Hobby Jam

What People Do For Fun

Menu Close

Page 3 of 12

Monsignor Kenneth Steffen

Monsignor Kenneth Steffen was born in Effingham, Illinois. He was the only one of fifteen siblings who took on the calling to the priesthood. He attributes his family with seeding and nurturing him to his vocation.

According to Monsignor Steffen, “his father had dedicated him to God at a very early age to consider the priesthood, and my mother passed on to me the great gift of faith by practicing it in daily life.” His brothers and sisters supported his decision as well and thanks to the passionate and fierce support of his family, he became the person he is today.

He was ordained to the Priesthood at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in May of 1984. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree from Cardinal Glennon College in philosophy and a double master’s degree of divinity and in Theology from Kenrick Seminary. In addition, he holds a doctorate of ministry.

Monsignor Steffens is currently serving as Chaplain at Saint Francis Hospital Litchfield Illinois.

What is your hobby?

My hobbies are reading to help make my mind stay sharp, learning more about the computer and the technological advancements of today. In addition, I thoroughly enjoy working out and staying in shape, sharing dinners, and leading pilgrimages to sacred places.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

Some of my hobbies were started as a child when we were all taught the importance of reading, and family time. We were taught that we should be well rounded, whether it be physical, spiritual, emotional, or religious. Traveling and taking pilgrimages came later, as I was inspired by taking groups of strangers on a trip and then return with the closeness of spiritual upon return.

Tell us what you love about it.

What I love about it is witnessing the spiritual awakening that comes from such an experience.

A pilgrimage is the best of both worlds because you can go on a tour and you would see everything a pilgrim would see. But the value of going on a Catholic pilgrimage is that we not only see everything, but we celebrate every aspect as we go. It is truly a blessing to behold.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Yes, I am the Chaplin for the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher in the Holy Land. I am also Chaplin for several ethnic groups such as the Filipino community, as well as the German and Spanish communities.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

I create three booklets to prepare and assist with each individual’s experience. The first booklet is a description of the richness and meaning of a pilgrimage. The second is the itinerary we will be experiencing. It also provides a personal journal for them to take notes at each shrine that we visit. The third booklet is a follow-up book where they can describe the grace, value, and experience they shared of the pilgrimage.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

The first suggestion I always give is to google the places they will be going. The second suggestion is to pray. There is always a reason for grace in such gifts, having clarity is good to know. Also, check with your priest to see if there are petitions of prayer requested for the location you will be visiting. Reading about the meaning of a pilgrimage would be advised as well.

Are there any good books for beginners?

The Life of a Pilgrim

A movie The Way – Which is an actual movie about a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain

How has this changed your life?

It has broadened my understanding of the church. You see people from all over the world and of all religious persuasions and at all levels of faith. I think it’s important to understand every aspect of that.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

I would first suggest that you find out why you want to go. Prepare by speaking with others who have had the experience. Prepare by watching DWTN, where you can watch others on a pilgrimage. They should also think of a place that they have heard of such as Fatima or Rome or the Holy Land where you can walk the footsteps of Jesus, or Jesus on the Sea of Galilee. People find that their whole understanding of Christ changes. After they come home, the scriptures come alive because you visited these places it brings home the on-going aspect of it.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

Going out to dinner and trying different foods. I enjoy switching it up every once in a while so I can taste foods that I normally don’t get to enjoy. Doing so allows me to be grateful for the different variety of dishes that the fine world has to offer.

You can learn more and follow Monsignor at:

Kelly Hyman

Kelly Hyman is a brilliant woman with a passion for helping people. This has been with her throughout her life. This actress turned lawyer has enjoyed knowing she can make a positive impact in the lives of the people who can’t always advocate for themselves.

Kelly attended UCLA for her undergraduate degree in communications. UCLA was a natural choice after growing up between New York City and Southern California. Having been raised by a single mother who was a professional tennis player and teacher, she was put in touch with her first agent at five years old. Through that means she entered the acting venue as a child and throughout the years that followed she acted in many professional acting jobs. After numerous commercials, movies, and stage performances she found herself in television roles as well. She credits Harry Mastrogeorge for her success as an actress as he taught her the craft of acting. Those skills are still a part of her today. To this day, she continues to be a proud member of the Screen Actors Guild.

