I am desperately bored.
March 6, 2018 5:14 PM   Subscribe

Please help me find an exciting hobby.

Everyday is the same; I do the same things with my friends, shop at the same places, see the same people and buildings during my daily boring routine, and work a boring job while living in the same city I've lived for the last seven years.

I'm bored to tears. Ideally I'd start a new career and move to a different city, but that isn't in the cards for me right now. I want to feel the feeling of learning to ride a bike for the first time; scary but exhilarating. Can you help me find an exciting hobby?

- I am saving money for a move, so I can't sink a lot of money into it.
- I am open to all suggestions as I honestly do not even know what gets me going anymore.
- I don't have a car but get around okay on public transportation; I live in Pittsburgh if you want to suggest anything specific to the area.

Thanks Mefi.
posted by pumpkinlatte to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (39 answers total) 57 users marked this as a favorite
 
Rock climbing! If you are interested in a physical activity hobby, rock climbing is awesome. It's exciting, challenging, and you can try different gyms to spice it up. Alternatively, groupon might be a good tool to find interesting things to try at a low cost.

Otherwise, do you enjoy coffee shops? Not super -exciting- but can help you shake up your routine! During the winter I like to take the bus to faraway coffee shops and read, draw, what have you. It's a nice, low key way to get out of the house and see something new.
posted by eggs at 5:24 PM on March 6, 2018 [8 favorites]


Indoor rock climbing gym. Enjoy the deep animal desire to not fall, all over a soft padded floor.

Scary, exhilarating, and you just need a $100 pair of shoes and a climbing gym membership.
posted by nickggully at 5:26 PM on March 6, 2018 [3 favorites]


Cooking. Complex cooking. New cuisines that you have not yet explored. Blogs and the library are your resources, and your regular food budget is now your hobby. This might not get you the exact exhilaration you want, but the hunt for hard-to-find pantry items in your city can be both time intensive, and deeply satisfying.

If you drink beer, I found the book Beer Craft a pretty accessible, down to earth guide on how to brew. It is very gear-averse (a trait not widespread in beer brewing circles...) and focuses on 1 gallon batches. To get a proper beer brewing setup, you're looking at maybe $50 of stuff. Again, this might not be exactly a thrill, but there is a certain amount of anticipation and build-up to brewing a beer start to finish.
posted by furnace.heart at 5:32 PM on March 6, 2018 [3 favorites]


Commute everywhere on your bike.
posted by saladin at 5:35 PM on March 6, 2018 [11 favorites]


Ice skating! If you don't know how to skate, it will very much be like learning to ride a bike - lots of falling and uncertainty in the beginning, but soon you'll be zooming around on the ice. Take a group class if you don't pick it up quickly on your own (I taught myself how to skate, but I was a kid with a decent sense of balance).

And if you do know how to skate already, try out a group class anyway to learn fun things like skating backwards and turning on one foot.
posted by serelliya at 5:35 PM on March 6, 2018 [6 favorites]


I know you said money is tight, but I have to put a plug in for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It will set you back a monthly membership, around here it’s about $100. But it’s so awesome.. exhilarating, sometimes a little scary, but super friendly people and so much fun to learn!
posted by machinecraig at 5:40 PM on March 6, 2018 [2 favorites]


There's a neat little quiz here. For each question (would you like an outside/sport/group/cheap hobby) it asks you to rank it as a high priority or low priority for you. It gives you 25 ranked hobby results; I took it and it pretty much nailed my favorite hobbies.
posted by NoraCharles at 5:45 PM on March 6, 2018 [8 favorites]


I got bored taking walks along the same routes so I started playing Ingress, a free augmented reality game that requires you to be out in the world. Now walks are fun because I feel a bit like a spy and I think it would make your daily commute a bit more interesting. If you get into it you can join forums with local players and strategize together and the game regularly has virtual events. Pokemon Go is a game by the same company and uses the same data map but Ingress came first.
posted by Miss Matheson at 5:51 PM on March 6, 2018 [11 favorites]


Join a community choir or band, or a dance group. Latin dance will take you right out of your comfort zone.

