Throughout our lives, the things that we do are affected by where we are, who we engage with and even what is trending at the time. Before my husband and I started traveling full time, our common hobby was primarily fishing. We had a variety of boats over the years. We had a bass boat when we lived in Maine that spent more time on the local rivers than in the garage. When we moved to New York, we purchased an old cruiser that allowed us to fish in the warmer waters of the Long Island Sound. Jim also enjoyed scuba diving and he is an avid reader. I have always had a passion for music and I also enjoyed a wide range of crafting, with a concentration on crochet and sewing. When we began the process of down sizing our house to fit into our fifth wheel, we realized how much space and weight our hobbies had taken up in our home.
Let’s begin with our fishing hobby. We had full complement of both fresh and salt water gear. We had at least 8-10 fishing poles and enough tackle to supply a small shop. We didn’t realize the amount of gear that we had until we cleaned off the boat and our storage area. It was all utilized frequently and scattered between the boat, vehicles and house that it was no wonder we always had to buy more gear! Even so, we knew that we would have to make room in the camper for at least some of the gear because we can fish anywhere! It’s relatively light and compact and could be packed away with little trouble. Before we got on the road, fishing was our main source of relaxation and entertainment. The boat would go in the water sometimes as early as 4am and not come out until mid day. If we were not working, we were fishing. That was our life and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. The last time we went fishing was February 2013. It is now January 2016.
Next is Jim’s diving hobby. Dive gear is heavy and bulky. From wet and dry suits, tanks, fins and masks, weights and flags, this gear would prove to be a bit more challenging to decide on whether or not it should come with us. Since we had decided that we would be following the sun to the south in the winter, we concluded that the dive gear would have priority in finding a home in the belly of the camper. We would be spending winters, likely in Florida which means diving would be a great hobby to maintain. Jim’s last dive was February 2013. It is now January 2016.
Reading is a great hobby but books are heavy. Books can be bulky. We had a huge bookcase full of books that include fiction, non fiction, textbooks and how-to books. This presented a considerable challenge since we knew that the odds of us getting through them all before hitting the road was highly unlikely, we now needed to choose what to pack and bring. We had series that we have read over and over again that we really didn’t want to part with, but didn’t have the room for. Then there are all the books that we had not yet read. I had kept textbooks from college that I frequently used as resources and reference for work, but knew that I would no longer be working in the that field. The process of elimination began a bit grudgingly but over time got easier when focusing on being practical. In addition, my parents came up with a brilliant gift for Jim, by getting him a Kindle. The Kindle would allow him to continue reading his favorite authors without carrying around the bulk or the weight. Jim still has his kindle, but doesn’t use it. He has found that campground book swaps, flea markets and stores like good will can provide him with a cheap way to get books that he wants to read and when he is done he can drop them off at book swaps as we travel or drop them off at a donation bin somewhere which means that we don’t have to carry too many books around.
My passion for music has always been strong and I have been the proud owner of a large assortment of instruments most of my life. Upon deciding to go on the road, I had in my possession: Full size Yamaha keyboard, 2 snare drums, a sousaphone, euphonium, trombone, trumpet, coronet, 2 clarinets, a flute and a large number of theory, lesson and exercise books for each as well as some of my childhood favorite piano music. I had to make the painful decision on which instruments I would bring and the type of music to bring as well. I narrowed it down to the keyboard, trumpet, euphonium, trombone, clarinet and flute as they were the easiest to carry, store and utilize. I have since donated my keyboard to a family who would get use out of it and the other instruments have taken up residence in a closet at my brother’s house.
Lastly was my crafting collection. I had an entire room dedicated to crafts. I had entire walls with shelving units jam packed with yarn, fabric, books, needles and thread, sewing machine, rulers, rotary mats, scrapbooking papers and notions. The truth is I could have given a good craft shop a run for their money. This was another hobby that absolutely had to be downsized and the process was quite painful. I was fortunate that my mother, whom I had a craft business with, was willing to take most of the supplies into her own small house (she lived in a 400sqft cottage). While I was still making money on crochet items after we got on the road, sales have been way down and other interests have taken priority. I have since sold off most of my supplies and stock keeping only the sewing machine and its accessories as well as a few skeins of yarn and a few yards of fabric for quick projects.
We did have another hobby item that we had with us, but not utilized often in years; golf. Each of us had a set of clubs that had been stashed away in a dark corner of a room/basement or garage that had been collecting dust. We had each bought a set from Walmart, just in case we had the opportunity to hit a bucket of balls on the driving range, or get invited for a golf outing with friends. I think in 10 years we might have gone golfing once a year. However, we figured it would be a good idea to bring them since we were going to be spending our winters in the Florida sun. Our first 2 years on the road brought us to no golf courses. Sure, we were nearby, but we were so consumed in our new adventures that we just didn’t find the time to go. That all changed the winter of 2014. We went to the range a few times. By spring we had decided to stay in Florida for the summer to care for Jim’s mother. It was that decision that dramatically shifted our interest and we began going to the driving range on a regular basis. Within a few weeks, we were playing a round of golf at least 2 times a week. We were hooked. Since we began playing golf, we traded in our old clubs for more a more quality set up as well as ensure that we have a wardrobe that will allow us to play at nearly any course we choose. While we are still not very good, we do enjoy getting out and playing a round or two a few times a week.
The moral of this story is simple. Overtime, our interests change. Sometimes it is strictly due to our environment. Sometimes it is because we realize that what we enjoyed before, we just don’t enjoy as much anymore. Life is an ever changing journey in which we adapt or learn new things. While we still dabble in our previous interests, there is nothing wrong with doing something new and different. For us, that was picking up the game of golf.