Kelly Hyman’s acting history has lent itself to her career as a lawyer. Because of the experience of being in different roles, she has found herself equipped to understand her client’s perspective better. She can identify with them and that helps her advocate effectively on their behalf.
Today Kelly lives in Colorado with her husband.

What is your hobby?

When I not passionately advocating on behalf of those who cannot do so for themselves I enjoy volunteering or traveling.

How did you get started with this hobby?

Since I was a young girl, I would love to travel.

Tell us what you love about your hobby.

Traveling enables me to see different cultures and different country. Since enables me to see the world where different people live and experience there culture and environment.

What types of things/equipment have you spent money on for your hobby?

I have spent money on my airfare and hotels.

What are some of your favorite places to shop for your hobby?

When we want to travel to a different country, we will look online for trips, airlines, and housing.

Are there any good books for beginners?

1,000 places to see before you die by Patricia Schultz.

How has your hobby changed your life?

It has enabled me to become a better person.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Set a goal to see three new places every year and then go travel and enjoy.

Follow Kelly Hyman on:

Sean Seshadri

Sean Seshadri is a tech blogger and computer programmer based in Seattle, Washington. His broad experience in the technology sector, as well as his love of teaching, makes his blog required reading for anyone who wants to expand their knowledge of today’s market.

He attended Central Washington University, where he received a degree in Computer Science. In college, Seshadri frequently helped others with their computer science coursework through his work as a teaching assistant. His experience with explaining complex topics to a variety of students of all ability levels has enhanced his blog.

Sean Seshadri is an avid traveler who frequently attends tech conferences around the world. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with a wide variety of people, and he constantly adds to his skill set by interacting with others in his field. He believes in enhancing the travel experience through the newest apps and gadgets. Using travel apps, he can find the best hotels, restaurants, and activities in his destination cities.

Outside of work, Seshadri spends time with his wife and two daughters as well as their two rescue dogs. He is involved in volunteering for an animal shelter with his family. He plays the guitar and is an avid amateur chef.

What is your hobby?

My hobby is cooking. I enjoy making new and exciting dishes for my family and friends. It can be challenging to find new dishes that my girls will eat, and I’ve taken that on as a personal challenge.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I’ve always been interested in food and cooking. When I was a kid, I used to watch Julia Child on PBS. My mother wasn’t much of a cook, and she was amused that I spent so much time watching food shows. As I got a little older, I became interested in experimenting in the kitchen. I made a lot of messes and made some bad food before I started to learn what I was doing.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love introducing my friends and family to new flavors. I am constantly looking up new recipes to try. I love to entertain, and I am happiest in the kitchen with friends around me. It’s so satisfying to see someone enjoying one of your dishes. If I find a new dish that my girls enjoy, I’m especially proud of myself. They can be picky eaters.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Not as such where cooking is concerned, but my wife and I are members of a rotating supper club that moves between members’ homes. I’ve picked up ideas for exciting new dishes from the supper club.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

I have an entire kitchen full of equipment. My wife is constantly complaining that we have no more storage space and that I should stop buying things for the kitchen. Recently I bought a large mortar and pestle to grind spices by hand. I also recently purchased a new chef’s knife. A good chef’s knife is the cook’s best friend in the kitchen.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I buy many things at Williams Sonoma. They have an amazing variety of baking and cooking equipment, appliances, and serving ware. The store at our local mall knows me by name. I also buy things through Amazon, especially the smaller and less expensive gadgets.

Recently I bought a food dehydrator, and I intend to make healthy homemade jerky for a travel snack. My daughters are excited about making dried fruit. Another recent purchase is a sous vide machine. This cooks food in a warm water bath which brings the food to an exact temperature so that it is always fresh and moist.

Are there any good books for beginners?

There are so many great books out there for beginners. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it might be wise to start from scratch with the basics. My favorite beginner level cookbooks are I’m Just Here for the Food by Alton Brown and How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. I turn to the Bittman cookbook frequently when I’m looking for recipes to adapt.

