or antique shows, visit hobby stores. Ask everyone you know what their hobbies are. Eventually something will grab you.
posted by mmoncur at 1:35 AM on November 25, 2009

As a computer guy (ex programmer type, now I program robots), and a ex-CCGer, may I suggest to you Board Gaming.
Start out with something that will appeal to your programmer side, like Robo Rally. Then jump head first into the pool of wonderful that is www.boardgamegeek.com
Board games ain't what they were when we were growing up. Expunge all your thoughts of Monolopy! There is a wide world of great games. I've even gotten my wife to move away from her more boring fare of Pictionary and Uno, to excellent couples games like Lost Cities, Bohnanza, Stone Age, and even Race for the Galaxy! There are games of every genre and style to fit exactly what you may like. If you live in a moderately large area, you should have a FLGS (friendly local game store) close by, or check out meetup.org or boardgamegeek to find a local group to sample some games with, without having to make any monetary commitment.
We've basically replaced a lot of our boring activities with board gaming. I've for the most part given up video games, we hardly watch any TV any more, and a $30 dollar board game can easily provide hundreds of hours of entertainment.
If you want to get into the artistic side, painting Mini's can be quite fun. I like to buy cheap warhammer minis at the game store occasionally, and make Dioramas out of them for friends and family. I have also designed my own game and posted it as a print and play out there. Designing games can be alot of fun as well! (Unworthy self plug, check out Pocket Dungeon for some Rogue-like stealth gaming at work, or at home. It hides as a Todo list!!!)

I vote board gaming!!!!
posted by JonnyRotten at 5:25 AM on November 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Another coder: I'm in lurve with art. Never thought myself capable, enrolled myself in the local JC and find it wonderfully distracting and applicable pretty much anywhere with commonly available materials (okay, so I mostly draw, but watercolors are pretty portable). Getting a class at whatever the Ozian equivalent of a JC is (are there such things?) or drop-in classes at a studio near you will be a good way to stick with it if you can spring the time for them to get your wheels under you. After that, you'll just get better with time. Google-fu is failing me right now, but around here there are a number of studios and artists providing individual instruction as well as sessions. I go to a weekly figure study session to give me something to work on: a common problem for hobby artists. Extra bonus: naked people!
posted by Ogre Lawless at 1:10 PM on November 25, 2009

Response by poster: Wow, some nice ideas here.

Yes, doing things with at least one other person always makes them more fun. Unfortunately many of my friends have moved.

Which seems to suggest that I need to find something to make new friends.

I reckon I'll have a look at geocaching, rock climbing and pottery.

I'm already interested in board games and photography - might step that up and see if I can do them more often.

I'm wondering - any advice on doing say one hobby that involves both exercise and socialising (eg. rock climbing), or two different things (eg. cycling individually and board games with a group)?
posted by cofie at 2:01 PM on November 27, 2009

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