Bill Gates’ 5 Favorite Ways to Relax

2 minute read

When I was in my 20s and early 30s, my whole life was focused on work. I didn’t take vacations or weekends off. I was always the first in the office and the last to leave. These days, I’m better at balancing the work that I love to do with my foundation and taking time off to spend with family and friends.


My parents first taught me bridge, but I really started to enjoy it after playing with Warren Buffett. It takes a mix of strategy and teamwork to do well. We always find time to play a few games when we’re together.

Settlers of Catan

This civilization-building board game is a favorite in my family. Melinda, our kids, and I have spent many hours sitting around the table trading resources, building roads, and strategizing to be the first to reach 10 victory points.


I have played tennis my whole life. This year, I got to play a match with Roger Federer to help raise money for his foundation. I wouldn’t say it was the most relaxing tennis game I’ve ever played, but it was a whole lot of fun.

Reading Books

It may not be too surprising that one of my favorite ways to relax is to keep learning. On average, I try to read a book a week, and I always bring a whole tote bag of them on vacation.


In 1993, Melinda and I visited Tanzania, Kenya, and Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo). That trip changed our lives and inspired us to start our foundation and get involved in philanthropy sooner than we planned. I know it’s not possible for everyone to travel halfway around the world, so I’ve started sharing VR videos on my Gates Notes blog of what I’m seeing and learning.

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