How has this changed your life?

Cooking has enhanced my life since I was a teenager. I truly enjoy feeding people and giving them exciting new dishes to try. My wife claims that my food convinced her to go out with me, so it has had true life-changing effects.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Don’t be afraid, just jump in. Follow a simple recipe at first. Be sure that you have all of your ingredients and equipment ready before you cook – this is called a mise en place in French. One of the biggest beginner mistakes is to crash around the kitchen doing prep while things are cooking.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I also love playing the guitar – though I’m not very good at it – and spending time with our dogs. Taking the dogs for long walks and hikes is so relaxing.

Tana Taylor

Tana & Rose Photography is one of the fastest growing boutique studios in California. The founders of the studio, Tana Ava Taylor, and Rose Hamilton have been friends for many years and decided to open their photography business because of a shared love of capturing images of their family and friends. The growth of the business has been based around capturing whimsical, fun images along with the popular Tana Taylor adoption packages. Tana Taylor comes from a family history including the adoption of children which makes her decision to create user-friendly Ava Rose Taylor adoption packages a personal project. Growing across the state of California, Tana & Rose Photography is one of the most popular startup studios in the U.S. for the impressive work being done by the founders.

What is your hobby?

I don’t get a lot of free time, so when I do, I like to relax with my family. Recently, I have been exploring the many options in California for hiking around some impressive mountains. Getting out into the open air allows me to spend time with my children away from cell phones, games consoles, and the other daily distractions of modern life. Hiking is a great way to stay fit and make sure my kids are staying active on a regular basis.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

My family spent a weekend in Washington State, and we decided to take a hike up Poo Poo Point. It wasn’t a very long hike, but it was steep and difficult for us to complete as novice walkers, but we did find our love of hiking when we reached a viewing area giving us a clear look at the impressive Mount Rainier. After we completed the hike, the kids were bitten by the walking bug and wanted to find more every weekend.

Tell us what you love about it.

For myself, it is the chance to enjoy some quiet time in the natural world. Of course, I do love spending time with my family, but I also love the silence I can find on the side of a mountain. We also love the fact there are many hiking opportunities close to some major cities offering great photographic opportunities for me to enjoy.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

My children are school age with a major interest in history which we try to encourage and recently joined the Oregon-California Trails Association. This group finds trails and hikes based around the passage of pioneers to and from the Northwest and California. The group is also looking to preserve many of the trails threatened by deforestation and construction which is of great historical importance.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Sturdy walking shoes are a must when you are looking to become a serious walker through difficult terrain. On our first hike up Poo Poo Point, we wore sneakers and had sore feet and blisters by the time we made it back to our hotel. One item I did purchase recently is a hydration pack similar to a backpack which carries water. I am trying to reduce my footprint on the planet by not using plastic water bottles, and a hydration pack is making this an easier task to complete.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I enjoy going to sporting goods stores and small hiking stores in the areas we visit, but I do buy some items Online. I think it is important to support small, independent stores providing more than just equipment. I like to find small stores and make a purchase which allows me to talk with the owners who usually know where the best trails are located.

Are there any good books for beginners?

After we finished our hike up Poo Poo Point, I quickly looked Online for a book to help us be better prepared for our future trips. I ordered “The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide” by Andrew Skurka which gave us a little knowledge of the safety equipment we needed and how to choose real hiking boots.

How has this changed your life?

Running my own business can be difficult and stressful when it takes me away from my family for long periods of time. Hiking is a great way of connecting with my kids in the natural environment and allows me to limit my stress. After heading back to work after a weekend of hiking, I am more relaxed and focused on the challenges of operating Tana & Rose Photography.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Get out and get walking. It is as simple as that. If you are unsure of where to go to stay safe hiking, it is a good idea to find a small outdoors store and have a talk with the owners.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

As a mom, I spend much of my time taking my kids to various activities including soccer which I have grown to love on the TV. We recently took a vacation to Spain and watched a live soccer match in Barcelona which was the most amazing experience I have ever been a part of.

