If you’re like a lot of people, you’ve been working from home and in quarantine since March. And if you’re like me, after a couple of weeks you may have thought “how can I possibly keep doing this?” Well, as quarantine turned from weeks to months, I have to say I am getting much better at occupying my time. For me, the key to surviving quarantine has been discovering new activities and learning new things. Over the last 7 months, I decided to embrace my newfound “free time” by dabbling in the culinary art of pasta making, exploring NW hiking trails, and honing my golf-game. Without an end in sight, my hope is to provide you with new ideas and maybe a little inspiration to help fill your free time.

One of the first things I started doing was cooking more meals for myself. I’m a guy who loves going out to eat and finding new restaurants and have now discovered that making a nice meal at home can be just as fun and much more rewarding! A friend of mine tipped me off to a great website, Half Baked Harvest, to find appetizing recipes – and no, I don’t have any affiliation with them. I started to get into making fun new recipes. Once I felt that I “mastered” cooking (not really), I decided to take it a step further and learned how to make homemade pasta. Surprisingly, it turned out to be much easier than I anticipated and really delicious!

Another activity I’ve started doing more is hiking. I considered myself a person who enjoyed hiking even before the pandemic, but with the quarantine, I found myself with more time and luckily hiking is one of the safe outdoor activities you can still do these days. My favorite hike during this time is Cutthroat Pass on the Pacific Crest Trail, which I discovered just a couple of weeks ago. This hike had amazing views of the surrounding North Cascades and was relatively easy to do. Even better, it’s a great spot if you’re wanting to see those Larches (in September and October). Check them out below!

The last thing I’ll share that I’ve enjoyed throughout quarantine is golfing. I know golf isn’t for everyone, and up until this year I was someone who would get out on the course maybe twice a year. But similar to hiking, I felt this was one of the few things to safely do during quarantine. Since April, I’ve hit the course over 30 times – and I’ve even taken a stroke or two off my game (slow and steady). Fortunately, in Seattle we have a lot of great public courses and I’ve played most of them. My favorite so far is the West Seattle course. Warning! If you play this course – be prepared to walk up some pretty steep hills, but don’t let that sway you, it’s definitely worth it. Check out the city view on the 12th hole!

I’m sure you will agree, the last 7 months have been like no other – it is a strange and potentially isolating time. For me, these activities have helped me feel like I can still safely explore the outdoors and enjoy something fun while at home. I’m sure as this continues there will be other recreational activities I’ll want to try. For now, I’m happy to be able to say that I’ve discovered some new things that I thoroughly enjoy. I hope you feel inspired to go out and discover something new and enjoy your newfound “free time.”