HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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Adventures that don’t involve learning to navigate a new city, renting a car or potentially getting lost in new surroundings await. Consider the unlimited opportunities you may not have explored. Exciting activities, sights and sounds come along with taking a bus tour of your choice.

If you’re thinking about traveling near or far, a bus tour just may be the thing for you to investigate. The best part about a bus tour is you can sit back, kick up your feet and leave the driving to someone else.


Whether you choose to join your church group, garden club or best friend or go solo, there’s bound to be a trip for you wherever you’re bound. Wondering if such a journey can be beneficial? The AARP says bus travel is more scenic, less stressful, safer and less tiring than numerous other modes of travel, and you can meet interesting people.


For the beginner, you may want to try a few day trips. For the seasoned bus traveler, there are trips that can last up to three weeks. To get started, ask yourself where you want to go and how long you wish to be away. It all may come down to your budget. A good place to start is by talking to friends who have been on this kind of an adventure. AAA is a great resource; they will provide maps, brochures and ideas and can handle all your arrangements to make planning simple.


Decide if you are thrill seeking or just looking for rest and relaxation. This will narrow down the best options for your trip. Consider the time of year and special events such as art festivals, antique hunting, city tours or distillery or museum visits. If you want to expand your horizons, some popular bus tours take vacationers to see the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., the majestic scenery of Niagara Falls

A BUS TOUR CAN TAKE YOU ON AN EXCITING ADVENTURE

in New York or the music and vibe of Nashville. National parks are always a big draw as well. The Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and the Mojave Desert offer breathtaking views and photo opportunities that will be unforgettable.


Your tour director will accompany you during the trip and share valuable insights about how to spend your unscheduled time. You will usually travel and eat with your group. While most expenses are covered, be prepared to buy things such as alcohol and souvenirs or to participate in unscheduled activities such as golf. Many tour companies cater to the needs of seniors, so if you have special medical requirements or need a wheelchair, let the company know in advance so the staff can take good care of you.  


For those who are lifelong learners, organizations such as Elderhostel offer educational programs as part of your bus tour. Elderhostel has tours in both the states and abroad. Some options you may consider include an expedition to the North Pole, a trip to Mongolia, Greek Island hopping and visits to Western Russia and the Arctic. If you’re looking for something more mainstream, there are bus tours across England that are equally enjoyable.

JAMIE LOBER





Jamie Lober is a Staff Writer for Living Well 60+ Magazine