William Bronchick

William Bronchick is one of the leading private chefs and caterers in Denver, Colorado. His special events and dinner parties attract a wide variety of prominent guests, including celebrities, sports figures, and local dignitaries. He expertly blends world cuisines including French, Thai, Japanese, and American food.

William Bronchick attended the Culinary Institute of America where he graduated at the top of his class. He opened his private catering business only a few years after graduating from culinary school. Taking such a personal and financial risk paid off in a short time. Satisfied clients spread the word about Bronchick’s quality catering, and his bookings took off.

Bill Bronchick prides himself on a well-run event. His impeccably trained staff provide excellent front of house service for the most discerning clients. His kitchens provide consistent, delicious meals for any event, large or small. His special events are regarded as some of the best in the Denver area. Charities and celebrities regularly engage him to provide food for their parties and fundraisers.

Bronchick’s company also provides private chef services to busy executives and families in the Denver area. His chefs create both healthy and luxurious meals for their clients to enjoy at home. Bronchick works with each chef to ensure the quality of their meals and recipes. Bronchick’s company has many satisfied customers in the Denver area. With a dedication to client service as well as a fresh, creative approach to food, William Bronchick has become an important part of the Denver food scene.

What is your hobby?

My hobby is backcountry hiking. There are so many amazing places to explore in Colorado. It is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I started small, with day hikes in the mountains. As I began exploring, I found that I wanted to spend even more time in the outdoors. Backpacking is a special challenge since you need to carry everything with you: water, food, and shelter being the most important. I gradually worked my way up from one-night excursions to long-distance hiking trips.

Tell us what you love about it.

Getting out in nature is amazing. There’s nothing like the peace of a night spent out in the wilderness. I also love the social aspect of backpacking. I don’t like to go out alone, so I coordinate trips with friends from my hiking club. I love being self-sufficient. It’s also nice to get away from the pressures of my daily life. I love my job, but it can be a high-pressure environment.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

I’m part of the Colorado Mountain Club. I’ve made several friends through the club, and we enjoy taking trips together. I’ve gone on excursions outside Colorado with these friends as well. Recently we went rafting in the Grand Canyon.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Backpacking requires a lot of specialized equipment. It’s not a cheap activity. Hiking packs, hiking boots, cooking equipment, hydration gear, and special clothing are all important. The nice thing is that once you invest in equipment, it should last a long time with proper care. I buy a large part of my gear at REI, as well as online through stores like Eastern Mountain Sports.

Two items I’ve bought recently are a new Jetboil stove and a commercial food dehydrator. The stove allows me to heat water for my meals rapidly. The food dehydrator lets me make my food for the trail. With the dehydrator, I can create my dishes and dry them so I can carry them in the great outdoors. For long trips, I sometimes take prepackaged meals because they are freeze-dried and keep longer without refrigeration.

Are there any good books for beginners?

When I was starting out, I relied on The Backpacker’s Guide by Chris Townsend. It is full of great information for the beginner. The book covers all the basics of backpacking, like how to plan for weather, how to decide what supplies to carry, and how to pack your bag most efficiently. I’ve heard that some people consider the book to be long-winded, but I think it’s great.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Start small with hikes around your area. Build up your endurance, putting more in your pack each time you go out. It’s important not to overextend yourself or go too far from civilization before you know what you’re doing. A lot of novice backpackers wind up in trouble when they don’t follow sensible guidelines.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I also love to ski. Skiing satisfies my urge to get out in nature in the wintertime. Skiing also gives me a great excuse to get out of Denver and try new restaurants around Aspen, where I like to ski. Whenever I spend a weekend skiing, I come back rested and refreshed and ready to start another difficult week in my catering business.

Denis Mackenzie

Denis Mackenzie is the COO of an international marketing company. His company is largely focused on marketing wine and spirits across the United States and Europe. While he is only 40 years old, he has been in the business since he graduated from college and had risen rapidly through the ranks of his firm.

