What you should be asking yourself right now is “What does the beloved author of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and travel hobbies have anything to do with each other?” – I am so glad you asked.
No matter how productive you are on the road, there is still significant downtime you have to fill somehow. You are always going to run into the situation where you can’t make a call, not enough time to make powering up the laptop worthwhile or quite frankly, you are just done with it and need to do something else. This is the time that most folks fall back on their hobbies. Those time fillers that also help to sooth the soul and restore the mind. For my son it is streaming game play on Twitch, for my wife – streaming TED talks and fitness advice, for my Mother-in-Law it is knitting. I on the other hand have some bad travel hobbies.
When I really analyze it, I have four hobbies – and none of them are conducive to the travel lifestyle:
Bad Travel Hobby #1 – Martial Arts:
I actively practice American Karate and have just started my study of Brazilian Jui Jitsu. Now I will actively admit that there are times when I can get out and roll as I travel but for the most part, it is a hobby (lifestyle) that I practice only when I am at home. I watch videos and study the arts while I am on the road but the reality is the only way for me to get better is to get out and participate. As I am writing this, it has been nearly 3 weeks since I stepped on a mat and I am Jonesing for my return.
Bad Travel Hobby #2 – Aquariums:
Way back in the day I wanted to be a Marine Biologist, so much so that I actually have degree in Aquatic Biology. Well life happened along the way and I took an alternative direction but I have never lost my love for the water and aquariums. I have a reef tank in my house that about once a month looks great. The reason it is only once a month? You have to be present to take care of a tank the right way. It takes time, attention, detailed monitoring and basically good old TLC to have a salt water reef tank really thrive. That is really hard to do from 1000 miles away…even if you are staring at the ocean (osmosis is not that strong).
Bad Travel Hobby #3 – Gardening:
See everything above except think above the water line. Every year I plant a garden on the side of the house. Every year it starts off strong (before the TX heat really kicks in) and every year about this time, I watch it begin to wither away in 5 day increments when I get home. I love getting my hands dirty and cooking with fruits of my labor but it really is a bad travel hobby.
Bad Travel Hobby #4 – Home Improvement:
I really do love working around the house and am pretty good with my hands but again, you actually have to be home to be able to work on the house. Watching DIY videos of the closet organization system you want to put in will not ever really get you any closer to actually putting in that closet organization system.
So how does Harper Lee fit in to your self-realization Mr. RoadWarriorFit?
Again – so glad you asked. I recently saw that a publisher is releasing her little known manuscript that preceded To Kill A Mockingbird and it made me realize that I used to read. A lot.
Before we had iPads that had every movie I have ever owned available and/or a Wikipedia page on anything I could ever want to know, I traveled with a book….or three. I devoured Presidential biographies. Read extensively on the Revolutionary War era and would consume business books like they were a part of the breakfast buffet at the hotel restaurant.
Somewhere a long the way my time filler shifted.
I am not even sure how or when it happened other than the introduction of the iPad.
I could now carry ALL of my books with me at once!!!
It was a wonderful theory but the application sucked. I was distracted by games, email, movies and YouTube. I lost my way and now time fillers are no longer productive they are actually destructive.
So here is my commitment, I am going to rekindle at least one good RoadWarrior habit – Reading. The first book to put back on the list, the High School required reading list favorite, Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. I remember liking it well enough back then (unlike Catcher in the Rye) and maybe, just maybe, the southern tale of Atticus and Scout Finch will rekindle my friendship with my long lost friend, the book.
So what are your good RoadWarrior hobbies? How do you fill time productively?
Can’t wait to hear and look forward to seeing you on the road. I will be the one with the iPad actually reading. If I’m not, you have full permission to call me out on it.