Is Traveling a Hobby? Why and How to Travel More

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Is traveling a hobby?

This is a question I recently found floating around the internet and my personal answer is: yes, traveling. is a hobby. The question stood out to me because it helped me recall my own memory of the first time I realized travel even could be a hobby.

And now that travel is a huge part of both my personal and professional life, I’m curious to explore what it means to travel as a hobby. 

Planning your trip? Use my go-to resources:

Is Traveling a Hobby?

I’ll start by saying: Yes, traveling is a hobby.

is traveling a hobby? Looking out at Arenal volcano in Costa Rica
Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

There are plenty of variations on the definition of a hobby out there, but I’ll define it as I understand it: a hobby is something you do regularly, for fun. Some people golf, some knit, some run, some scrapbook and so on. 

Some make a distinction between having an interest vs having a hobby. They say, for example, that if you are actively traveling then you can say travel is your hobby.

But if instead you merely enjoy reading and learning about travel or other cultures, it’s an interest. 

My personal thought is that your hobbies are whatever you decide they are and whatever you do purely for fun. Growing up, I used to think you had to have a reason to travel, like visiting family or for work.

It wasn’t until I was in my 20s that I had the epiphany that you could travel simply because you wanted to. Because you felt like it. For fun. 

Since then, travel has certainly been a hobby for me. But now, as a travel blogger, I’ve begun to wonder whether it’s still my hobby now that it’s also sort of my job…

Benefits of Travel: Why Traveling is a Great Hobby

Flying over Costa Rica, view from window seat

Are you considering adding travel to your own list of hobbies? I strongly encourage it, there are so many benefits of traveling:

Gain a Heightened Sense of Presence 

In our daily lives, with our daily routines, it can be easy to fall into a sort of autopilot mode. But when you’re in a new environment and everything is unfamiliar, even the mundane becomes something to marvel at.

For me, an errand like grocery shopping which I find tedious at home becomes it’s own little adventure when I’m exploring a shop abroad. 

As you’re navigating through a new city, taking in different sights and sounds you become hyper-aware of your surroundings.

This creates a heightened sense of presence in the moment, reminding us how to appreciate the seemingly minor day-to-day activities we often take for granted.

Expand Your Horizons 

When you travel to a different city or country, you’re likely to come across customs, traditions, cultures and beliefs that are different from your own. 

You might learn that in some countries breakfast consists of soup and vegetables instead of eggs and pancakes.

You might notice that some places are much more family-oriented, and others much more individualistic. You might learn of careers or lifestyles you’d never heard of before.

Traveling is not about passing judgment on the differences you come across. Rather, it’s about being exposed to all the many different ways there are out there to live a life.

To expand your horizons on what’s possible, as you learn about how people live around different parts of the world or even in different parts of your own home country. 

Meet New People 

Performers playing Alphorns in Lucerne, Switzerland
Performers playing Alphorns in Lucerne, Switzerland

Socializing is a big part of travel, even for my fellow solo travelers – if not especially so. When you travel, you encounter people you might never have otherwise crossed paths with.

Whether it’s a one-time connection, or results in a longer-term friendship or relationship it can be special to meet new people as you travel. 

When you connect with other people as you travel, you have the opportunity to learn from each other. You can swap stories and experiences with fellow travelers, or discuss life in your home country with locals of a foreign destination. 

One of my favorite memories from my time in Costa Rica is when I cooked one of my mom’s Pakistani recipes with my Airbnb host. She was an older woman, and together with her grown kids we cooked and enjoyed a meal as we traded some life stories that evening. 

Another experience I loved was meeting a new friend randomly at a cocktail lounge in Madrid. We later met up again in Frankfurt, and continue to stay connected on social media. 

Meeting new people is truly one of the great benefits of traveling. 

Make Lasting Memories

When we travel, we tend to seek out unique experiences. We often set out with the intent to create beautiful memories when we travel, and truly travel is conducive to exactly that.  

So, travel is a great way to reconnect with yourself or your loved ones through some incredible experiences. 

Discover New Foods

As a foodie, one of my personal favorite reasons for traveling is to eat! There is so much incredible food around the world waiting for you, as evidenced by the many TV shows with hosts eating their way around different countries.

Whether you’re inspired by Somebody Feed Phil or a foodie focused TikTok video, sampling great cuisine is another benefit of travel. 

You can even plan your next destination based on what food you want to try! For me, food was a big reason I chose to visit Oaxaca, Mexico

Beyond enjoying the food itself, the food culture of a city or country can tell you a lot about the broader culture and life there as well. 

Experience Personal Growth 

Perhaps the most popularly touted benefit of traveling as a hobby is that it contributes to personal growth. And, it’s popular because it’s true. 

When you’re out of your element, constantly trying and learning new things, navigating challenges in unfamiliar places you’re bound to experience growth. You could become more confident, more aware and more self reliant (especially as a solo traveler).

See the World

View from Chapel Bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland
View from Chapel Bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland

Of course, the best benefit of traveling is you get to see the world! There is SO much out there to see and feel. It’s astounding to see how people live in different parts of the world, how similar or different our daily routines ultimately are. 