At the beginning of his career, Mackenzie worked in a small marketing firm concentrating on local advertising and promotions. He started at the bottom as an assistant and later came to hold several accounts of his own. He helped several small companies build their brands and expand their reach.

He was later offered a position in his current firm. He traveled extensively for work, spending time in wineries in France, Italy, and Greece. He speaks French and Italian, enabling him to deal directly with business owners and colleagues.

Denis Mackenzie’s dream was to open a winery in his hometown near Erie, Pennsylvania. He purchased a small, struggling winery in 2001 and worked to make it profitable again. His marketing expertise helped him grow his business through local connections. In a few years’ time, his winery became successful and self-supporting. He visits his winery whenever he can, hoping to turn it into his full-time business.

Denis Mackenzie is a valued local business owner who contributes to many charitable causes. His winery hosts sip and paint events to support local charities. He enjoys opening his winery for tours, showing off his hobby to locals and travelers alike.

What is your hobby?

My hobby is owning a small winery in the Lake Erie wine growing region of Pennsylvania. It has grown a lot over the past five years.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I’ve always had an interest in wine and spirits. Whenever I entertain, I try to introduce my friends to something new. When I traveled around Europe, I grew to have a solid understanding of how vineyards work and how to make one profitable. I hoped to open a winery one day, and when someone wanted to sell one near my hometown, I found the perfect opportunity.

Tell us what you love about it.

Having a winery is a fascinating hobby. I love the farming aspect, and I love the process of making wine. My vintner handles most of it from day to day, but he has taught me a lot about it. Improving our product is a challenge that I enjoy.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

I am part of a local wine business group. We help each other with marketing and special events. I’ve been able to apply my marketing skill to help my local colleagues. We have a website where we post events and visitor information. I find it rewarding to work with other wineries in the area. Of course, the local wineries compete for visitors and sales, but we work together as a group.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Owning a winery is an expensive proposition. We have had to buy a lot of equipment over the years. Our biggest purchase so far has been a new bottling line. We have produced a lot more than in the past, so we’re not able to hand bottle our wines anymore. This has sped up our production and made us more efficient.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I like the Vintner’s Vault website. They have reasonable prices and knowledgeable staff. They can always help you with any questions you might have. My vintner and I make all of our purchasing decisions together.

Are there any good books for beginners?

First Steps in Winemaking by C.J.J. Berry is a great starting point for the home winemaker. It is a practical book that breaks down the steps and shows you how easy it can be to make wine at home.

How has this changed your life?

I’ve enjoyed giving back to the local community. Since I grew up near my winery, I’m able to involve my family in the business. Since I spent so much time abroad, I missed spending time with my family. Rebuilding those relationships has changed my life.

I’ve also learned patience. It’s a long process between growing and harvesting grapes and making wine. Wineries are always focused on the future because our product has to age before it’s served.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Winemaking at home is a rewarding hobby. You will need plenty of space and a good source of fruit or grape juice which will make great wine. Make sure you follow your recipes closely at first.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

Languages are my other hobby. I already speak French and Italian, and I’m learning Greek. Greek is more difficult than French and Italian since it has a different alphabet. Next time I travel abroad, I’ll be able to surprise some of my old friends when I greet them in their language.

Luis Enrique Coll

Luis Enrique Coll is a system analyst and developer based in Seattle, Washington. His multiple points of experience include systems engineering, web development, and social media strategies. He is a respected freelancer who works with a wide variety of large and small companies, enhancing their use of technology to leverage their business development.

Coll specializes in coding new software from the ground up. His expertise allows him to develop quality solutions for any need presented by a company.

Luis Enrique Coll has taken it upon himself to teach young people to code. The position of systems analyst is expected to grow by 17 percent by the year 2024, meaning that many new coders will be required to fill the industry’s needs. He believes that young talent is sorely needed in the world of software engineering, especially young minds that have no preconceptions about what a piece of software should look like.

What is your hobby?

