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Nobody wants to work their whole life. Well, okay, some people do – but for the vast majority of us, we dream of the day we can hand in our resignations, leave the office for the final time, and go and buy a small home on a Caribbean Island.
But after the novelty of being free from the shackles of employment has worn off, you’re going to need something to fill your time.
Once he retired, my granddad always used to say he didn’t know how he ever found the time to go to work – but that’s because he took up lots of new hobbies and learned several new skills.
With that in mind, here is a look at some of the most popular hobbies for coming back to after work, along with the best sites to help you get stuck in:
Whether you’ve bought a house by the sea or a cottage by a lake, one of the best ways to fill your time is to learn how to fish. It’s a peaceful, calming, and an introspective hobby; perfect for whiling away those hazy afternoons in the sun.
Fisherman Advisor is an all-encompassing fishing site. It’ll teach you everything you need to know about selecting the right bait, buying the ideal rod for your environment, and hooking the best fish you can. It also covers various fishing techniques and includes an equipment review section.
2. Fish Base
Managed to catch something, but you’ve not got a clue what it is? Fish Base is a directory of 33,200 species, 317,200 common names, and 56,900 pictures. The perfect accompaniment to a day by the water.
If you’re a grandma, you should know how to knit – how else are you going to give your grandchildren an oversized and itchy Christmas jumper every year?!
Ravelry is a free-to-join community website where users can share pictures, patterns, ideas, and inspirations. You might have to wait for your membership to be accepted if they’ve had a surge of applications.
Knitting patterns are key to any successful project. If you want to make a jumper, you’ll need to use a different design to that which you’d use if you wanted to make a dishcloth. Knitting Pattern Central has 15,743 links to patterns and tutorials, making it the best site of its kind on the web.
Very few things are more fulfilling than doing volunteer work; whether you want to work with animals, homeless people, or disadvantaged children, you’ll always be able to find something to get involved with.
5. All for Good
All for Good is the largest online database of volunteer opportunities. In 2015, the site reportedly filled 300,000 openings and dealt with 64 million individual searches. Sadly, it’s only available in the United States at the moment.
6. Catch a Fire
If you’re coming from a professional background and you want to continue using those skills, check out Catch a Fire. It matches non-profits and social enterprises with well-qualified volunteers. Projects are as diverse as working with Matahari Women Workers’ Centers to assisting with international conservation photography.
Painting and Drawing
Release your inner creative side and put a brush on a canvas to see what happens. Art extends way beyond fancy sketches and detailed watercolors; think big!
Paint Draw Paint is a blog run by an art teacher. It runs through the basics of both painting and drawing, with tutorials and guides on color palettes, the human form, the use of light, proportions, and much more.
Draw Mix Paint is another blog, this time run by Mark Carder. You’re in good hands, as he has painted commissioned portraits of two US Presidents. There are lots of free videos on the site, though you’ll have to pay to unlock all the content.
When you’re working, you might not have time to learn to cook properly. Families, commutes, and mental tiredness often get in the way.
With its “Quick and Easy Recipes” section, Epicurious is a great site that allows a total beginner to dive straight in. Make an account and you’ll be able to save recipes, make shopping lists, and create notes.
10. All Recipes
All Recipes is one of the most well-known cooking sites on the web. It’s got thousands of recipes which range from the extremely complicated to the incredibly easy – the advanced search feature lets you easily identify them.
Perhaps you’re fluent in a second language or have creative skills you can pass on? Why not spend some time teaching either kids or adults?
Lingt lets you teach people a foreign language from the comfort of your own home. You can make spoken and written assignments, provide one-on-one tutoring, and create image and video commentaries.
Beanstalk is a UK-based charity which teaches children to read. They work both in schools and outside the classroom; for example, they recently completed a four-day hike through Nepal, helping to teach both English and Nepalese children as they went. They are always looking for more helpers.
There are lots of routes into music for even the musically challenged. Churches and other religious institutions often have choirs and bands, or maybe you can simply jam out with one of your musically gifted family members. After all, look at Mick Jagger – he’s 72 and still going strong…
13. High Note Music
Although it’s not overly detailed, High Note Music is a great starting point for wannabe rock stars. It gives you advice on how to get into lots of different instruments, including the piano, rock guitars, electric guitars, and the violin.
The other side of the musical coin is singing. Become a Singing Master covers a phenomenal amount of material that’ll help you train your vocal cords. It includes tips, exercises, instructional videos, and techniques, as well as linking to external resources like paid lessons and teachers.
For the uninitiated, geocaching is essentially an outdoor treasure hunt for people with GPS devices. It is a great weekend activity as it’ll take you to off-piste places and help you discover new things about your local area.
Geocaching.com is the official geocaching website. It’s simple to get started, just make an account, find your first geocache using the Android or iOS app, then sign and date the logbook and leave a note online.
Madcacher is the foremost independent blog on the subject of geocaching. It includes tips, links to regional geocaching clubs, and stories about the trials and tribulations of being out in the field. There’s also a shop where you can pick up cool gear to help with your escapades.
It doesn’t matter whether you live in a 100-acre mansion or in an inner-city flat, tending to plants and flowers is one of the most relaxing ways to spend your day.
17. The Horticult
The New York Times recently hailed The Horticult as one of the best gardening blogs online, and it’s easy to see why. They have tons of pictures, tips and hints on maximizing your garden’s potential, and DIY posts about how to make garden furniture and other peripherals – as well as lots more.
18. Urban Gardens
If you’re limited in terms of space, try reading Urban Gardens. The site offers ideas, inspirations, and designs for smaller urban yards. They’ve even got a post titled “Gang of Portuguese Grandparent Graffiti Artists” which details septuagenarian graffiti artists in Lisbon who paint backgrounds on drab walls!
What Hobbies Will You Take Up?
This list of 18 sites is only the start; there are thousands of different hobbies that you can enjoy. As is always the case, no matter what your passion, you’ll be able to find a blog on online community dedicated to it.
Are you spending your after-hours work creatively? What hobby or skill do you fall back on? Perhaps, you have found a unique way to unplug and get started on your lifelong dream?
Whatever your story, we’d love to hear from you. Your ideas could be someone’s inspiration.
Image Credit: with his guitar after work by Pressmaster via Shutterstock