The activities I like to do when I go away are:
1. Mountain biking
2. Whitewater canoeing
3. Horse riding - not in a paddock - but trails that get you up into the mountains
4. Hiking - particularly in the mountains or along the coastline
5. Snow skiing
But there are competitive activities I enjoy such as:
1. Table tennis
Having reached almost 40yo I find that I have no particular interest in going out and drinking in bars anymore. Wasted alot of time doing that. On the rare occasion that you would meet interesting people, they would just want to 'relax' and be superficial. In seems to be a defining difference between me and other people, that they want to loose focus and do nothing, whereas I tend to 'switch focus'. Thats not to say that I am so serious or competitive, but I dont feel threatened by these activities, but I sense that these people are.
There seems to be too few activities out there for intellectuals. I want to differentiate true intellectuals from those who are very selective in the topics they cover. I think an intellectual is open to all issues, and does not just 'read' material, he studies it, dissects it, breaks it down to form new principles or takes new perspectives. This is what intellectuals do. But I am sure there alot of pseudo-intellectuals out there who dont do this. These artists or business people are generally more interested in 'social networking' than in discovering any truth. These people just want to get somewhere - fine - but without any respect for truth. Instead their way of getting somewhere is through other people - favours, support or beneficiaries. There seem few that respect things in themselves - for the utility they provide. Its more about the social climb. Maybe that notion would be attractive if I would meet people that challenge. Well I do....but they seem too inclined to run away.
So I'm left reading books. If you want to find people at their best - read their books.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com