Have you ever wanted to take on a hobby that was a little bit different, and maybe even offered you a chance to make a few bucks in the process? Forget about collecting stamps and baseball cards and all those other mundane, overdone pursuits. The interesting, offbeat hobbies are where the action is, and you can afford to get involved without spending a fortune.
What are some of the creative, adventurous, unique ways to spend your extra time and money? Below are 10 ideas to get you started. Remember, when it comes to oddball avocations and bucket list goals, you have to use your imagination, keep an eye out for bargains, and seek out others who are already involved. Networking will keep your costs down, find more opportunities, and add a sense of camaraderie to your chosen pastime.
1. Watch Restoration and Flipping
The aftermarket for high-end watches is quite active, which is a plus for hobbyists who like to acquire and work on one or two pieces at a time. You can either do the work yourself (it’s easy to learn) or outsource the upgrades to a local jeweler. Treat each timepiece as you would a collectible piece of art or a classic car: purchase one at a time, refurbish (re-frame in the case of artworks), re-list online, and sell for a profit where you can.
2. Buying and Selling Classic Cars
Many people who love cars tend to shy away from the idea of collecting classics because they assume it’s a millionaire’s pursuit. It’s not. The way to game the system is to purchase just one vehicle at a local auction, fix it up, and then re-sell it for a profit. Rinse and repeat for best results. Eventually, you can work your way up the price ladder and accumulate a small inventory of cars. Decide on one to keep for yourself and sell the rest.
How to get started? Review the top car classifieds blogs that list auctions, discuss model comparisons, and teach you how to configure a dream garage for proper storage. Going to this site is a good place to begin.
3. Element Collecting
Work your way through the periodic table of elements and slowly amass a sample of each one. There are 118 in all, but you’ll want to avoid anything that’s radioactive or illegal to possess, which means you’ll only need to locate about 105 samples for your collection.
This unusual hobby is a fun parent-child activity and makes for a decorative wall display when complete.
4. Country Capital Visits
A bit on the pricey side, this activity is more of a bucket list entry and works best as a lifelong avocation. Start with the two or three nearest national capital cities, including your own. A two-week European or Asian tour vacation can help you add a half-dozen cities to the list, which is a great start.
5. Flying RC Planes
RCs, or remote-control model planes, used to be prohibitively expensive. Nowadays, thanks to vast technological advances in wireless tech, you can get into this exciting niche without having to take on a second job. A lot of the fun is in competition within clubs, which have sprung up seemingly everywhere.
6. Taking Unique Hikes
If you’re an avid hiker already, this pursuit is an intriguing way to incorporate your love of walking into a fun hobby. Look for off-the-beaten-path hikes via club bulletin boards, chat rooms, and social media. A few ideas to jumpstart your creative juices as you can walk the length of the Las Vegas Strip, hike across a state, do a New York City tour that includes the stairway of the Empire State Building, traverse the Grand Canyon from rim to rim (north-to-south is the recommended direction), or make up your own unique hike in the location of your choice.
7. Geo Travel
Geo travel is what some travelers call their unusual activity of visiting geologically or geographically unique points on the globe. The good news is that you can start from just about anywhere. The big three listings include the North Pole, South Pole, and any spot on the Equator. Local highest and lowest points within a city, region, or nation are other locales that make excellent additions to itineraries.
8. Bucket List Sports Adventures
If you prefer to collect experiences rather than things, and love sports, this is a hobby that is tailor made for people like you. Common list items include attendance at an Olympics event, viewing a championship Sumo match in Japan, going to at least one FIFA soccer world cup match, seeing the Kentucky Derby in person, and more. By the way, for world cup fans, the host of the 2023 games is Qatar, and the 2026 games are being hosted jointly by the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, so plan accordingly.
9. Dealing and Trading Estate Jewelry
You can purchase estate jewelry at auctions, on the internet, and from local court sales. The stuff is relatively easy to amass, so you need to educate yourself about how to know what to look for. Pawn shops are another excellent source of worthwhile pieces that can be restored and re-sold for a profit. There’s no requirement that you re-sell all your items.
Most estate jewelry hobbyists retain at least a few special pieces for themselves or to give as gifts. A smart way to get started is to simply attend a few auctions, in person or online, and get a feel for how the system works and what are the most popular items.
10. Collecting Key Date Coins
Coin collecting is a very old hobby, but the key date niche is relatively new. Every set of minted coins, like U.S. Morgan silver dollars for example, has at least one date or version that is much rarer than the rest. Collectors call these rarities key dates, and they are usually the final addition to someone’s collection. Prices can be volatile, which is one reason hobbyists gravitate to the pursuit. Buying and re-selling can be a way to earn profits or just accumulate a set of rare coins for long-term investment purposes.