There are two go-kart tracks around Pittsburgh. Because you sit so low, go-kart racing feels like Formula 1. Very fun.

Advertise on Craigslist for someone to teach you fire juggling or something.
posted by irisclara at 6:10 PM on March 6, 2018 [2 favorites]


See if there are free birdwatching walks in your area. We have half a dozen different walks here led by Audobon Society volunteers, plus some of the parks have other similar walks. You may want to drop a modest amount of money on binoculars before you go, as the problem with birds is they're quite small mostly.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:12 PM on March 6, 2018 [3 favorites]


Pittsburgh has several makerspaces. When I decided I wanted to pursue some new hobbies, I joined one of them. It's a monthly membership fee, but not a huge one. I've learned a ton about all sorts of different things, mostly informally by asking other members for pointers or lessons-in-exchange-for-beer.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:40 PM on March 6, 2018 [1 favorite]


Whatever you choose to do, allow me to suggest "The Artist in the Office" by Summer Pierre, which is a fun guide to incorporating your outside interests into your work routine.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:43 PM on March 6, 2018 [2 favorites]


Circus arts are fun. And definitely can tap into your adrenaline.
posted by Vaike at 6:55 PM on March 6, 2018 [5 favorites]


Rock climbing and hiking.
posted by Toddles at 7:13 PM on March 6, 2018


Archery range! Lots of fun to learn to use a bow and arrow, and when the Hunger Games start you’ll have an advantage.
posted by ejs at 7:14 PM on March 6, 2018 [4 favorites]


Ball / deck hockey (ice hockey tends to cost a lot more, but also quite exciting)
Parkour
Ice skating
Gymnastics - learn to do backflips
Rock climbing indoors, then take it outdoors
Skateboarding
Commute via bike (not really a hobby but boy am I excited about life after I manage to survive yet another day of commuting through the city!)
Long distance biking (e.g. between cities)
Mountain biking
Trail running if you're near any kind of trail
Learn a musical instrument and find people to play with
Improv
Brewing beer
Make fancy soap
Slacklining
Origami
Knitting
Make your own clothes
Learn to write and draw with your non-dominant hand
Yo-yo tricks
Juggling
Krav Maga
Learn a new language
Sourdough
Adopt a very smart and active puppy
posted by rhythm and booze at 7:23 PM on March 6, 2018 [4 favorites]


Maybe take an improv class? They’re not super expensive and they are likely to make you productively uncomfortable. I’m not really an improv guy but I took a class in NYC and it was fun and worth doing.

For free I can recommend a thing I do all the time which is Sacred Harp singing. It’s free, it’s social, and it’s a low bar to entry in a way. (Reading the shape notes is challenging at first but this is true for everyone and nobody judges.) NB the songs are all hymns but in cities, it’s not a religious activity. (I have been singing SH for five years and am a lifelong atheist.) Anyway you get to sing loud and it’s cathartic. I don’t have a link to link you on my phone but if you want to see if it sounds fun there are a billion Sacred Harp songs on YouTube.
posted by Smearcase at 8:00 PM on March 6, 2018 [1 favorite]


I can confirm that rock climbing makes things feel fresh and new again. How much time do you currently spend being
diagonal
? It's pretty cool. But if that's too expensive, I get it and hope someone else has lower cost ideas.
posted by salvia at 8:07 PM on March 6, 2018 [2 favorites]


Write a novel and create a new, exciting world for yourself to slip into when you feel like it.
Download Zombies, Run and get fit while living in the zombie apocalypse.
posted by Youremyworld at 8:08 PM on March 6, 2018 [2 favorites]


Local Parks and Rec classes are great for this. I like beginning level adult sports class (volleyball!). Move your bod, meet some new people, etc. Or, art! Try painting.
posted by soakimbo at 9:09 PM on March 6, 2018 [1 favorite]


Math. Buy cheap Dover math books, and study until you understand something.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:34 PM on March 6, 2018 [3 favorites]


Amateur radio!

