It often seems as though the shift from our parents’ generation to our own is more than just a generational change. Indeed, it is the Millennial generation who came of age as the digital age came into being and now all generations have been shaped by the new and rapidly changing information age. And the changes in the 21st century will also affect our retirement. There's no reason to rely solely on the hobbies of our childhood. Now, with access to the technology that this new millennium introduced to us, there are so many new pursuits to try that retirement can only be looked at as a new beginning.
We may not yet have transporters or personal jetpacks, but one promise of the future that is very much a part of today's present is virtual reality (VR). This technology is being applied to all sorts of uses, from business to entertainment, and in the process, has become extremely accessible and every day is pushing the boundaries of what is possible. To begin accessing VR, all that is required is a $15 cardboard headset that will fit over a smartphone, although depending on how serious you get, you may wish to invest in more advanced technology, such as the oculus rift. But once in possession of a headset, what can you do?
- Gaming: One of the first uses of VR technology, without a doubt. This takes computer games to a whole new level.
- Entertainment: Sure, 3D movies are better than ever, but movies based in the compatible with VR are even more immersive.
- Education: Have you always viewed retirement as the perfect time to go back to school and learn new subjects? VR creates opportunities for unparalleled learning experiences.
- Travel: Arm-chair travel like you've never dreamed: not only can you visit world-class museums such as the Louvre or the Met without walking out the front door, you can also take a trip to inaccessible places, like the ocean's floor and the surface of the moon.
Speaking of travel, the opportunity for real-life travel has always been one of the most beloved pastimes in retirement. For many, this has meant joining group tours, and while these can be a great option, for those with an independent streak or who long to explore places off-the-beaten path, group tours can feel stifling. But with the internet at your fingertips, there's never been a better time to strike out on adventure. From crowd-sourced reviews of out-of-the-way restaurants to navigational tools like Google Maps to homestay sites like Airbnb, the planning becomes half the pleasure in the trip.
No, Facebooking has not become the new scrapbooking, and we're not suggesting that social media become a hobby in and of itself. But social media presents opportunities for enhancing traditional hobbies. Regardless of how specialized or esoteric your interest, you can bet that there's a thriving community dedicated to its pursuit only a few clicks away.
Youtube, Instagram, and Etsy
If you want to take up a new hobby, but feel overwhelmed that you're lacking in the necessary skills, sites like YouTube are the perfect place to get started with tutorials and how-to videos. And once you're immersed in your new favorite pastime, there's no better way to share what you're doing than on social media, whether that's showing off pictures on Instagram or actually selling the results of a new craft on Etsy.