The novelty factor of moving to a new country makes the first few weeks and months easy but what kind of retirement hobbies will you find to add some extra spice to your life in the long term?
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If you have taken the plunge and headed off for an exciting new life abroad then studying the local language is a fantastic hobby that you should definitely consider. Actually, it's more than a hobby. In my opinion, learning the local language is a MUST.
There are many benefits to doing this, from keeping your mind active to opening up the possibility of being more independent and meeting new people. Of course, the fact that you are in the country where the language is spoken means that you can speed up the learning process by watching television, reading newspapers, or over-hearing everyday conversations and reading store signs.
Every country has their own music and dance styles. In Argentina, it's Tango. In the Middle East, it's Belly Dance. In Ireland, it's Irish Dance. In many Central and Latin American countries (including Nicaragua, where I live), it's Salsa and Bachata.
Numerous scientific studies have shown the physical and mental benefits of dancing. Compared to other forms of exercising, dancing often scores higher in terms of keeping you fit, healthy and happy. What's not to love?
Find a dance school in your local area. Pick a class you like and then get dancing! I've found the people in my Salsa school very kind and welcoming, although most of them are much younger than I am.
Have you always wanted the chance to test your creative side and produce something that you are genuinely proud of? While you are busy working and caring for your family it can be close to impossible to let your creative urges run free.
Once you have lots of free time you could find that you feel a strong desire to get creative by writing and painting. The good news is that when you're in a new country the landscapes, the people, the food, and basically everything else you find may inspire you greatly.
Cooking is one of the best retirement hobbies for someone who starts life in a new culture and a new country. For a start, this is a wonderful way of trying out typical dishes from the region that you now live in. Head off to a local market and choose from a range of vegetables and spices that you have never even seen before.
Another big advantage of cooking as a hobby is that you can make food from your home country for the new friends you have made in your retirement country. There are few better ways of breaking the ice than by cooking up a great meal for sharing. Fellow expats will love to get a taste of home, while the locals will enjoy getting to try something completely new.
It seems fairly obvious to say that travelling should be one of your top hobbies when you retire abroad, doesn’t it? Yet, some people move to a new country and then forget all about the possibility of exploring the new places around them.
I have to admit that I am guilty of this too. After years of living in Nicaragua, a daily routine has crept in, and I need to make a conscious effort of reminding myself how many great places I still haven't explored.
If you want an active and exciting life in your chosen retirement destination then one of your priorities should be to travel as much as you can. This is an incredible opportunity to discover new places easily by taking short, regular trips. If you don’t want to drive too much then just check out the local bus or train routes and then enjoy exploring far and wide.
No matter what most interests you, your retirement years give you the perfect opportunity to finally do it. Moving to a new country also helps to give you a fresh start and the feeling that anything is possible. Don’t waste the chance to do new things. Don't let routine creep in!