If you have the privilege to be able to step away from everything you’ve known all your life, to glimpse what else is out there, do it.

You don’t have to leave your current life behind for good, but stepping away from time to time just to learn what else is out there on our shared planet is an invaluable experience. 

How to Travel More & Make Traveling Your Hobby

Are you ready to start traveling more and to claim travel as one of your hobbies? Here are some steps to help you get started: 

Decide What Type of Travel You’d Like to Try

While purely traveling for the sake of it can be a hobby in and of itself, you can also combine travel with other hobbies of yours.

For example, if you love trains you could get into train travel. Love golfing? Base your travels on playing at different golf courses around the world. Are you really into photography? Food? Writing? 

There are many ways to specify your travel hobby, if you’d like to add a bit more focus to it.

Make a Wish List of Destinations You’d Like to Visit 

As a next step, brainstorm all the places around the world you’d love to explore. Set yourself a timer for 1-2 minutes, and write down every destination that comes to mind for you with no limitations. Just get a sense for where, in your heart, you’re curious to visit. 

Maximize Your Vacation Time From Work 

The two biggest barriers I hear about for why someone can’t travel are: not enough money and not enough time.

Countless travelers out there have shown that it is absolutely possible to travel on a very tight budget if traveling is enough of a priority for you, so I won’t get into that here. Simply look up budget travelers online or on TikTok for inspiration and advice on that front. 

Regarding having enough time to travel, I’ve seen some creative solutions out there. For one, I’ve seen people who work for six months as delivery drivers for Doordash, save up all their money and spend the next six months traveling. 

For those with corporate 9-5s, increasingly people are working it out with their employers to work remotely while traveling.

In cases when this is not an option, there are resources like this one that explain how to maximize your PTO by combining it with national holidays throughout the year to give you greater stretches of time off. 

Be Willing to Go Alone 

Woman with her back to camera in the water at Santa Teresa Beach Costa Rica
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Yet another barrier to travel, and one I’ve experienced myself, is not having anyone to go with. We can get stuck forever if we wait for someone else to have the same access to time, money, and desire to travel as we do in order to have a travel companion. 

Or, as I learned myself, we can be willing to go alone. When you open yourself up to the possibility of traveling alone, the world is at your doorstep. 

Start a Travel Fund 

If you’re serious about traveling as a hobby, start a travel fund. Even if you plan to travel on a tight budget, you’ll need some money.

Do your research based on the type of travel you want to do and your destination wish list to set a target travel savings goal. Then, regularly contribute to your fund and track your progress along the way. You can do this!

Want some tips? Get a travel credit card that lets you earn points you can then use to book travel.

Set up a high yield savings account and use that for your travel fund, so you can also earn meaningful interest on your way to reaching your goal.

Do you ever buy things online? Then you should definitely sign up with Rakuten to easily get cash back on eligible purchases. Otherwise you’re just leaving money on the table!

I use everything I’ve just recommended myself so these are tips I stand behind, but there are so many creative budgeters out there with even more great ideas so do some research around this topic!

Plan a Trip, and Then Another

Have the funds? Know where you want to go and what kind of trip you want to take? Great, now plan it! Actually make it happen. Plan your trip and of course, if you want traveling to be a regular hobby pastime of yours, repeat the process again and again. 

Indulge in Travel Content When You’re Not Physically Traveling

Even when you’re not physically traveling, you can nurture your travel hobby. For me, this looks like seeking out travel movies, TV shows, books and podcasts.

I also love chatting about travel with other people, and hearing about their upcoming or recent adventures. And, of course, I run this travel blog. So even when I’m not traveling, I’m always connected to it. 

Declare That it is So 

Finally, if you want traveling to be your hobby then declare that it is so. If you decide that traveling is a hobby, and that it is your hobby, then it is! You don’t need anyone else’s agreement to that fact.

Travel as a Lifestyle

selfie in a mirror
Selfie in Montezuma before exploring

With the rise of remote work and the digital nomad lifestyle in recent years, traveling is increasingly becoming a part of people’s lifestyles. People who love to travel can now live in a foreign country for months at a time, working from their laptops. Does travel still ‘count’ as a hobby for them? 

My answer is yes. If someone intentionally pursues travel as a lifestyle, it’s because travel is fun for them and something they value highly.

As a regular digital nomad myself, I know that the best part of working from somewhere abroad is the moment I get to sign off from work and go explore my surroundings. 

Just because you’re traveling permanently, does not mean it’s no longer also something you’re doing for fun and enjoyment. 

And to answer my own question at the start of this post, just because I now also earn a living from travel blogging also doesn’t mean I don’t still count travel among my hobbies. 

Final Thoughts: Is Traveling a Hobby?

Yes, traveling is a hobby. Whether or not it’s your hobby? Well, that’s entirely up to you! Either way, travel is bound to enrich your life. Whether you only take a trip every now and then, or embrace traveling as part of your lifestyle, you’ll reap the rewards of seeing the world.