It’s been a long year and I’ve just finished my challenge of doing something new every day. There’s been some good, some bad, and some I never want to do again (here’s looking at you, Rubik’s cube) but I’ve had fun exploring new areas and discovering interesting things. I wanted to look back and sum up a go through some of my favourite things of the year, and who knows, it might inspire someone else out there to have a go too!
Let’s start with some of the easiest ones: they’re quick, they’re cheap and they’re a lot of fun
Quick and Easy
- Hug a tree
- Put your trousers on without using your hands – one of the very early ones but still a firm favourite. Great for any age to try, tears of laughter absolutely guaranteed!
- Break a world record – all that’s needed is a little bit of research and a stopwatch – my attempts at unravelling a roll of toilet paper could be a good way to work through some of that stock-piled stash from the Spring!
- Chubby bunny – a good way to use up excess marshmallows.
- Fold a t-shirt in 2 seconds – fold your washing in no time
- Geoguesser – a good time killer, guess different locations from Street Maps around the world
- Freerice – a trivia game that helps combat world hunger – what’s not to like?
- A.I. Oil Painting – see how an A. I. would draw you in a different period. Mine is unintentionally hilarious!
- Google Quick, Draw – kill some time playing Pictionary against a computer.
- Make your own Wordsearch
- Stickman Adventures – a really enjoyable game where you draw the tools the stickman hero needs.
- Cleverbot – have a conversation with some A. I. that might have passed the Turing Test.
- Radio Garden – transport yourself to the beaches of Brazil, or the supermarkets in Sri Lanka by listening to local radio stations from around the world
- Earth from Space – viewing a live feed of Earth from the I.S.S. was very calming and reassuring.
Surprise Hits – these are ones that I had no idea I’d love going into them
- Voguing dance class – I loved this, I think because it was a dance that was achievable for me!
- British Sign Language – Really fascinating and surprisingly easy to pick up the basics.
- Tai Chi – If the classes would have continued I would have gone to tai chi every week as I found the practice very mindful and soothing.
- Ice hockey – from way back when we could see live sport! A lively and exciting experience.
- Learned to juggle – something that has kept my hands busy throughout the year.
- Lip balm and lotion bars – who knew how easy it would be to make these?
- Online choir – A lovely community of people coming to sing together online. I loved seeing everyone’s faces at a time when my world was limited.
- Hip Hop dance class – Mike Peele and his Hip Hop Fit workouts are ridiculously fun and one of the new things I’ve done over and over again.
- Chess – I wasn’t great but it was enthralling!
- Bob Ross Tutorial – Instant calm, I was surprised by how good my pictures looked.
- Calligraphy – I’ve played around with this a few times after doing it as a new thing, it was especially good on my Christmas cards.
- Beatbox – so much fun.
- Spaghetti Bridge – who knew spaghetti could hold so much?
- At-Home Yoga Retreat – I enjoyed this so much I want to do it again in the New Year.
- Endangered Languages – very interesting to learn how many languages are in danger and what’s being done to save them.
- Randonautica – I was sceptical about the weird internet phenomenon until I tried it…
- Climbed a tree – I felt like a child climbing my first tree.
- Okonomiyaki – one of the few times I ate out this year was trying this delicious Japanese noodle omelette.
- Sound bath – surprisingly relaxing.
- Bollywood film – I had so much fun with this! I’ve not seen anymore as yet but they’re on my list.
- Comping – this was very addictive. I never won anything but I wouldn’t rule out dabbling in this again.
- Plate spinning – I loved this SO much and keep returning to it for fun. A party trick I’m very proud of.
- Silent Disco – So much fun! I lost all my inhibitions and just danced and danced and danced – I highly recommend!
- Made my own butter – I had no idea I could do this until about five minutes before I did it! Cream will never go to waste again in this house.
- Homemade chocolates – These were so simple and inspired me to think of the many possible fillings I could use. Something I’m excited to play within 2021.
Keepers – these are the new things that I’ve continued with throughout the year
- Silent Disco
- Capsule wardrobe – reducing my wardrobe to 33 items for 3 months at a time has ensured I’ve only bought 2 new items of clothes this year and helped to massively reduce my fast fashion footprint. I’ve not looked back.
- Hip Hop dance class
- compliment a stranger
- Bob Ross painting tutorial
- Bread without a recipe – I’ve played with bread so much this year and really developed a passion for learning how it works.
- Pitta bread
- Sourdough – it took me a long time to crack this but finally, after literally months of trying, I’m able to consistently make a good loaf.
- Rhubarb and ginger cookies
- Masala chai
- Food photography – I learned some skills during this that have really come in useful as I continued to make more bakes.
- Film Club – one of my favourites from the year. I love discovering the new films on the program and revisiting some old favourites, and enjoy chatting in the group with some fellow film fans.
- Pad Thai
- Family tree
- Among Us
- Babka and Challah
These are my stand-out favourites, the ones I’m happiest to have done and the ones that I’m most proud of.
- Afternoon Tea at-home – I’m seeing a recurring theme with all of my ‘at-home’ events. I was really proud of making every element in the afternoon tea, it felt really nice to do something I would normally do in the UK at home here in Germany. A memory I will definitely look back on fondly.
- Overnight train with a stranger – I thought I’d be having more adventures of this kind this year. The fact that I didn’t makes this one even more special. Travelling on my own on the sleeper train from Berlin to Budapest was exciting, but sharing a cabin with a stranger and staying up chatting was thrilling.
- Learned to Juggle – This has already made an appearance on some lists, I know, but it really encouraged me to try some other circus skills such as the balloon shaping and plate spinning which I absolutely love. In another world, I could see myself going to clown school, or becoming a children’s entertainer. Juggling let me lean into my silly side and explore it a more, something which I’m really grateful for.
- At-home Film Festival – Sharing my love of some classic films with my husband was really special for me. I loved doing the research for each one and giving him a short presentation. This was a really enjoyable, at-home experience.
- Camping at home – Making a make-shift fort in my living room to camp under was great fun, and I actually felt like I slept better that night than many nights since. A special experience that made it feel like we were on holiday when we weren’t.
- At-home Yoga and Meditation Retreat – I put a lot of effort into planning this for myself and thoroughly enjoyed it, it felt very special.
- Chocolate Entremet and Opera Cake – Never in a million years did I think I would be able to make anything as beautiful and complex as these cakes – check out my post from January about a birthday cake, I thought that was a big achievement! The puff course and all the bakes I’ve done this year have given me so much confidence in the kitchen and really kindled my passion for baking, something I can’t wait to go into more thoroughly next year.
- Wrote a Book – This is the thing I’m most proud of doing this year. Technically, I didn’t do it in a day, but I did do it in 30 days and that is certainly no walk in the park. It feels so good to know that I’ve created a whole story from scratch, fully from what’s inside my head, without having done it ever before. I’m definitely considering it a first draft and I’m looking forward to revisiting it in 2021 to try and polish it up some more. One of my biggest achievements, ever.
This is a very short selection of all of my highlights from this year – I could have made the post ten times longer than I did! Thank you for visiting and following my journey this year, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading or even found some inspiration for new things you can try. Stick around though, as my new thing adventures will continue in 2021!