Here’s the official Google definition of a hobby:
An activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure.
It got me thinking, is travelling a hobby too?
After all, it does seem to fit that definition.
For many people (myself included), travel is indeed a go-to activity of choice and a pleasurable thing to do in your free time.
But the word ‘hobby’ makes me think of things like sport, reading, drawing, or gardening. Can we really put travel in the same category as something like gardening?
For me, travelling as a hobby doesn’t make sense. It’s far more than that!
But if it isn’t a hobby, then what is travelling? I decided to take a deeper look.
Keep reading for a few thoughts on the travelling hobby dichotomy.
“My Hobby is Travelling…”
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with defining traveling as a hobby.
I mean, travel’s an individual endeavour in every respect!
People travel in different ways, go away for different reasons, and spend their time on the road doing different things.
It makes sense that we’d think about travel differently too.
If you’re sat there thinking ‘wait, but my hobby is travelling’, then that’s great! I’m definitely not going to tell you that you’re wrong.
Indeed, there’s a large part of me that would define travel as a hobby too.
My only hesitation relates to my personal experience of travel. For me, I love travelling so much that I just don’t relate to it in the same way as I do my other ‘hobbies’, like reading, drawing, or hiking.
And here’s why…
What is Travelling Anyway? A Travelling Hobby or Travelling Lifestyle?
For me, hobbies are generally activities that I fit around my other, primary pursuits.
I make time for them, sure.
But generally, they’re the saving grace that rewards the work I’ve put in elsewhere.
I might go to the gym for a break from work, or play tennis in the evenings after a busy day. I might take a lunch break to read my book and get away from the computer…And so on.
Travel’s the complete opposite.
The way I see it, the experience of travel is always the primary thing. I mould my schedule around travel, not the other way around!
It becomes the ultimate focus. For all its major advantages, I’ve made travel the priority.
As such, hobby travelling isn’t a thing for me anymore. It’s more of a lifestyle choice in which I might have particular travelling hobbies!
Travelling Is a Hobby…I Just Don’t Think Travelling Is My Hobby
Travelling’s a fundamental component of my life.
It isn’t just a fun thing I restrict to leisure time. I literally see it as actual time-time.
It’s just life!
How do I explain that? I guess it relates to how I describe what I’m doing right now to my friends and family.
Sure, I’m on the road right now. But I don’t necessarily see it as travelling anymore. I’m just living my life…
I have the freedom to move around, explore, and do all the things you do when you travel. But, by design, there’s no end date to it. I don’t see this as a break from my ‘norm’ or a ‘travel hobby’ to squeeze in when I get a chance. It is my norm.
Equally, I can continue with my other actual hobbies while I travel.
I’ll read, exercise, write, draw…all while on the road. If travel really is a hobby, then I guess that’d mean I’m doing a hobby within a hobby, which is a weird form of traveling hobby multi-tasking that’s too confusing to wrap my head around.
Can Travelling Be a Hobby? Maybe Not if You Love It Like I Do!
Here’s another reason why, for me, travelling is not a hobby.
At the end of the day, I get so much more from travel than I do almost anything else in my life.
I mean, who I am has literally changed and adapted in line with the experiences I’ve had on the road. As I think most people discover when they do it, travel is a powerful tool, a momentous life choice, and a way to live life to its absolute fullest.
In my eyes, the Google definition I started this travel hobby post with just doesn’t do it justice!
Dive headfirst into travelling and, as clichéd as it sounds, it sort of becomes…ordinary life.
And it’s this that gets to the crux of why I don’t see travel as a hobby. Simply, it becomes more than just something to do.
It’s no longer just a thing, or an activity.
It becomes a way of interacting with the world: a lifestyle that impacts all areas of who you are, how you see yourself, and how you operate as an individual.
Final Thoughts on the Question: “Is Travelling a Hobby?”
So, is travelling a hobby?
For me, the answer to this question’s a “no”! But nothing’s black and white. I think travelling is a hobby if you choose to see it that way, or if that’s your personal experience with it.
Ultimately, I guess that’s the real takeaway: it’s just a personal thing.
And, in some ways, it probably doesn’t even matter! I mean, whether you see travelling as a hobby, travelling as a lifestyle choice, or travelling as something totally different altogether, it’s still travel.
We’re still stepping out into the unknown, exploring foreign shores, and having an adventure. And, in all honesty, that’s all that really matters!
What do you reckon? Do you see travel as a hobby or something more? Let me know in the comments!