5 Fun and Inexpensive Hobbies To Try This Summer

[Editor’s Note: This is an independent post written by JJ. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.]

I am a teacher with seven weeks of school left until summer and I am definitely ready for a break. I have a lot of great professional development planned and I also have some relaxing trips to enjoy.  Additionally, I’m a father of a 4-year old who will be attending summer school which will leave some much needed ME time.

Hey, it’s kind of like a math equation: summer break + son in summer school + wife still working = hobby time for me.

Just so we’re clear, I love my wife, son, school and spending time with family, but I also feel like I can get back into the summer hobbies I had before our son arrived.  So this summer, I have some super fun and inexpensive hobbies that I am going to try and I think you should too.

1. Geocaching

I love geocaching and spent many days off during my summers (before my son was born) traveling around Wisconsin geocaching.  A person really doesn’t need to buy anything to start geocaching which is one reason I love it. You can use your phone or buy an outdoor GPS if you’d like.  I recommend riding your bike when geocaching. It gets you outside and you get a great workout.

If you have never geocached before, I highly recommend you learn about it and try it out.  It’s a lot of fun! If you’re ever in Wisconsin and look at a log in a geocache and see Prof3ssor, that’s me.  Also, if you’re in Wisconsin and interested in trying out geocaching, send me a message and let’s go treasure hunting together.

2. Dungeons and Dragons

Ok, before you judge me, I just started playing this with friends.  I was always intrigued by the game, but never really knew enough about it nor did I know anyone who played.  A friend of mine learned how to play and suggested we get together as a group so I said yes. And you know what, I love it!  My character is a Mountain Dwarf Fighter named Flint Fireforge.

I’m a fairly strong introvert who doesn’t show a lot of (or any as my wife would say) emotions, but playing this game with my group of friends allows me to come out of my shell a bit.  I’m able to act in a different way than I typically do every single day. I’m able to be silly and feel comfortable doing it.

3. Exercise

Last summer I had an inflection point in my life.  We were moving back closer to home. I was leaving a great job where I had the opportunity to do some really great things.  Moving back was the right decision and I was all-in. After our move, I realized that much of my identity, outside of being a husband and father, came from my accomplishments at work.  So leaving that work, left me with a feeling of emptiness. It was a really hard time. I was struggling. It was affecting me in all aspects of my life. I was not a great husband or father, and I was in a pretty dark place mentally and emotionally.

I look back now and realize I was at a crossroad.  I could either try to move forward on my own or swallow my pride and realize that I needed to talk with someone.  I called a therapist, made an appointment and just talked about how I was feeling. It was the best decision I could have made.  

I have friends who refuse to talk to a therapist even though I know they’re hurting inside. Swallow your pride and go talk to someone.  You don’t have to tell anyone and you can travel as far away to see someone as you want.

Once my emotional and mental health were back on track, I realized I needed to pursue healthy eating and start working out.  I loathed working out prior to last summer, but going through what I went through made me realize that I needed to get my priorities in the right order.  I also yearned for more time with my wife and I knew I could get that time in the early morning while she and I worked out. I’m in a much, much better place emotionally, I’ve lost 25 pounds and I’m working really hard at eating healthy every day.

My wife and I work out every morning.  Lately, my son has also been getting up early and working out with us. We are both seeing some really great definition and progress.

4. Woodworking

Last summer I really got into woodworking projects.  I built a few things and they actually turned out. It was great motivation to keep going so I did, but then school started and I haven’t built anything since last summer.  I found a site that I absolutely love and it makes woodworking a lot easier. Check out Ana White.  I’m excited to continue to build things this summer.

5. Metal Detecting

I recently found out a co-worker of mine loves metal detecting and is willing to show me how to do it.  I’ve always been intrigued by metal detecting, but haven’t had the time nor did I know anyone with this hobby. Now that I know someone, I’m excited to learn more about it and maybe even try it myself. Maybe he’ll let me borrow one of his metal detectors for the summer to have some fun.  

So, that’s it.  What hobbies do you enjoy?  What plans do you have for the summer?  

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