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Ideas for Nostalgia

 Nostalgia takes many forms and people like to look back for different reasons. The past has an allure for lots of us but that attraction can be in many different areas of life. Whatever we want to hark back to there is the opportunity to do some research and to find out more about the things that we are interested in. We're actually indulging in some social history when we look back and, as with all types of history, most of us have only scratched the surface of what there is to know about the past.

So nostalgia can be a time-consuming hobby for us and researching our particular interest can be both rewarding and illuminating. We can take it to any depth we like but almost always there is scope to get heavily involved with our nostalgia.

Some of the things that we commonly look back on are:

  • Our own past, through photographs, newspaper cuttings etc
  • People - old friends
  • Places - that we visited when we were a child
  • Stamps
  • Magazines and comics
  • Films
  • Sport
  • Classic toys
  • Music
  • Radio and TV programmes
  • Books we read years ago - particularly books we read as a child

As we get older, and especially when we retire and have more time on our hands, many of us develop an increased fondness for certain aspects of the past and the wish to delve into it a bit deeper. This is why genealogy is becoming so popular. However, it's not just family history that is becoming a favourite hobby; there are many other ways of finding our past, some of which are listed above.

A lot of us rekindle this interest when they're clearing out the loft, or under the settee, and come across old football programmes from our favourite team, old comics or, of course, all those old photographs that we've always meant to put into albums.

So have a think and see if you can remember if you kept anything like that and, if so, where you put it. It's not essential to have an existing stock of things but it might help to provide a kick start. Once you have found it all, or if you decide to start from scratch, then you can develop your nostalgia and start to bring back all those happy memories.

The basic tool for doing this is, of course, research. Whether we want to collect old comics or sports programmes, find old friends or listen to our favourite old radio and TV programmes or records, we will need to do some research to find the sources of what we want. Some of this will be relatively easy and some much more difficult. Some of the other pages of this Guide will help you to get started on your research.

Finding out more about our own past is high up on many people's wishes and, whilst genealogy doesn't come under the 'nostalgia' heading, strictly speaking, being nostalgic about our past very often leads into genealogy. For information on genealogy and how to get started, go to the laterlife section on this topic and start finding out about your family history.

Guide to Nostalgia links


Collecting things often helps with our nostalgia or, indeed, becomes the whole point of our new 'nostalgia' hobby. We can collect magazines, comics, toys, old records, sports programmes and a host of other things depending on how our nostalgia grabs us. Again, some of the other pages of the Guide will give you a start as to where to go and look for whatever you want to collect.


Just click on the links in the box, get your appetite whetted and get nostalgic. For a quick start, go to to see the kind of things that people get nostalgic about. It's definitely a feel-good website, so get yourself into the mood.

If you have anything in particular that you're nostalgic about or you can help other people with their nostalgic longings, let us know through the feedback form.

This Guide to Nostalgia is written by Retirement Specialist Dave Sinclair supported by members of the LaterLife team. As well as writing on retirement matters Dave is Training Director at LaterLife and responsible for the content and continuous improvement of LaterLife's Retirement Courses.
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