My hobby is international travel. I spend a lot of time in Central and South America, where I enjoy learning about the local culture and history. My favorite countries to explore are Peru, Ecuador, and Argentina.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I first began traveling with my family when I was a young boy. We made trips to visit family in Peru and Argentina. My first travel memories are of traveling high in the mountains, where we saw many indigenous animals like llamas and alpacas. I loved the thrill of driving on winding mountain roads, even though my mother was nervous. Being welcomed by family in a new country gave me a lot of confidence in exploring on my own.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love exploring culture and history. There are so many rich cultures in South America; it would be difficult to experience them all. Each region has its special charms, from the food to the art. I have a special interest in the Precolumbian cultures of Peru and Ecuador. I am fluent in Spanish. I am also beginning to get a foothold in Quechua, the indigenous language of many people in the Andes and the surrounding areas.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

I have been involved in a local club for travel enthusiasts. We can get together and share the best stories and photos from our journeys, as well as helping people plan their adventures. I have encouraged many of my travel club friends to go to South America, even if they don’t speak Spanish. The travel club has enhanced my own travel experiences by pointing me to places I would not have otherwise traveled.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Most of what I invest in are good quality backpacks and hiking shoes. I like to explore the natural environment when I travel. I spend a good amount of money buying supplies for travel. I recently bought a new hydration system. When you are traveling in the high mountains, it’s doubly important to make sure you are well hydrated. I also buy comfortable but presentable hiking wear. I had outgrown the age when I backpacked around in my worst T-shirt and shorts. This way I can hike during the day and visit good restaurants at night.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I mostly shop for my travels at REI, though I buy things from LL Bean as well. It’s crucial to try on backpacks and hiking boots, so most of those purchases are done in person. Seattle is the location of REI’s flagship, so they have an excellent selection at my hometown store.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I am a big fan of the Lonely Planet series of books. I would highly recommend them to novice travelers who want to get away from the crowds. I don’t need them in many of the areas where I travel today, but whenever I go to a new place, I try to pick up a Lonely Planet guide to give me ideas.

How has this changed your life?

Travel has opened my horizons in amazing ways. My job is demanding, and freelancing can be lonely. When I travel, I can interact with a wide variety of people from around the world. Getting away from the keyboard is also a valued part of travel. Like most tech people, I do use my phone a lot while I’m traveling, but mostly for taking photos and sharing them with my friends at home. Many of the mountainous areas where I travel have no cell service, and that provides me with a perfect reason to unplug. I am planning a trip to Antarctica.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Don’t be afraid to stay in small hostels or bed and breakfasts. You’re not getting the full travel experience if you stay in American chain hotels.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

Art is a hobby of mine that I’ve recently picked up again. I am learning to paint landscapes of the areas where I’ve traveled.

Richart Ruddie

Richart Ruddie is an internet entrepreneur and philanthropist. Ruddie grew up in Owings Mills aNorth West suburb of Baltimore, Maryland. He attended Florida Atlantic University majoring in Economics and post FAU he took online classes at Stanford University. After college, he worked at a boutique hedge fund in South Florida but during an internship, he worked on building a startup from the ground up and learned the valuable search engine optimization and search engine marketing skills that would later be the core to his future success. While working during the day at the hedge fund he spent his weekends building his first website and growing its presence. Within the first 9 months, he parlayed a $500 investment into a company grossing over $90,000 a month. Since then Ruddie has helped consult, start, and invest in numerous online and offline ventures and has proudly donated over $100,000 to numerous non-profits and charities over the last 8 years.

What is your hobby?

Traveling

How did you get started with this hobby?

In October of 2011, I was asked to do work for a client in Las Vegas. I needed to be there in October and back in 3 weeks. Instead of going back and forth between Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Nevada I decided to try traveling between California and Nevada while still working. It worked out so well networking with clients and working on the road that I continued to do it and have naturally adapted the nomadic lifestyle that I’m accustomed to today.

My first trip to Israel in 2010 inspired me to travel more but I was stuck in the 7:30 – 19:00 working hours and only had 2 weeks off a year and wasn’t able to explore the world until my eyes were opened in October of 2011.

Tell us what you love about your hobby.

Seeing the world is truly amazing. What is even better is learning about other cultures and being able to appreciate and respect their ways while trying that culture or countries foods.

