When I was about 8-9yrs old, someone asked me what my hobby was. Until then I never had a hobby or at least I did not consider anything that I did as my hobby. When they asked me – I started to think. I probably heard it from someone else or read it somewhere that collecting stamps (Philately) is a nice hobby and it makes you look like you are doing something useful as opposed to hobbies like listening to music, watching TV etc (I know, people in the 90’s had really lame hobbies).
Anyway so without knowing the ABC of stamp collecting, I decided that philately was going to be my hobby. I knew a few of my parent’s friends who used to collect stamps so I consulted them on how to get started. Slowly I started building my collection. I started collecting local stamps. Then I expanded it to international ones. Whenever I knew anyone who would travel abroad, I would ask them to bring stamps for me.
After a few years my dad got me a stamp collecting album. Until then I was collecting it in envelopes and boxes. Once I got the album, I was able to organize them better. I had one page for each country and created a label for each country. I placed the stamps based on the size and shape. Each row had uniform size and shape.
Then I organized the pages in the album according to themes. For example, stamps with pictures of president, sports, automobile, Christmas etc. Soon I was running out of space on my album and had to buy another one. Slowly I got in touch with other stamp collectors in the area who trade stamps. We meet and exchange stamps. Some of them also gave me references to their friends from other states and countries who would send stamps.
After a few years I extended the collection to currencies and coins. I maintained an album for those as well. I had quite a good collection and I felt proud showing it to my friends, relatives and others who came home.
I continued it until I was 17 after which I left home for my college and did not find time to continue it. I still have my collection with me and whenever I look at them, it brings back old memories to me. Now when I look back, I believe that it is probably because of this hobby that I am more organized in everything that I do today.