With many parts of our lives outside of our personal control, I have long recommended that everyone have something to do "by hand" that can be picked up and put down at will. These activities give you some control because you can select and discard colors, sizes, and other elements. Many are portable (knitting, stitching, beading) and some require infrastructure (gardening, glass or metal work with torches). One of the few activities that falls out of this category is carving fresh vegetables. While it is "portable," you cannot take your carving implements through airline security, and a half-carved potato has a distinct and very unpleasant shelf life.