When you search the internet for answers to the question ‘is traveling a hobby?’ you get all manner of responses. Some will say without a doubt that they think traveling is a hobby. Others will tell you that traveling is not a hobby at all. When you read a little closer, you will see that their answer depends on their worldview. They want to either classify traveling as a hobby or they don’t. But that’s not what we’re about here. We want to give you both sides of the story.
Let’s cut to the chase. Traveling is an amazing thing. We all need more of it in our life. So, with that in mind, here is a list of reasons why traveling should become your favorite hobby –
- The world is so much more accessible now. Get out there and experience it. Only thirty years ago, air travel was expensive, and it took forever to get from place to place. The air travel network wasn’t nearly as complicated as it is today. But now you can get from one point on the planet to any other in pretty much under 24 hours. Doesn’t that open up a whole world of possibilities?
- Meeting new people is simply an amazing experience. They say that we’re the sum total of the five people we spend the most time with. Well, how about spending time with the Māori people in New Zealand? Or New Yorkers on a night out? Or getting a guided tour of Shanghai from a local who knew the place when it was a small town? New people and new experiences add a richness to your life.
- Add some culture to your life. It’s absolutely true that we spend too much of our life glued to a phone screen. Well, how about adding some cultural diversity to your Camera Roll by taking images of some of the brilliant sights this planet has to offer. Eiffel Tower, anyone? Or the Taj Mahal? Grand Canyon? Chichen Itza? Become more cultured and enjoy life!
- Find out wat makes you tick. Ever felt like life just rumbles along? That you don’t get to fulfil your passions? Well, choosing traveling as a hobby can help open up the world in new ways. You will be able to work out what you love when you go out there and try new things. You might find a lifestyle, a climate or people that you want to spend the rest of your life with. Now, isn’t that worth exploring?
- Sample the food of the world. The cuisine of the planet is as diverse and interesting as the people. Food is a great reason to make traveling your favorite hobby alone. You fall in love with the cuisine of a place at the same time you fall in love with the place itself. They say that music is the food of love. Well, they haven’t tried the freshest oysters while sitting there watching the ships go by in Sydney Harbor.
- Open your mind to new experiences. The mind is a muscle. And if you exercise it regularly then it becomes stronger. Remember that saying from high school? Well, it turns out the teachers were right – who’d have thought that?! Well, experiencing new ways of life and new people opens up your mind to all the possibilities this planet has to offer. An open mind is the absolute best way to approach life.
- Refresh the soul. We all need a break from the daily grind every now and again. Our soul is a delicate thing – and it needs balance. Taking some time out to travel and experience the wonders of the planet helps keep our soul in a good place. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
- A voyage of discovery. This is one of the most exciting parts of traveling as a hobby. We never know what’s on the other side of that train journey, that flight or even that cab ride. Who knew that you could stand at the top of a waterfall and watch the power of Mother Nature simply rush past us? It’s an amazing feeling that we don’t get on the daily commute, that’s for sure.
- To inform others of what we’ve found. This is one of the most overlooked reasons that we take up traveling as a hobby. Think about the first explorers. They entertained their friends and families with their tales of discovery – what they found, who they met and what they did. Their friends and family sat in wonder. We now ‘show off’ our travels on our social feeds. We let other people know where we’ve been and what we’ve done. And it feels good – so good!
- The feeling of freedom can’t be beaten. When we shake loose the shackles of our everyday life, we feel a freedom that we don’t get anywhere else. Traveling as a hobby is great because it is different. We no longer have to worry about being at work by nine. We don’t stress about what the boss will say in our appraisal. The most pressing thing in a traveling day is whether to have three beers or four.
Traveling As A Hobby: So, What’s It All About?
Regular readers of our blog will know the passion we have for traveling. Whether it’s close to home or the far-flung corner of the world, we love to take in the experiences the world has to offer – as many of them as possible as much of the time available. And you will know that experiences, cuisine, people and many more things are super important to us.
