One of the subjects I haven't seen come up, but seems natural enough to me, is pursuing your own hobbies while here. Whenever I go anywhere, I look to see if there's a local salsa dance scene. I'll also look for Thai chess players (the game being popular in Cambodia and Laos as well). I love to play. And I like to fight. Right now I am training in Tae Kwon Do to keep myself fit and keep my weight down. I included a recent exhibition I fought when I was in Kalasin.
So do any of you have hobbies you pursue when you come here to see how that interest perhaps differs from your home country?
Yeah, funny. Either people don't have serious hobbies or they abandon them (which is hard for me to imagine) when they go on vacation.
I'm getting ready to hit the road and I'm taking my TKD gear with me. Next month, going to Bangkok, and I'm going to dance my ass off and play some chess with the taxi guys. I guess I'm an outlier there too.
Travelfish started as a hobby :-)
I'm a bit of a map nut and really enjoy walking out the towns and hand sketching maps -- sometimes an interesting map can be as little as a 100 metre road, but marking points of interest/quirky stuff on it -- I don't do it freehand as much as I used to as, at least for TF purposes, now I use a phone so I can get long lats etc, but on this Burma trip, with no data on the phone, it has been fun sketching out stuff.
Always good to have pen and paper.
#4 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,770
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I'm a pretty decent athlete but when I travel then I rarely bother running, maybe occassionally just to ease the guilt of neverending eating and drinking, but almost never.
Why bother. You've paid big bucks to go around the world, why waste time doing something you can do at home.
#5 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738
Well China, you eat at home, you sleep at home, and you do those things when you travel. But for me the big connection is people. If I go to Bangkok and go dance, I meet people. I have some very good friends now because of that connection. If I go to Khon Kaen and go to TKD, I meet new people and make new connections. I like that. If I go to Pattaya (which I seldom do) and play chess with the taxi guys, I meet new people and do it around a common activity we both can appreciate. I like the people dynamic, which is why I pursue my hobbies when on the road.
I have a Canon DSLR camera that I only use while traveling. I still don't know how to use it well but I've been practicing for my upcoming trip. I've found that it's a good way to meet new people and make new connections, since there's always loads of fellow travelers with camera gear.
It reminds me of a funny thing that happened when I first got my camera. A few years ago I was living in a rural town in South Korea so I joined a local photography club to meet some new people. No one spoke a word of English and my Korean wasn't good enough to pick up on the photography vocabulary. They kept trying to explain some advanced shooting techniques but I couldn't understand. Eventually they'd set up the camera for me on a tripod and apply all of these manual settings. All I had to do was look through the viewfinder and press the button. Then they'd look at my photos and praise me about what a great photographer I am. This happened all day. I learned nothing but took some great photos... lol
MM - I don't even think your comment warrants a response but are you suggesting that a good way to travel might be to forego eating and sleeping?
I'm all for meeting the locals but I don't think I will do that if I go running, which was my original point. But then again running can be quite an antisocial sport that doesn't lend itself easily to meeting people.
#8 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738
"why waste time doing something you can do at home"
I agree in part with that but it depends how good it is. Thailand has good snorkeling/kayaking for cheap prices and if I do that at home it's really pricey. Massages, food and some other things are also much cheaper.
If it's raining I might play cards which I do at home a lot but normally would want to do something different.
"You live in a small town and it sounds like you get lonely out there and need to meet people."
I live in a small city - not a small town. There's 50,000 people in the city and tens of thousands more in the immdiate environs. I've always been this way. More interested in people than things.
"I'm all for meeting the locals but I don't think I will do that if I go running, which was my original point. But then again running can be quite an antisocial sport that doesn't lend itself easily to meeting people."
I used to love to run, but I can't anymore. Back won't take it. I'm lucky I can pursue dance and TKD. Of course, running is, as you point out, not really a social hobby whereas fighting, chess and dance are.
I got big headed playing chess in my early twenties. Then I played an exchange student from India. Beat me like a redheaded step-child, he did.
#15 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386