If money were no issue, we would all be passionate amateur pilots, champion ice skaters or expert equestrians. But money is almost always an issue, which is why so many people’s only hobbies are “sleeping” and “eating”. Suffer no more, as there are hobbies that you can pick up for free thanks to the internet.
This means no expensive course fees, no equipment you have to remortgage your flat fo afford and no ridiculous charges just so you can practise your hobby for an hour or two. Thanks to the wonders of the interwebs you have practically everything you need to kill hours and hours of time.
If you’re a Singaporean male who has to go for reservist every year, you definitely already own a pair of running shoes. Save yourself the stress of struggling to pass the 2.4km test each year by running for leisure. Plan your route or look at other people’s on Map My Run and then track your run and post a pretty graphic on Instagram with the free Nike+ Running mobile app. Of course, if you later go on to sign up for events like the Hello Kitty run, your hobby could quickly turn expensive.
No, you don’t need to sign up at an expensive gym to become a traceur. You just need guts of steel and the patience to sit through YouTube videos here or read through tutorials here. Then go out, find a space with lots of stuff to jump on and climb over, and try not to get yourself killed.
No, you don’t need a saw and someone who’s willing to risk getting cut in half to become a magician. In fact, most street magicians rely almost entirely on card and coin tricks, since nobody wants to lug around 10 kg of equipment on the off-chance someone will be bored enough to entertain you. There are tons of websites and YouTube channels like this and this where you can watch tutorials and then practise using cards, coins and other everyday items.
Chess is a legitimate sport, okay? And if you really want to master the strategies to winning against serious players, you’re going to have to hunker down and study books like Modern Chess Strategy, which is available at the library. You don’t even need to buy an actual chess set to practise with, as Chess.com lets you compete with other players of the same level.
If you’re a crafty sort of person and are looking for something that’s somewhat challenging and technical but also dirt cheap, have a go at origami. You can use any kind of paper, from old newspapers to scrap printing paper your colleagues discard. The Origami Database has a huge amount of diagrams and contains instructions on virtually any project you can think of.
6. Language learning
Forget language classes. If you are serious about becoming fluent in another language, self-study is the way to go in terms of speed and breadth. You can study on your mobile phone using an app like Duolingo and check out some of the thousands of books in the library, where you should be able to find tons of resources unless your target language is Klingon or Swahili.
7. Web design and web development
For obvious reasons, the Internet is a goldmine of resources for aspiring web designers. Your main difficulties won’t be finding information but rather trying to filter through mountains of it and decide what you need. Acquire HTML and CSS skills at Codecademy and W3Schools, then set up your own virtual web server on MAMP (for Mac users) or WAMP (Windows users). If you get good enough, you’ll probably end up making a bit of money out of this hobby somewhere down the line.
Have any of your hobbies been completely free? Share with us in the comments!