There is a big world out there. And so many of us want to see as much of it as possible. When we speak to people about traveling, they often ask – is traveling a hobby? And this got us thinking. If you travel all the time, then does it cease to be a hobby? Or is it more a way of life?
Now, this can be looked at in many different ways – and believe me, we’re going to do that. But let’s start with that question again – is traveling a hobby? Well, for many people, they get a handful of weeks a year away from their 9-to-5 and use this to go on vacation. It might be a road trip across their own country, visiting friends or family, or even going somewhere that’s always been on their bucket list.
And we suppose for them, traveling is something like a hobby. It happens for a small period of time in pockets of their year. They travel for fun. It’s something that they look forward to all year long and then indulges in when they get the chance.
But, as you travel more, you will meet people who are just ‘traveling.’ They may not have a fixed place to live, aren’t constrained by international borders, and travel as a way of life.
And this sheds new light on the question – is traveling a hobby? Well, we will start to break this question down in the next few sections. Hopefully what you’ve read so far will have you raring to go. All we need to do is answer the question we posed at the top of the piece.
The next question we should ask is – if traveling isn’t a hobby, then what else is it? And we’ll get to that next…
What Is Traveling?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes the word in this way –
trav·el·ing | \ ˈtra-və-liŋ , ˈtrav-liŋ \
variants: or traveling
Definition of traveling
1: going to different places instead of staying in one place
a traveling opera company
a traveling executive
Traveling merchants carried the caps to Mexico City, where tourists bought them.
Now, we understand that this is a quite loose definition. There isn’t a great deal of detail here in terms of our question. But we can add layers of detail as we go. And, as with travel itself, the layers are what makes it interesting.
Firstly, it defines the word as ‘going to different places instead of staying in one place.’ The word ‘instead’ becomes the most interesting part here. It shows that traveling is the opposite of staying. And, with the examples, there is a kind of permanence in the act of traveling. The traveling opera company, the traveling executive and the traveling merchants – none of these are doing this as a hobby. They are doing this as part of their way of life.
And that does lean away from viewing it as a hobby. But that isn’t the only answer we can come up with.
Reasons Why Traveling Is A Hobby
There are a handful of reasons you could view traveling as a hobby. Again, we’re going to start with a definition –
Definition of hobby
: a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation
Writing is just a hobby of his.
Her hobbies include gardening and birdwatching.
Now we’ve looked at the definition according to a dictionary, we need to break that down into a definition that means something to us in the real world. So, what would make traveling a hobby? Let’s take a look –
Traveling Is A Choice
One of the main reasons we view traveling as a hobby is because of the choice element. The things we can’t choose (paying taxes, going to work, putting out the trash) are the chores we do to create the freedom to follow our dreams. A hobby is something we do in this freedom time we create. We choose where we want to go, who we want to go with, when we go and what we do when we’re there. Now, if that isn’t inextricably linked to the definition of a hobby then we don’t know what is.
And, as with any choice, you can select to do something else instead. You could stay at home, renovate your home, landscape your garden, spend time with others – the list goes on. But you don’t. You choose to travel. This is what you do with your life. The choice has been made. You’re traveling as a hobby.
Traveling Is A Passion
A hobby is something we chase with passion. It is so different to what we do for work, every day of our life. Traveling is a break from all of that. It’s something different. A hobby is also a break from that. It is also something different. The two definitions seem to fit really closely.
Traveling is a secondary activity – it’s not what we do with our main time. It’s not what defines us. If someone asks –
“Who are you?”
“What do you do?”
then the likely response is –
“I’m a banker.”
“I paint people’s houses.”
It’s fairly unlikely that you’ll respond –
So, you follow your passion, taking in the food, the culture, and the heritage of other places and the people that live in these places. Traveling is a hobby because you do it to follow your passions. We feel better, return home with a rejuvenated feeling, and don’t worry about the difficulties of life. If that’s not a passion, then we don’t know what is!
