Having a hobby can be a great way of deciding on a holiday destination. I used to travel a lot with a friend who had a slightly unusual sporting hobby – he was a kendo player, having taken up the martial art while he lived in Japan. Because of him, and a Czech national tournament which was open to people of all nationalities, I was able to make my first trip to Prague a few years ago.
Visiting a city or country for this kind of reason makes for a totally different trip, with quite a few advantages – the most important ones being that you get an insight into the normal daily life of the place (the kendo tournament was held in a high school gymnasium out in the suburbs of Prague) and of course, you are easily able to meet a bunch of local people who can show you around – and in Prague’s case, give you the inside tips on the best local beers!
One popular reason for hobby travel for northern Europeans is to participate in sports in a a warmer climate such golf in La Manga or tennis in Mallorca in Spain. It doesn’t really matter what your hobby is, but perhaps if it’s a little obscure, that’s even better – the locals will welcome you with open arms. Has anyone else out there travelled somewhere in Europe in pursuit of a hobby or a bit of competition? Let me know in the comments.