If traditional recreational activities like stamp collecting, fishing, scrapbooking or photography aren't for you, a little creativity, imagination and self-discovery can lead to exciting and unique ideas for new pastimes. Start by taking stock of your interests in broad terms; for example, if mysteries and the unexplained capture your imagination, you might adopt astrology, ghost hunting, geocaching or treasure hunting as ways to spend free time. If you're into physical activities and living a healthy lifestyle, martial arts, spelunking, extreme sports or other hobbies could strike the right chord.
With improvements in lens technologies, high-powered telescopes are becoming increasingly affordable for the average person. Thus, people whose interest in space was once limited to looking up at the night sky or using binoculars to peer at the moon can now take up a more serious interest in astronomy. Internet technologies have made genealogy and related leisure activities easier and more rewarding than ever before, and connecting with other people who share your passion is a simple task in cyberspace. Live-action role playing ("LARPing") and Civil War re-enacting have enjoyed booms in recent years precisely because online communities make it very easy for people with shared interests to interact with one another.
Also, consider alternative hobbies that fall under the banner of popular pastimes like cooking. Parlay your love of sweets into a canning and preserving pastime, or take your love of wine to the next level by becoming an amateur vintner. Most sizable communities also have facilities that let people brew their own beer or spirits, with some even offering instruction and tips on how to master these crafts.
Animal lovers can also consider recreation and hobbies like dog breeding, competitive obedience and dog showing competitions, as well as their feline equivalents for those who prefer the company of cats. If you're a technophile, spare-time pursuits like blogging or intensive leisure activities like robotics might catch your fancy. Those who like to keep up with the latest global trends may take an interest in the parkour and freestyle walking craze that's sweeping the Western world, particularly in Europe.
There's a hobby out there for everyone, and it's often the case that the most rewarding ways to spend free time come from passions you've always had but never took a closer look at. Don't be afraid to jump in with both feet – you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.