Passion is life. We live for our passions, work for our passions. Have you heard the phrase, ‘work to live, not live to work?’ Well, this about sums it up perfectly as far as we’re concerned. We’re not put on this planet to work. But the work we do allows us to explore the earth.
Traveling In Your Spare Time
Most people who travel will do it in their spare time. Before the 2019 pandemic, there were nearly 40 million flights a year. And many of the seats on these flights were taken by hobbyists – people who do this traveling thing in their spare time.
Think about it. For most people, the entire step by step process of a vacation is constructed in their spare time, including –
- Planning where to go
- Researching flights
- Researching accommodation
- Booking the vacation
- Researching what to do while there
And this is a strong signal that the act of traveling is a hobby. A vacation is so much fun that people get a passion for it. Seeing new things, gathering experiences, and meeting new people. These are all elements that you will find in many hobbies. There is an addiction in traveling that gets many people to start looking for their next trip on the way home from the one they’re on.
Traveling To Your Hobby
Bear with us on this one. It’s best described with an example. If you love comic books and everything about them, then there’s a fair chance that you will travel to a Comicon or two every year. So, traveling become part of your hobby. Your hobby isn’t necessarily traveling but traveling has become part of your hobby. Many of us do this without thinking about it. You can’t do one without the other.
Reasons Why Traveling Isn’t A Hobby
This can be more difficult to define in many ways. Let’s start by listing what it might be if it isn’t a hobby –
- A way of life
- A passion
- It’s something you do to get to your hobby
- People don’t always like the traveling part of a vacation
- Travel is what sheeple do
- Some people just don’t feel it
And these are all valid points. If everyone on the planet felt the same way and did the same things, then it would be a very boring place to live indeed. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at the reasons why traveling isn’t a hobby.
If you view travel as a lifestyle or a way of life, then the world truly is your oyster. There is so much to see and do out there that you could travel every day for the rest of your life and still not see a fraction of what there is to see out there. And you know what traveling is like – you might visit a place only to find things you missed the first time around. And you’d probably need deep pockets or to work while you travel to make this happen.
The actual traveling part (the airport, the train station, the bus rides, the waiting) is often what people don’t like about going someplace. So, in some ways, the traveling part isn’t their hobby. It’s a necessary evil on the way to another place. When they arrive at that other palace, this might be where they practice their hobby, even if that hobby is sunbathing. So, in the eyes of these people, traveling isn’t a hobby, more of a way to get to their hobby.
And for some, they don’t have much desire to even leave home. There are people who just want to spend their downtime at home – I know, hard to believe! They just don’t feel it. So, for them, traveling is definitely NOT a hobby. It’s just something other people do.
Downsides Of Traveling As A Hobby
There are some downsides to traveling as a hobby. When you look at it, traveling as a hobby generally means that you only get to do it in small pockets of time. Not many of us, with the exception of the super-rich, get to spend massive chunks of their year pursuing their hobby and nothing else.
And that brings us to the first downside of traveling as a hobby. Unlike many other hobbies, traveling is all-consuming. You can’t travel for half an hour in your lunch break and then get back to work. Sure, you can go for a walk in the locality where you work. But that’s not quite the same as traveling. Many hobbies you can fit into small timescales. If you think about many camera clubs or photography classes, they last an hour to a few hours as a group of people get together to share their knowledge and experience as well as show off their work.
But you can’t do that with traveling. You can’t fit it into a small pocket of time. You need to set aside at least a day, often more.
In addition, traveling as a hobby can be quite an expensive thing. Flights are getting more costly by the year as we realize the environmental impact of traveling the globe – more on this later. The cost of traveling is much more than any other hobby. You need to get from A to B, have somewhere to rest your head when you get there, and then you have the activities. For example, anyone who wants to climb Mount Everest needs to come up with the princely sum of $44,500. And if you want the executive level then you can at least quadruple that figure. Eyewatering.
