My earliest hobby and probably the one that stuck with me for a very long time since I was a five year old kid is collecting stamps. I combined that with collecting coins too. It was however a very amateur attempt at building the collection mostly driven from my own interest and the limited resources available to me.
My dad wanted my sisters and I to develop a hobby. He was ahead of his entire generation when it came to being knowledgeable about the world and in building a modern outlook in life. Stamps collection was one of the biggest and thriving hobbies back in the pre-internet days. A lot of memorable moments are attached to this hobby of mine. Right from the day when my dad brought a few stamps for my sister to start collecting (which she didn't and I picked it up instead) to buying stamps from hobbyists and waiting for the mail to arrive after several weeks with the stamps in them. All was done in good faith and of course I do have several stamps that I don't believe are genuine but are fake papers printed to fool the gullible of my kind!
One such incident happened when a school mate of mine came over to my house and exchanged two good stamps from me for a "very rare country and stamp"! It was obscured in several places with the post office seal and hence it couldn't be read easily by just looking at it for a few seconds. He said it is a special place called "DWGRIFFITI". My naive self believed him more than the stamp and I got it. A few days later while examining the stamp closely I realized that "USA" was written in a corner of the stamp that I didn't see earlier. The DWGRIFFITI was actually D.W.Griffith who I eventually came to know was an American film maker. I was too shy and hesitant to pick up a fight with him for cheating me and the matter ended there. Eventually, this person became a very close friend of mine.
Hobbies are great. I hope my kids build much better and bigger ones in their lifetime especially while growing up. To stamps....and coins....