Top Ten Most Popular Retirement Activities – Part Two


Top Ten Most Popular Retirement Activities – Part Two

For some people retirement is the time to have adventures, do all the things they’d ever dreamed of doing and leave the stresses and hassles of work in the past. For others, our golden years are for sleeping in, soaking up the sun and relaxing – hence the amount of people who opt to spend their retirement abroad.

But wherever you live and whatever retirement goals you want to achieve, there are certain activities which seem to have almost universal appeal among retirees.

In Part One of the Top Ten Most Popular Retirement Activities we looked at DIY, family activities, taking up exercise, volunteering and returning to education.

In Part Two we’ll be focusing on travelling, gardening, reading, pursuing hobbies and socialising.


People visit foreign nations for work and pleasure, but when you’re retired you can really take your time and get to know the country you’re staying in. The prospect of better weather, exciting cuisine and interesting culture make extended holidays, regional road trips and total expatriation all popular options with people of retirement age. Travel is said to broaden your horizons and give you a greater understanding of the world and human nature, so during chilly winters hoping on a plane/boat/train or tram and seeing new sights could be an attractive prospect.


For some unexplainable reason thousands of people who spent their youth in happy ignorance of everything flora/fauna related develop a passion for gardening in their later years. But if you’ve always been dismissive of the activity you may find yourself pleasantly surprised if you give it a go. Not only is gardening enormously satisfying, it’s also a good workout/stress reliever and means that you never have to fork out for a bunch of wilting supermarket flowers.


Curling up with a book might not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but reading is an activity you can enjoy come rain or shine, and compared with other hobbies it’s relatively inexpensive (although you will have to pay for reading snacks and reading coffee/wine/beer). Furthermore, if you’ve moved overseas and are trying to make new connections and friends, joining an expat reading club could be a good option.

Pursuing Hobbies

When you’re in full or part-time employment a hobby is an activity you have to fit in around everything else and only get to enjoy for limited periods. But during retirement you can realise your full potential and hone your skills by pursuing hobbies like cooking, playing a musical instrument, painting, skiing or learning a foreign language at your leisure. Depending on the hobby, spending more time doing an activity you enjoy could help you de-stress, improve your health, keep your mind active and provide rewarding enjoyment.


In childhood and during your teenage years spending time with friends is a top priority, but the older you get and the more responsibilities you take on the less time you have to spend socialising. In retirement friends are able to reunite for uninterrupted fun, spending lazy days or buzzing evenings visiting old pals and making new acquaintances. If you’re spending your retirement overseas (and distanced from your family) having a strong social group is even more important. Attending language classes, sporting events, local celebrations and expat events can broaden your social circle and help you meet a wide range of interesting people.

If you have a retirement activity to recommend you could get in touch on Facebook and Twitter or leave us a comment in the Expat Hub forum!

Luca Smith
This post was written by
After spending the summers of his childhood in Burgundy with his French grandparents, Luca moved from the US to Digoin on a permanent basis when he was seventeen. After completing his studies Luca pursued a career as a writer and now produces articles for local and national publications.