I personally do - and love - amateur radio!

You can find a local class, test and get at least the Technician License, and then get an inexpensive radio! (I highly recommend getting the 'package' that's down below; the programming cable and extra antenna are highly worth it). The radio, accessories, the Technician book, and the exam fee should run you less than $200 - but then you're set.

If you like it, you can progress up to the General and Amateur Extra license classes. Amateur Radio is something that you can sink a ton of money into it, if you want. However, the Baofeng that I linked is my main radio, and I use it all the time. It's also a hideous neon yellow because I enjoy glaring colors. There are also online communities on how to do Amateur Radio on the cheap. Bonus: it can be a very useful skill to have in an emergency, if cell phone towers get overloaded.
posted by spinifex23 at 9:43 PM on March 6, 2018 [6 favorites]


Seconding Ingress because I've spent a ton of time in Pittsburgh and know there is some great playing opportunity all over the city.

Pittsburgh has great improv so: classes?
posted by Merinda at 10:07 PM on March 6, 2018 [3 favorites]


When I got my 50cc scooter I was scared but exhilarated. I highly recommend taking the MSF course first - they’ll loan you a bike or scooter for the two days of practice so you can see if it appeals to you. It totally changed my life.

Now that I’m on a 750cc motorcycle I feel more of the same excitement. I twist the throttle and just go - I still get that exhilaration.

In Pittsburgh it’s probably not a year-round thing, but spring and summer are coming and it’s a great time to find your local moto club (mine is the Torque Wenches) and practice, practice, practice. AKA, find a group or a friend you’re comfortable with who won’t judge you and find the back roads and learn what you can do as well as your limits.

Scooters can be found relatively cheaply on craigslist. A local scooter or moto store could help you as well.

(I’d also recommend flying lessons but you said inexpensive. 😂)
posted by bendy at 1:14 AM on March 7, 2018


Roller Derby.

Find a local team and ask them how to get started as a beginner. they'll be super encouraging and able to give you all your local options.

Edited to add: this advice 100% still applies even if you don't even know how to roller skate! All the better really.
posted by JuliaIglesias at 1:24 AM on March 7, 2018 [2 favorites]


Volunteer!!!

Here are the cons: you will be nervous. Unless you are the peopliest people person alive, you will be apprehensive about interacting with people who (depending on what you volunteer to do) either do important, underfunded work, or who may be vulnerable and socially bruised, or all sorts of other challenges. You will think, what else could I be using this time for? It is tiring. You may have to learn a lot. You may sometimes think, am I doing more harm than good? You may not often get thanked.

Here are the pros: it will improve your life in ways you never imagined. It will give you new perspectives of many different kinds. It will leave you feeling kind of, more qualified to be alive? And you will be helping people (or animals or the environment) and that in itself feels great.
posted by greenish at 2:54 AM on March 7, 2018 [4 favorites]


What about geocaching? I'm not sure how much people do it anymore but might be exciting and possibly you can use a GPS on your phone?
posted by stillmoving at 4:48 AM on March 7, 2018


Planting trees can be an enjoyable hobby. Relatively low cost and it's satisfying to see what you've worked on grow and develop.
posted by gibbsjd77 at 5:27 AM on March 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


Search “Pittsburgh meetup” for a list of groups in your area and see if any of them appeal to you. Just glancing, I see a ukulele group, a photo safari group, a badminton group, and an outdoor adventure group. It may take a while to find one you click with.
posted by FencingGal at 5:36 AM on March 7, 2018


Thank you all for your wonderful suggestions.
posted by pumpkinlatte at 5:50 AM on March 7, 2018


BAR TRIVIA. They're everywhere and on all nights of the week, it's a built in excuse to make plans with friends you maybe don't see all the time, your brain gets a workout, and maybe you'll win stuff. Win-win-win.

