No matter how many books I read or hours I spend online, the mystery of my boredom continues to elude me. At first, I blamed it on living in a small-ish town, and then I remembered my year in the city and how much more bored I was there. I love being surrounded by hiking trails and scenic dirt roads, but I still feel like I'm missing motivation and fun in some way. After some profound contemplation, I realized the simple answer: I need a new hobby. I have plenty of things I enjoy doing, but they're all things I've been doing for years. Sometimes we need to shake things up to reboot our stale routines. The problem is, if there's a popular hobby I haven't tried, it's because it didn't pique my interest enough for investment. So, I set out to discover unique activities to rejuvenate my desire to get out the door. I found some that are quirky and some that are straight-up epic, and I hope there's at least one that you decide to try. Maybe one will even inspire you to start a club and invite more people in your area to learn with you.
"Mounted archery" is the magnificent skill of shooting a bow and arrow while riding a horse at full speed. I put it at the top of my list because it's the hobby on my bucket list for this year! I was first made aware of this skill in the show "Heartland" (If you like horses and family drama, it's on Netflix). As a horse enthusiast and archery fan, I was immediately excited to learn more. Mounted archers compete worldwide, and many instructors hold clinics for beginners. It's an incredible sport that encourages balance, fitness, and concentration. With roots in medieval times and martial arts, this is one activity that will knock the boredom out of your life.
To balance things out, here's an idea that's a little more low-key. It doesn't require much physical stamina, but leather tooling certainly involves skill. Have you ever admired a beautiful design on a leather belt, purse, or notebook? With some attentiveness, you could make that yourself. The best part is that you don't have to be a super-skilled artist because patterns and templates are available for beginners. All you need is a tool kit and an eye for detail.
If you live in the southwest like me, this one's for you. Sandboarding is like snowboarding, except it doesn't require winter cold. All you need is a board and a sandhill, and there are many sandboard parks for beginners. This sport teaches balance and adventurousness and is an awesome activity with friends. You can also enter sandboarding competitions in the U.S. and South America.
You may have heard of upcycling, which is the talent of turning your junk into new creations. You could turn a glass bottle into a lamp (I've tried and failed at that one) or make earrings from an old CD. The twist is that rather than keeping these treasures for yourself, what if you use it as a way to meet new people? You can form a group of other people who want to upcycle and set up "swap" events. That way, you can all end up with something totally original and know that your creations go to appreciative homes.
If you've ever watched "The Amazing Race," then you know the gist of adventure racing. Adventures are long-distance races that usually include biking, mountain running, and kayaking/canoeing. Most races take at least five hours to complete and may also include various activities such as horseback riding, rock climbing, puzzle-solving, etc. There are races all over the U.S., and entering one will give you a lot of motivation to get out and do! If you're outdoorsy and want to do a bit of everything, adventure races are a great way to bond with new (and old) friends.
Bonus: Competitive Duck Herding
I didn't include this one in the count because it's not practical for most of us to make a regular sport of it. However, it is wildly entertaining. Competitive duck herding is a team-building activity where the human group members work with trained dogs to wrangle a flock of ducks through an obstacle course. It's guaranteed to bring people together and produce a ton of laughs. Check out this video if you need a mood-lift.
Written Content Coordinator at Sun Valley Community Church. An avid writer since the age of 5, who loves to explore new ideas and places. Inspired by Jesus, books, and travel.