Gather Magazine

Find a hobby that you can share with others

Whether it’s swimming in the sea, pampering yourself in a sauna, birdwatching or playing golf, finding a pastime that you can share with others makes life so much sweeter.

It’s wonderful to spend time with those who have similar interests. Friendships based on mutual passions enable us to indulge in the things we enjoy doing, while sharing the experience. If you like cold-water swimming, rambling or even whittling, there will almost certainly be people out there who are willing to connect. We can learn more, too, by sharing and learning alongside others. Lasting friendships are sometimes born out of mutual pastimes, and a bit of friendly encouragement can help us to grow.

If you decide to connect with a few fellow hobbyists, here are some of the benefits you may discover. Finding your tribe can be a truly heartwarming experience and you will undoubtedly make some new friends along the way.


Meeting people with the same interests instils a sense of belonging. And having a place where you can explore and deåvelop your whole self is fulfilling and energising. Groups enable us to gain support, seek advice and find inspiration. They can be a welcome break and somewhere to relax and unwind on a busy day. Meeting others and sharing our particular passion is enjoyable and enables us to feel part of a community. We may even find a place of refuge or mutual support – a valuable resource at times in our lives when we seek kindness and encouragement.


Undertaking activities that differ from those in our daily lives is a good way to refocus and recharge. A little time away is uplifting and taking time out enables us to achieve a healthy balance of work and play. Engaging in creative or active pursuits with others also helps us to be a little more mindful in our day, meaning we’re less likely to be thinking about the past or worrying about the future. Getting lost in an activity is a healthy and relaxing way to pass an hour or two. It encourages us to take a deep breath and to be present.


Many of us meet people and make friends over shared experiences and these can be very different to the normal social circle we keep. At first people may feel a little vulnerable joining a new group, especially if it’s not something we regularly do or have done for quite some time. But being brave and showing up is often the hardest part. And more often than not everyone else feels the same. Willing one another to flourish and celebrating achievements is a positive way to begin new friendships.


Talking through projects or experiences helps us to discover and develop new ideas. Watching others, too, is a great way to view what we do from a fresh perspective. We might uncover a new technique, a way to streamline our work or simply build confidence in what we’re already doing. Doing something alongside others enables us to experiment with things we may not have considered, exposing us to alternative ways of approaching something.


Learning and growing with friends enables us to make more of our potential. Sharing a journey can give us a push forward if we hit a plateau or become stuck, and the enthusiasm of others is a great motivator. By sharing what we’d like to achieve, everyone in the group can support each other, working towards our various goals. Community friendships are so important for feedback and mutual encouragement. We all have different skills and experiences and sharing these can not only improve our skills, but also enhance our sense of self-esteem.


There are many ways to locate groups and networks. Local community centres, cafes or shops are great places to start. You could also try searching online or on social media. Groups can range from formal classes to informal gatherings. Some may charge while others will be free. If you fail to locate a group, there’s nothing to stop you setting up a network of your own. Social media will help you to get the ball rolling and there is a lot of information and advice online. You could even connect with someone who already runs a group or class for advice. There’s a whole world of hobbies out there, from playing tennis to photography and from choirs to running groups – it’s just a case of finding a passion that suits you.