Writing is fun, I enjoy it. The power of persuasion inherent in a well researched, well organized and well written piece can be powerful. It can also help us, personally, to organize our thoughts. My background as a Technical Writer has developed my communication skills in ways that I couldn’t have possibly imagined. By the time I was fifty, I had naturally started to apply those skills to the rest of my life.
At the same time, I also started to make a conscious effort to grow my personal interests. As I was earning more and found that I had some free time, I decided that life was about far more than work. I’ve had a lot of hobbies throughout my life, many focused around adventure or adrenaline. But many also served as a secondary income. These blog posts will be about my hobbies du jour. I will try to track and record my experiences, more for my benefit than for yours. If you are reading this, turn off the device that you are reading on and go outside. Most of the fun in life comes from chasing your dreams, not reading someone else’s.
The blog posts in this section are a chronicle of my hobbies starting in 2020. While some hobbies are large enough to get their own blog section, like real estate and travel, this ‘Hobbies’ section will contain the actual goals and planning that will add to the larger section.
Below, are a few pictures of previous hobbies that I have enjoyed.
For 2020: I’m going to try to continue with hobbies that create wealth. My hope is to have enough hobbies that create wealth, that they will fund my travel.
Real Estate: I will earnestly try to sell my townhouse and purchase a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo. That will allow me to remove equity and any growth that this property holds. Secondly, I will try to rent it out on Airbnb until it does sell. If Airbnb turns out to be a reasonable source of wealth, then I may just keep the townhouse and continue to rent it out.As of March 2020, I have created a hosting profile on Airbnb, although I have not made my place available until May 2020. My intention was to give myself time to move a lot of my possessions out to a storage locker. I was going to have to pack anyway, so this would keep me minimalist and modular.
Ride Sharing: The first ride sharing company has been approved for Victoria, BC. Since I have a well maintained small SUV (Audi Q5), I thought I might participate in ride sharing. So far, it looks like ICBC is putting the entire cost of vehicle insurance onto the company, not the car/driver. That makes it very low cost. If I can do that part-time without incurring annual fees for insurance, then why not be signed up and ready to go. Even doing it part-time would be bonus travel money. I order to participate, I have to upgrade to a Class 4 license. So that becomes step 1.
Stock Photography: Start again finishing my existing photographs with Luminar 3. Publish all finished photographs to Shutter Stock, iStock and Adobe Stock.
Travel Photography: In 2016, a solo trip to Bangkok and Angkor Wat in Cambodia elevated travel to the highest personal priority that I have. In 2014, I received a Canon Rebel T4i as a gift. That gift turned my idle interest in photography into a full obsession. These two events conspired to change from priority from generating income, to experiencing different cultures. I now plan to travel as much and as often as I can. I’m lucky enough to have an income that will support travel and a job that provides me a lot of paid vacation time. In spring 2019 I sold my first stock photograph. The proof-of-concept project finished early and under budget. In the fall of 2019 I took a to Europe, those pictures will also be finished and uploaded to be sold. Phase II of this project starts in 2020. It includes uploading my photos to additional stock photography sites.
Real Estate: In 2016, I had recovered enough (financially) from my divorce to consider buying a condo. I bought a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo in View Royal, see the blog post about it. I had decided before I bought it that I would, at some point, flip it for profit and buy another. It took me just over a year to do that successfully. I learned a lot during those transactions. But other market forces cooled the hot Victoria real estate market. While real estate continues to be a hobby for me, a slower approach is smart it the current market. See my real estate blog posts for more on that.
Some hobbies from my recent past; British Columbia, Canada (2008 – Present)
Victoria Friends Meet-Up Group: In the summer of 2011 I was new to Victoria and I didn’t know too many people. Through a conversation with one of the few people I did know, we decided to join a social group to expand our social circle. Some quick research found that the largest social group in the city was called Victoria Friends Meet Up Group. We joined the group and immediately signed up for the Tuesday Night Pool event. By the end of 2011 I had organized a New Year’s party for the group. It was going to be the party of the year and a fund raiser for the local food bank. In the picture, I’m the man on the right. The party was a smash hit. In early 2012, the former owner of the group moved away and left the group to me and two friends, as a Leadership Group. Within months one of us quit. Not too long after that, the other person was diagnosed with cancer and quit. That left the group entirely to me. While I had made some good friends among the hundreds of people that I had met, I took on the challenge of running the group alone. I had no idea how much of my time it would take. But, I rarely back away from a challenge. And so, with complete autonomy, I set out to grow and develop the largest social group in the city.
I began to work on the group on two separate fronts. The first was posting fun events to get people involved and get them out of the house for some socializing. The second was to drive efficiencies to minimize the effort of running the group while maximizing the $15 annual fees that paid to be in the group. Little Meet Up groups like this never make money, they are always volunteer endeavors, right? It turns out that they do not have to be volunteer. I wrote software that cycles through the membership lists and send out reminder for people to pay their membership dues. The moment that I started running my app weekly, the money started to come in consistently. For about five years the group provided a part-time income and an endless supply of friends and social engagements.
Some hobbies from my distant past; Ontario, Canada (1987 – 2007)