Depending on where you visit while on your gap year, you can discover everything from rock balancing, and airsoft to bicycle polo, ghost hunting and more.

If you want to try something new, we’ve put together a list of some of the best and unique hobbies to discover whilst backpacking.


1. Scuba Diving

Looking for an adventure like no other? Why not book a scuba diving package! Scuba diving is one of the most incredible things you can do in the world where you can discover an underwater world, see shipwrecks and get close to exotic marine animals. You can go diving all over the world and so no matter where you are taking your gap year you will be sure to find a dive centre nearby.


2. Urban Exploration

Discovering new places and exploring abandoned buildings in a place you’ve never been before on your gap year can be an exciting adventure.

Urban exploration is considered a hobby by those who do it regularly, and as there is the risk of trespassing, it is important to consider where you’re looking to explore carefully.

Abandoned buildings, catacombs, sewers and tunnels are all examples of where people carry out urban exploration and photography and documentation is often a big part of it.

If you’re looking to make some memories and you’ve got a curious nature, then urban exploration may be the perfect hobby to take up while on your gap year escape. 


2. Airsoft

Airsoft is a game of adrenaline in which participants eliminate opponents by hitting each other with pellets from replica firearms, similar to paintball.

Airsoft is a popular hobby around the world, particularly in America and in Europe and there are many competitions that professional players take part in.

The first airsoft guns were sold in Japan and although it can be painful and expensive, it is also a great adrenaline rush, and is the perfect hobby to take up if you’re interested in replica firearms and army-like play.


3. Kombucha Brewing

Kombucha is a type of fermented, black or green tea drink that can be made at home and intended to be used for health benefits.

It is produced using a SCOBY (a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). This might seem like a strange hobby but it is known all over the world, with the likes of Russia, Japan and China all having translations for it.

Kombucha also became widely available in North America stores and may be found in traditional homes in Asia. If you’re not a fan of tea, you can also make coffee kombucha, also known as koffucha. 


4. Letterboxing

Letterboxing is a unique hobby that can originally be traced back to Dartmoor, Devon in 1854 and is popular all over the world, particularly with children.

Letterboxers hide small, weatherproof boxes in publicly accessible places and distribute clues on how to find them. These clues tend to be distributed by word of mouth, in printed catalogues or on a website.

It combines orienteering, art and puzzle solving and is similar to the common children’s treasure hunt, but on a more advanced scale. 


5. Herping

Herping is a hobby that is carried out all over the world, and involves the act of searching for amphibians or reptiles in the wild.

This hobby can take place any time or anywhere and the technique depends on the terrain and species that the herper is looking for. Herping is generally accompanied by photography and then the animals are left where they are. This is generally popular when herpetologists look for animals that are quite rare as well as wanting to observe them in their natural habitat.

Herping trips can be organised or you can go herping independently, with this versatile hobby, the choice is yours. This can be an exciting hobby particularly for a new herper, as there are so many species of reptiles around the world. 


6. Gain a New Qualification

No matter what stage of your life you are at, there is always time to learn a new skill. There are lots of online courses and qualifications which can be taken on the internet.

A lot of travellers who want to stay and work overseas often book TEFL certification courses which provide a worldwide recognised qualification allowing you to get paid to teach English abroad.


7. Learning a new Language

If you are going travelling, or if you would just like to do something exciting why not consider trying to learn a new language abroad? This will make the whole visiting new countries easier and more enjoyable as you will be able to converse with other people and make new friends.

There are also lots of options including going to learn Spanish in Spain, study Portuguese in Brazil or for something completely different and want a challenge why not book a Mandarin language course in China!


8. Games

With the increasing technology of smart phones and tablets there are literally hundreds to be discovered.

Games like Candy Crush have gone global and you are likely to see travellers from all over the world playing it. On some games you can also connect to the internet and play other people from all over the world.

If you have a talent for creativity you could learn to code and create your own app/game. This can be a good way to kill boredom or fill your time when on long journeys.


Search opportunities by destination: