How I Combined Five Interests for an Awesome Experience

Photo of sidewalk on James Street North in Hamilton

This page may contain links to or other sites from which I may receive commission on purchases you make after clicking on such links. Read my full Disclosure Policy

Lately I’ve noticed that some of my activities encompass two or more of my interests. Since I tend to be task-oriented, I appreciate being able to tick off lots of boxes, even if they’re only in my head.

But what’s more exciting is that the process of combining passions leads to a more satisfying experience. I’m going to share a recent example and hope it might inspire some ways you can combine your interests.

Interest #1: Stepping Away from My Desk

I love my work, so it’s often a challenge just to get away from my desk. While looking for activities that might spark my interest, I joined a couple of walking tours through the Lady Hamilton Club in 2019. It was fun to explore and learn about the history of the city where I’ve lived for nearly half my life.

Interest #2: Reading

During lockdown, it was hard to get hold of books, so I finally picked up one I’d brought home months earlier when the pickings were slim at my neighbourhood Free Little Library.

That book was The Good Doctor, by Vince Agro. Nothing to do with The Good Doctor on TV, it's a semi-autobiographical novel set in Hamilton’s Italian community during World War II. I wasn’t familiar with the part of the city where the story takes place, but thought I might like to explore the area on foot some time.

Interest #3: Local History

Inspired by the walking tours I’d taken, last winter I did a Google search for addresses and building names which were prominent in the book, copying and pasting my findings into OneNote.

Interest #4: Technology

This spring, I entered each location into Google Maps and saved them to a list I created, along with a brief blurb about their significance. Once they were all marked on the map, I removed those that were far away from the others, then sorted the list to form my tour.

Interest #5: Photography

A friend and I set out to take my tour one recent morning, and with the map and my notes right on my phone, I was able to play tour guide very nicely!

The weather was perfect for capturing the historic buildings.

Conclusion and a Question

Would you like to take my walking tour yourself? Or see how I did it so you can create your own? Check it out!

I don’t remember a time when so many of my interests combined to make a fascinating project! Until it was finished, I hadn’t even thought of it as a project – I was just doing things I enjoy.

Have you ever had a similar experience?

All photos © Janet Barclay

Casual Photo of Janet Barclay

Janet Barclay

I eliminate stress for my clients by hosting, monitoring, and maintaining their WordPress sites so they don’t have to worry about security, downtime or performance issues. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, cooking, watching movies, drinking tea, and spending time with my family.

Join the Conversation!


  1. Hazel Thornton on October 26, 2022 at 5:46 pm

    What a fun project, which lent itself to a fun blog post!

  2. Sabrina Quairoli on November 7, 2022 at 10:25 am

    What a fun project! It allows you to be present in the moment.

    • Janet Barclay on November 8, 2022 at 12:30 pm

      I hadn’t thought of it that way, but you’re so right! No matter which stage I was at, I was fully engaged with what I was doing.

  3. Linda Samuels on November 7, 2022 at 10:33 am

    What wonderful ways to combine all of your interests! I love how you created your own walking tour!

    During the early part of the pandemic, Steve and I took a driving tour to a part of the area we knew less well. Using your phone, it directed you to particular areas and buildings and then you could hear audio about them. We really enjoyed it and plan to do another part of that tour we didn’t get to see. At points, we stopped the car and got out and walked. While we didn’t travel that far from home, it was fun discovering places we’d never seen or didn’t know much about.

  4. Seana Turner on November 7, 2022 at 10:40 am

    I think your final thought is what really resonates with me. It didn’t even feel like a project because you were just combining things you love doing. That’s what I call “rowing downstream.” When we can do this, I think we feel energized and do some of our best work!

    I honestly feel that working as a professional organizer has allowed me to combine a lot of the things I love doing: organizing, designing spaces, being with people, doing something physical, and marketing. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to do what I do!

    • Janet Barclay on November 8, 2022 at 12:35 pm

      Thank you for saying that, Seana. This was a post that I wanted to write, but my initial ideas (photos I took on the walk, along with stories about their significance) probably wouldn’t have been of interest to many people – maybe a few people in Hamilton who are also into local history. I’m glad I succeeded in bringing it all together in a way that resonated with you.

      Isn’t it wonderful to build a business that allows you to do that? Sometimes I feel sorry for all the people who have jobs that don’t give them that level of satisfaction. 😀

  5. Julie Bestry on November 10, 2022 at 3:38 am

    What a fabulous way to combine things you find compelling. I’m not sure how I’d emulate that with my own interests, putting pop culture into my blog posts notwithstanding. You’ve definitely given me something to think about!

    • Janet Barclay on November 10, 2022 at 12:57 pm

      It definitely wasn’t intentional on my part – it just evolved.

Leave a Comment

You might also enjoy...

Happy New Year

Welcome to 2015

An attitude of gratitude

Grand Canyon

The Time Management Trap

When it rains, look for rainbows. When it's dark, look for stars.