What types of things/equipment have you spent money on for your hobby?

I would say that I fly but I’m really just a passenger on a plane while the pilot flies. Having helpful apps such as VoiceTra, JetSmarter, Mobile Pass, Trip Advisor, WhatsApp and Telegram travel groups, and Lonely Planet are some of the most helpful tools of the trade for me.

What are some of your favorite places to shop for your hobby?

The best thing about traveling is it’s all about acquiring experiences, not material goods. As long as I have my phone to take photos and to handle any relevant work calls that I need to be on and my laptop I’m covered.

Are there any good books for beginners?

So I only get a chance to read when I fly. That’s the only time I get to disconnect from the world. I read over a dozen books every year. My favorite book is How To Win Friends and Influence People. Another book that is a lot more somber but really strikes a chord is Man’s Search For Meaning. I could go on and on with book recommendations. If you saw a photo of my bookshelf you’d be impressed.

How has your hobby changed your life?

It’s given me great cultural references and respect for others around the world. I understand and see how people live from the poorest places in the earth that I’ve been to as well as some of the wealthiest places in the world that I’ve seen. I appreciate seeing both places and like being able to have a conversation with almost anybody and being able to tell them about places that I’ve been to or seen in their own country.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Just go. People all the time tell me that they wish they had my lifestyle and they always wanted to go see XYZ city. I tell them just get on the plane and go. Even if its only for a long weekend you will be glad that you did it and you won’t have regrets for not getting to see a special place before it’s too late.

Kola Adesina

Kola Adesina is a travel blogger based in New York City. She spent her childhood in Belgium and moved to the United States after graduating from university. Since she frequently traveled with her parents as a child, Kola feels at home in any corner of the world. Her travel blog explores the best sights and destinations in Europe, North America, and Africa. When she is traveling, Kola Adesina frequently brings home mementos of her trips abroad. Her apartment has become a mini-museum of art and design from around the globe. She especially loves to collect textiles and fabrics.

What is your hobby?

I love to knit. I started out making weird scarves for my girlfriends, and gradually advanced to the point where I can make a nice sweater with very fine yarn.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

Friends inspired me to try knitting. I grew up in Belgium where it’s rather chilly in the winter, and I wanted to be able to make something nice for my mother and sisters. It took me a while before my efforts were wearable. I came up with some truly ugly things at the beginning, but I persisted.

Tell us what you love about it.

Knitting is a kind of meditation for me. When I’m knitting, I don’t have room in my head for worries and anxiety. It’s a soothing activity and can be done anywhere. Since I started knitting, long layovers in airports (one of the few drawbacks to the life of a travel blogger) have become much more enjoyable.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

I do drop in at my local yarn store’s knitting events every once in a while. I’m not at home very much, but it’s fun to compare notes with other knitters. I’ve made friends at the local yarn store. Shopping local is a good way to foster community spirit, even when you live in such a vast city as New York.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Knitting is a fairly inexpensive hobby to start with, but I’ve accumulated a lot of equipment over the past few years. I have needles in every size and variety. The one thing I spend the most money on is yarn. Every knitter I know has a problem with keeping a large “yarn stash.” I recently bought a set of circular needles where the tips interchange, so I don’t have to carry multiple circular needles with me.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I love my local yarn shop. I try not to shop at the big box craft stores, though they are a good place to pick up needles and things. I also buy a lot of yarn when I’m traveling. I always leave room in my suitcase for yarn and other souvenirs. I have some beautiful wool that I picked up in Scotland. I’m going to make a sweater for my best friend.

Are there any good books for beginners?

It’s best to learn knitting in person, but it’s good to have a book on hand as a reference. Knitting Basics for Beginners by Katrina Gale is a great way to hit the ground running. I have found several YouTube channels that are great for helping me figure out a new stitch I haven’t used before. My favorite is Knitpicks.

How has this changed your life?

