Its hard to find the balance for anyone between their career, life, personal relationships, what have you. But, for truck drivers, it can be even more difficult to find those hobbies and little joys to partake in because it always feels like we need to be buzzing around. The biggest challenge is finding time to engage in extra activities that can bring us those tiny pleasures throughout the day. There seems to never be enough time to get to try out new things. Newsflash: there are indeed things you can do to enrich your life and add some flavor without having to drastically alter your over-the-road lifestyle. Also, due the recently implemented new regulations for drivers, they’re now finding themselves with more time than ever to kill.
Reading: I know what you’re thinking. No one reads anymore. That’s so not true. I’m not suggesting you pick up a copy of War and Peace anytime soon or anything, but investing in a tablet is a great choice for truck drivers. Download the hottest reads in anything that interests you without taking time to stop at Barnes & Noble. Reading will keep your mind sharp; therefore, you will improve your overall abilities, including driving skill. Also, avid-readers make for the best writers. Which leads me to my next hobby–
Blogging: Why not share your story? Reach out online. Whether your forte be in post-writing, picture-shares or video-blogging; express your creativity. Tell your story and build an audience. If you’re feeling short on time you don’t even need to go in-depth to get involved in online trucking communities. Periodically share pictures via Instagram, FaceBook, Tumblr or Twitter. This is another great way to touch base with friends and family when you don’t get to see them as much as you’d like to. Maybe you can find your niche–you could be the next internet famous YouTube sensation or become the renowned operator of your own travel blog. It’s like keeping a modern day journal! (JUST DON’T CHECK SOCIAL MEDIA WHILE DRIVING–don’t be an idiot.)
“Girly” hobbies: Okay, sure most truck drivers are still men (even though more and more ladies are joining the professions 🙂 ) but hey, there’s no shame in the knitting game. Stereotypically female-only activities like knitting or quilt-making is a relaxing and skillful time-killer. Its a great way to unwind. And, unlike some hobbies, being able to make something by hand is actually super rewarding. Be the edgy driver who isn’t afraid to knit the coolest scarves at the truck-stop, ya’ll.
Photography: For someone that gets to travel the country and see the best sights, photography is an awesome activity to try! Snap pictures of your favorite sights you see on the road. Experiment with filters and adjustments. You don’t need to drop cash on a fancy and expensive camera, either! Smartphones and iPads even take some high-quality snapshots. And, there’s so many free apps you can download to edit pictures you take and make them look amazing. Then, share your talents by sending them to your friends and family back home! They’ll be able to get a taste of your travels–through your lenses.
Exercise: Maintaining healthy lifestyle habits as a truck driver is probably tougher than in any profession. Spending many nights in a cab, driving for countless hours, eating quick food with little nutritional value, and typically engaging in a flat-out sedentary lifestyle. Personally, when I find any spare moment (assuming I’m not using that time to catch up on sleep) I want to keep myself moving! You can even exercise using your truck. You don’t need a gym to get active!! Plus, many rest stops have gyms you can utilize. I can not emphasize enough how beneficial exercising is. It makes you feel so accomplished and the endorphins put you in a great mood.
Discover new music: These days there’s so much new stuff to listen to that you’ll never discover unless you look for it. Try using an app like Pandora or iheartradio. Discover new music, make playlists for your drives. Try reading music reviews and find new artists. Maybe even branch into different genres. Mix it up! Who knows, you might find your favorite song by accident. And good music always puts a smile on my face. So, discover the brand new soundtrack to your life! (And, listening to good music while doing all the other hobbies makes them even more enjoyable!)