AND! A couple of Pittsburgh-specific ideas:

-If martial arts might be your jam and you are near the East End, I took a beginners class at the Traditional Martial Arts Society on Baum Boulevard, and not only was it super rad, it is also disturbingly cheap. Like, I'm concerned for them, their monthly prices are so cheap.

-If you've always wanted to try out some tabletop or board games, I know Phantom of the Attic in Oakland nearly always has something going on on weekends, and I can also personally vouch for the awesomeness of the monthly Dungeon Crawl Classics sessions, which are usually on the last Sunday of the month from noon to 5pm. Other game stores probably also have stuff going on. Fun fact: PotA game nights are how I met some of my current best friends when I first moved to Pittsburgh.

-CCAC (and probably some other local schools as well) has a load of Community Education classes available for a small fee at all sorts of different locations. Maybe there's something in there that would strike your fancy? I took the calligraphy class a few years back and it was awesome.

-There's a fencing academy in Point Breeze. I know next to nothing about it, but I know that it's there.

Sidenote: I am also in Pittsburgh, and my goodness, when I get done with grad school in a few months I am jumping all the heck over some of these suggestions. Good luck with your new hobby! :)
posted by helloimjennsco at 8:44 AM on March 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


Scooters can be found relatively cheaply on craigslist. A local scooter or moto store could help you as well.
posted by bendy at 4:14 AM


This is great advice! But I have one caveat: do NOT buy a Chinese scooter. Buy only Japanese (Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha or Suzuki), Korean (Kymco only - avoid Sym) or Italian (Piaggio, Vespa, Aprilia). These scooters cost more because Chinese scooters have zero parts availability in the US and become literally worthless as soon as something breaks. In addition, most mechanics worth their salt won't touch Chinese junk. They really are that bad.
posted by workerant at 11:07 AM on March 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


Meditation. Take your boredom to new heights as you train yourself to notice things that you never noticed before while doing...nothing.
posted by Mr. Fig at 12:43 PM on March 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


Learn to row and specifically to scull in a single - I'd say that's pretty close to the feeling of learning to ride a bike.
posted by yarrow at 12:50 PM on March 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


Join a bowling league! I did this a year ago and am having a blast. I've really come to respect the game. Much more complex than I though it would be.
posted by Allez at 1:55 PM on March 7, 2018


Kayak Pittsburgh
posted by serena15221 at 6:34 PM on March 7, 2018


The Climbing Wall over by Penn and South Braddock is pretty good, and the people are friendly.

Protohaven is a good hacker space; Jessie is a friend who helps there, and it's a win.

The local Burningman folks have a decent monthly happy hour, and Frostburn, their yearly event, is really good times.

For motorcycles, Honda House just outside the Liberty Tunnels did good work on bikes, I was less fond of the Suzuki shop out there, and dear lord the BMW shop in the North Hills is pricey.

Kayak Pittsburgh is decent, but man, it's cold right now.

Rounding it out, there was a group of fire spinners who meet up in Frick Park once a week or so, mostly in the summers, but as they're playing with fire, literally, it's easier to stretch that significantly.

There's an intro-to-woodworking thing outta GNA Woodworks in McKee's Rocks that's solid, but going to run $300-400, as it's a pretty damn detailed class.

I do powerlifting, and have for a few months, similar motivation to you, actually. Hopefully moving back to Pittsburgh soonish, will see. People recommend Celli's Gym in Lawrenceville.
posted by talldean at 9:36 PM on March 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


quad roller skating. There are tons of chicks in bowls groups popping up (search instagram)
posted by WeekendJen at 10:23 AM on March 8, 2018


Geocashing & calligraphy
posted by PeaPod at 11:42 AM on March 8, 2018


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