Knitting has changed my life because it’s showed me the value of sitting down and clearing your mind. I’m a very on-the-go person, and it’s hard for me to settle. That is probably one of the main reasons I was inspired to start my travel blog: I don’t like to be in one place for very long. Knitting helps me relax and focus my mind. I also have pride in my abilities, and I love to be able to give my friends and family special gifts.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Find your local yarn store and take a class in person. If you can’t find a local yarn store or don’t have time to take a class, you can use a book or YouTube, but you might pick up bad habits that an instructor could correct for you quickly and easily.

Another piece of advice that would have been helpful for me when I was first starting out was to buy enough yarn for a project before you start. Running back to the shop only to find out that they are out of the color you needed, or that the dye lots don’t match, is frustrating. Buy lots of yarn, and if you have extra, keep it in your yarn stash.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I collect art and souvenirs from my trips abroad. I am especially interested in traditional pieces and folk art. I love to spend a summer afternoon wandering a street fair and picking out new pieces of art. I’ve gotten to be an expert on shipping it home. I also love textiles, and I use them around my home.

Douglas Knight New Canaan

Douglas Knight is a software engineer from Boston, Massachusetts. He currently works in Silicon Valley. With a wealth of experience in coding and building proprietary software, he is one of the top experts in his field. Douglas Knight is particularly interested in teaching a younger generation how to code and how to write their own programs.

Douglas Knight, New Canaan resident, volunteers as a speaker and runs programming seminars for high school students. His view on teaching students to code is that young people have progressive ideas. He believes they should be encouraged to take up coding before college and to share their entrepreneurial ideas with the world. Douglas also writes mobile games on the side.

What is your hobby?

My hobby is woodworking. I’ve made lots of furniture for my home and have started giving it away to friends. I recently made a bookshelf in my living room.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

Late one night, I couldn’t sleep, and I became fascinated with an episode of This Old House. It reminded me of my childhood living in old houses in New England. I enjoyed watching the project come together. I decided I would try my hand as a furniture maker.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love it because it’s hands-on and gets me away from the computer screen. As much as I love to code, it’s essential to keep from living your entire life on the computer. Being too sedentary is not healthy. I enjoy working with my hands and having a project move from plans on paper to a piece of furniture that is functional and looks good in a home.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Not really. Woodworking is a kind of meditation for me. I love being around people and teaching coding, but I also really enjoy having quiet time to myself. I do occasionally attend an exhibit or a woodworking show. It would be cool to find some fellow software engineers who like to do woodworking on the weekends. You’ve inspired me to ask around.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

My garage is full of woodworking stuff. I recently moved to a house with a two car garage so I would have somewhere to put my car. I have a vast collection of tools and supplies. Most recently, I bought a new router so I could engrave letters on a chair that I made for my girlfriend. She puts up with a lot from me, and I thought her patio could use some comfortable seating.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

Honestly, I get most of it at the home improvement store. I love to go in there at night and browse the aisles when there’s hardly anyone around. It’s like a toy store for adults. They have gotten to know me very well by now. I also love the Rockler web site and catalog. They have a lot of high-quality woodworking equipment that the big stores don’t carry.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I recommend Woodworking Basics by Peter Korn. This is the book that got me started. I like how he teaches both skills with power tools and traditional hand tools.

How has this changed your life?

Since I started woodworking, I have been a calmer person. I don’t do as much gaming on the weekends, which my girlfriend appreciates. I feel like I’ve gotten a new perspective on planning projects that has carried over to my work in coding.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Don’t buy too much equipment at first. You might end up with all kinds of things you don’t need. Start with what you need for your first project and go from there. Buying items as you go helps you sensibly build your collection.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I also love to run and play the trombone. I ran a half-marathon a few months ago. Running helps keep me in shape, and it’s also an opportunity for me to think without the constant distractions from texts and emails.

Playing the trombone is something I’ve done since I was in fifth grade. I took a few years off from it after college because I didn’t have a good instrument. After I became more successful with my career, I invested in a professional quality instrument. I started retaking lessons for the first time since college.

I recently joined a brass ensemble, and we play shows locally. Playing in a group is a lot like working in a team of programmers. Everyone has their own role to play. I would recommend music to anyone who works in programming. It’s relaxing and challenging at the same time.