Retirement Hobbies: Life between travels.

Retirement hobbies, fun outdoor activities, RV hobbies that turn into jobs after retirement add zest to life. Let's face it! We cannot travel and soak up the scenery all the time, even if we are visual gluttons like myself. We need to rest and recreate.

Having retirement hobbies helped me to slow down and smell the roses or cactus blooms. For me it began with a hobby I was already enjoying before I began to live full time in my RV. Writing.

I read The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron and I was on my way. I committed to writing every day using this encouraging and fun course, adaptable to any art. And after writing for examiner.com I realized I could write for my own website.

That part, and more of my story, you can read in About Me.

Writing as the Providence-Nature-Examiner got me hiking and taking pictures which have become fun outdoor activities for me. Hiking is great exercise as well as a “vehicle” for satisfying my visual appetite. And taking pictures along the way helps me embellish my writing so I can better share my RV Vagabond lifestyle.

But writing is my first real retirement hobby.


hiking to the Indian Camp near Senator WashA Hike to the Indian Camp near Senator Wash BLM LTVA
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My Hobby List Grows

Kayaking

My second hobby came after I made some new friends in Tucson, AZ, boondocking at Snyder Hill, a BLM camping area. They were recreational kayakers. I traveled with them to Lake Powell where I was able to try it out using their boats.

I love the water! I come from a Portuguese family of island people and fisherman and grew up near the ocean. Now I really enjoy being on the water, paddling mostly on lakes and ponds, in my very own kayak. I'll leave the ocean kayaking to my intrepid brother.

Where do I put the boat, you might wonder? Well, that group I met in Tucson I followed back to Colorado. And soon I became very attached to one single man in particular. We are now in a committed relationship and as a result I carry my kayak aside of his on the top of his tow vehicle.

Paula Sa in her new kayak Elie Sound100 XEPaula Sa in her new Elie Sound 100 XE kayak
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Camped at RoadRunner south of Quartzite AZBrent Haberer and Paula Sa camped at Roadrunner area south of Quartzite AZ
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Ham Radio

Paula Sa and Brent Haberer, ham radio operators volunteering for Ride MS 2014Paula Sa and Brent Haberer, ham radio operators volunteering for Ride MS 2014
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These friendships have led to another interesting retirement hobby for me. These folks are all Ham Radio Operators. And now so am I! It is so cool to travel and, with our dash mounted ham radios, stay in touch on the road together, whether we're caravanning or just crossing paths.

And there are many volunteer opportunities associated with this portable pastime. I volunteered at the Burro Races in Leadville CO, assisting with communications that kept the runners and animals safe and accounted for along the route.

Likewise, with a whole team of Hams, my friend Brent and I worked the Ride MS from Denver to Ft Collins monitoring the riders for safety and assistance.

These activities associated with Ham Radio provide a way to assist a community or region, meet some giving and interesting people, and get to know an area more intimately. Lots of rewards!

My friend uses his ham radio skills, along with other training he's acquired in retirement, to work communications on Wildland Fires all over the west. He has turned his hobby into a job after retirement that helps to fund his full time RV lifestyle. And it's something he so enjoys doing that allows him to travel the US and camp as well.

Machine Embroidery

So, without telling you a big long story, becoming a Ham has led to another hobby for me. Machine Embroidery! I know. How are those two hobbies connected?

It turns out, Hams like to have their call signs, the letters and numbers they are license to operate under, embroidered on hats, t-shirts, jackets, bags and the like. Attending Ham Radio Festivals and Swap Meets in our travels, we saw there was an opportunity to start a portable business that fit into our lifestyle and more importantly our rigs.

We dove in, bought a 6 needle Brother embroidery machine and started BPH Embroidery, LLC. We did 6 events last winter and spring and will see what other opportunities arise on the road. Certainly, more ham radio festivals, as well as craft fairs for the Fall and Christmas time anywhere in the country are a possibility!

The embroidery machine rides between my bunks in my rig and we sew right from there, protected from the wind and dust, at outdoor hamfests, while I set up shop and sell from a table outside. It's so portable! At indoor venues we transport it on a little flat bed cart we picked up at Harbor Freight that travels on a cargo carrier on the back of the Jeep. Where there's a will, there's a way!

Brent Haberer manning the Brother 6 needle embroidery machine at a HamfestBrent Haberer manning our Brother 6 needle embroidery machine at a Hamfest
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Our Coach House 192TB camper van set up for sales and embroideryOur Coach House 192TB camper van set up for embroidery sales
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A List of Retirement Hobbies

And that philosophy will allow you to take almost any hobby with you and make it an RV hobby!

I have compiled a list of hobbies that are popular on the road for reasons of portability and have included some, maybe, not so portable. And I've made suggestions on how to manage the latter.

This hobby list is by no means exhaustive. I hope it is helpful, encouraging and somewhat imaginative though.

Of course, your rig size, whether or not you have a tow vehicle, a cargo carrier or trailer to aid in storing your RV hobbies, could play a role in what retirement hobbies you pursue. But I also know that, somehow, we find room for what we love. If it's just not possible then let's hope we keep ourselves open to a new hobby we never knew we'd love.

I hope, though, you'll pursue, not only some fun outdoor activities but some creative and satisfying retirement hobbies that make full timing more than a travelogue: making it an enjoyable and enriching life that contributes to your happiness on the road.

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