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Travel and Hobbies: Are They Compatible?

Friends recently took a trip to Paris — Paris in the springtime! So romantic, right? I imagined photos of them snuggling on the Pont des Arts snapped by a passerby or those arm’s-length-type shots we all take of ourselves and our sweethearts, perhaps tete-a-tete in a Paris cafe. But these two friends are photographers, so any shots of them are of them taking pictures. They never travel without their cameras, lenses, tripods and gear

My husband and I rarely travel — domestically, anyway — without our discs. We’ve played disc golf courses in several counties of our home state and about five other states. We’ve discovered some lovely parks and gorgeous vistas that way, spots intended more for community use than tourism. It’s a great way to get to meet some locals and see another side of a destination.

There’s another hobby to which we’ve just been introduced that also uncovers spots hidden from a tourist’s — or even local’s — view. My brother and sister-in-law got us hooked on Geocaching. What is it? explains it as “a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices.” It’s nerdy — sorry bro — but addictive.

So far we’ve only cached in our town and neighboring areas. We even dragged our son and daughter-in-law out caching in their town. And what did we find? A beautiful nature trail right down the street from them that they didn’t even know existed. I can’t wait to take this hobby on the road. There are caches hidden in nearly every country — in cities and in rural areas. There are caches in Uruguay, Mauritius and Isle of Man. They exist in Fiji and even France. So the photos we take on our travels will likely be of wild finds that nearly stumped us — and the side discoveries we weren’t trying to find.

But we don’t take all our hobbies along when we travel. Some just aren’t travel-worthy, but this one is (provided you have international service on your smartphone).

Which hobbies, if any, do you take with you on your travels?

— written by Jodi Thompson

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