And it isn’t just these high-end travel destinations that cost money. Compare traveling to staying at home. When you go from place to place, you need money for the journey itself. But you will also more often than not need money for accommodation, three meals a day, activities and anything else that we take for granted at home. This soon adds up.
Environmental factors come into play when we travel. Have you ever been to Australia? Do you know the strict rules they have regarding what you can and cannot bring into the country? They protect their environment vigorously. The impact that one person traveling from point A to point B on the planet could be tragic for the region. People have taken diseases from place to place – just look at the exponential growth of the 2019 global pandemic. Looking at how travel affects the environment isn’t just the carbon footprint, although that is a major factor. It’s about what we do and see when we go there.
Uluru no longer allows people to walk on it. The site has been sacred for the local people for tens of thousands of years. Becoming a tourist attraction offended them. And we can do that far too often. We suggest reading up and being respectful whenever you travel. It might be a hobby, but this is a shared planet where people have different values and concepts. Embracing these is energizing.
Traveling isn’t a hobby because traveling cannot be done in isolation. If all you want to do is travel, then you might as well sit on the Circle Line Underground in London and just spin in circles all day. Traveling isn’t an activity that you just do. You travel to enjoy, you travel to relax, you travel to experience. And so, we don’t just travel. We travel and then do a whole host of other things at the other end.
People Who Can Travel And Still Work
Once upon a time, in the not too distant past, you had to stop working to travel. You took an extended leave from work, a gap year or did it in between jobs. And if you needed extra cash while you were traveling (especially long term) then you took a job in a bar. For example, back in the nineties, London’s bars were full of Australians, all working for a little extra cash to fund the next leg of their journey.
But now we don’t have to do this. If the pandemic of last year taught us anything then it’s that Work From Home or WFH is here to stay. And if you can work from home then it stands that you can work from pretty much anywhere on the planet. The basic necessities are the internet and a phone signal. Unless your travel plans include the deepest rainforest or the most remote part of Antarctica then you will get both of these wherever you go.
But in terms of our discussion, this changes the narrative quite a bit. If you spend an enormous chunk of your traveling time working, then is traveling a hobby? Or is it more a way of life? And again, we guess that your answer entirely relies upon your world experience.
Does your employer require you to be nearby? Or can you do your job from pretty much anywhere on the face of the globe? I guess some of this depends on whether you need to be physically face-to-face with your customers or not.
Hobbies You Can Learn While You Travel
Just as an interesting side note, there are many hobbies that you can learn and practice while you travel. A hobby is something that we get passionate about, building up our engagement levels until we become better and better at it. Now, this can often take up a chunk of your time. But when you travel, this isn’t as much of an issue. Here are some exciting hobbies that you can learn while you travel –
- Photography – taking in all the amazing things you see while you travel.
- Drawing or sketching – again with the wonderful views as your inspiration.
- Running or hiking – let nature be your guide on your travels.
- Reading – a delightful book always feels better in a remarkable location.
- Writing – people will want to know all about your traveling experiences.
- Drone flying – not exactly traveling light but a fantastic way to explore too.
- Geocaching – a global phenomenon or an international Easter egg hunt!
If traveling isn’t a hobby in your eyes, then why not practice your favorite hobby (or develop a new one) while you’re on your travels? It can really make traveling even more fun and open up your eyes to the wonders of the world.
So, if you fancy running along Bondi Beach, or hiking in the Himalayas, or even drawing the amazing splendor of Angkor Wat, then a hobby while traveling might be the ideal way to combine your favorite hobby with traveling.
Traveling is a wonderful thing. And there are many different views on whether it can be counted as a hobby or not. The different opinions have been stated in this article, allowing you to make your own mind up. We know which side of the discussion we’re on. So, we’ve looked at all elements of this question. We now know what it is to travel as a hobby. And we know who can do this successfully. If you have any questions at all about traveling as a hobby, then we’d love to hear it.