Like a tripod needs three legs for stability, humans need three pillars in our lives. The first two pillars are family and career, and the third is a social community. Social communities are where we relax and have fun and meet the friends of friends who become romantic partners. Social communities are best organized around a shared interest such as a hobby or spiritual interest.
Co-working spaces are wonderful places that try to meet all three pillars at the same time: a place where we work and hangout with cool people. There’s a great energy at co-working spaces where everyone is following their passion but that’s still only one pillar. And if you’ve ever tried to take a photograph off a “unipod”… good luck!
To stabilize our lives we need a hobby. Hobbies are an outlet for creativity outside the realm of work. Hobbies are the best way to meet locals: not only the ones that hang out in international crowds. It’s a way to get to know a culture and develop skills separate from the stresses of work.
When I started teaching improv three years ago I vowed to get 20 students for the first run of classes. Via friends and word-of-mouth we only had ten so I went out to ruin bars to find ten more people. I approached every group of English speakers and after five minutes, asked “So do you have any hobbies?” The answer in 95% of cases was “NO!” From there it was easy, “So what are you doing next Tuesday? Nothing, oh come to my class it’s a free trial.” After three days of this we were up to 25 students!
Improv IS the best hobby for anyone, anywhere, period, but I want to share 5 other hobbies I’ve discovered that are perfect for serial travelers. These hobbies are easy to learn with minimal language skills and form quick connections in any city in the world. Without further ado... let’s get started!
Tango is everywhere, fun and simple. Unlike Salsa, Tango is less about flashy moves and more about human connection so it’s easy to learn. In fact, I learned in two weeks! People are super friendly and there’s no language skills required. Also, there’s a chronic shortage of guys so fellas take a chance!
Budapest recommendation: Contact Improvisation Tango
Sing, play guitar, pick up the drums. This one gets a 10/10 for universality and a 3/10 for the challenge factor. Unlike Tango, you’re not going to be jamming out on bass after two weeks but every city in the world has open-mics with friendly crowds who will help get you started. Open-mics are also chill places to go with a strong community where you don’t have to participate to feel welcome. Grab a beer, make a friend and enjoy the beats!
Budapest recommendation: Monday open-mics @ Jelen
This hobby is unique on the list in that I’ve never tried it myself. I’m recommending it because every single person I’ve met that is into Capoeira has become a friend! Capoeira is a Brazilian art that combines martial arts, dance and music. Can’t picture it?? Take a look at the video below. Capoeira is popular enough that it exists in every capital city but young enough that there’s still an “in-crowd” feel to it where you get huge points just for knowing about it.
Budapest recommendation: GCB Hungary
Shout-out to the Budapest Hikers, my personal favorite community in Budapest. Hiking is talking -with a view! - and the difference between a conversation at an international gathering and a hike is like the difference between twitter and a podcast: you can really get to know people! Hiking is calming and a beautiful way to meet the other side of the country and recharge from the hustle of the capital.
Budapest recommendation: Budapest Hikers
Honorable Mention: Yoga
I like yoga, it's relaxing and I would never stretch any other time. It’s everywhere and there's so many sytles, from traditional yoga to beer yoga to tantric yoga... There’s a yoga for everyone! The reason this only gets honorable mention is it’s less of a place to meet people. I get "internal” after a good yoga session and don’t usually talk to people. But if this is your sort of thing, it’s cheap and universal. Join the yoga movement... 30 years too late ;)
Budapest Recommendation: Eleven Yoga (Acroyoga)
I’ve taught hundreds of improv workshops over the past three years and never had a student who left alone. Improv is about overcoming challenges together and there is nothing better at creating close friendships than solving problems as a team. Improv is also a human environment where we fail and laugh at ourselves, ensuring the connections formed are deep and true. The final part of the improv tripod: it trains the communication, social and leadership skills you need for relationships and careers. It’s the whole 360 degree picture – all in one place.
Red Ball’s new season starts next week! So come to our trial class, make 12 new friends and explore the social truths that bind us together.
Budapest recommendation: Red Ball Theater
P.S. Have you booked your Free Breakthrough Call yet?