This year has been anything but normal so far. Needless to say, what used to be normal just a year ago, no longer is. There’s a silver lining to this whole ordeal, though. Everything being ever so slightly out of whack means that it’s a good time to let loose and try new things. Why not explore a new hobby or learn a new skill? Either way, here are our tips on 7 cool things you must try this year.

Learn a New Language

Languages are such an awesome concept. No two are the same, yet every language can be used to express the same concepts and feelings. Learning a new language isn’t easy, especially if you’ve never done it before. That being said, it’s a perfect way of challenging yourself without needing to leave the house.

All you need is a good online course, and you’re set! Best of all, you no longer need to visit distant places and far away countries to try out your new language skills. There are plenty of online communities where you’ll find people from all countries, speaking all kinds of languages. Learning a new language is a great way of finding a new perspective and seeing the world from a slightly different angle.

Learn How to Play an Instrument

Playing an instrument opens you up to a whole new dimension of human experience. Creating, let alone playing music is a process that will take a piece of your emotion or mood, and turn it into a timeless melody.

Truth be told, mastering an instrument is difficult. If you’ve found, say, an accordion for sale and decided to give it a try, don’t give up the moment going gets tough. Persevere through the early grind, and you’ll find your skill growing organically.

The cool thing about learning how to play an instrument is that most of them are based around the same core principles. In other words, if you learn the theory for one instrument, you’ll be familiar with the theory governing many others.

Learn Defensive Driving

Driving is something most of us take for granted. It’s such a normal thing that we often don’t even think about it as we do it. Yet, driving is extremely dangerous. Becoming a better driver will require you to master the basics. However, becoming a defensive driver will push you to learn new concepts that might seem a bit odd.

Things like always leaving enough space between you and the vehicle in front, or anticipating what drivers around you will do with a good deal of accuracy are all skills and concepts that take time to internalize. That being said, there’s no better time to practice than now.

Become a Wizard in the Kitchen

When was the last time you’ve been challenged by a meal? With most restaurants closed or working in a diminished capacity, more and more people are turning towards their own kitchen. So should you. Everyone has their limits when it comes to cooking. For some, it’s frying an egg. For others, it’s making the perfect filet mignon.

Whatever your level of cooking proficiency is, there’s always a dish that puts on the heat and makes you sweat for a good result. Becoming a better cook is not just a matter of bragging rights, it’s also a way to open yourself up to new flavors. Try cooking meals from countries you’ve only ever heard of. You’ll be surprised how far you can take your taste buds!

Try Woodworking

Building things using your own two hands offers a dose of personal empowerment that you’ll rarely find elsewhere. Of all activities you can partake in to experience this sensation, woodworking is arguably the most approachable one. People often think that woodworking means building complex furniture using a whole array of table saws, miter saws, and other niche tools.

In reality, woodworking can be anything you want it to be, from carving a stick into something cool, to building that complicated bookshelf you’ve always dreamed of.

Read a Book Per Week

Reading is something we don’t do anymore. Actually, scratch that — we read every single day. It’s just that we’re reading the wrong stuff.

Considering how overwhelmed an average individual is with information these days, it’s no wonder that people have simply stopped reading books. Reading a book per week is a great way of tapping into an absolute sea of knowledge and human experience. Books can teach you and take you places.

They can help you learn from the mistakes of those who came before you, but also explore the boundaries of someone’s imagination. No matter how you flip it or turn it, there are no downsides to reading. All it takes your will and a little bit of your time.

Reconnect With People

Considering that everyone is more or less stuck at home this year, it might be a good time to look up old friends and rekindle those lost relationships. You’d be surprised how receptive people are to blast-from-the-past calls or emails. If you’ve lost touch with a dear friend, there’s a good chance that you’ll hit it off right where you left things the last time you spoke.

With all the social media these days, finding people has become easy so long as you can remember their names. Do yourself a favor and go down memory lane. You never know what you might find there!

Leave Your Comfort Zone

If there’s anything we’ve learned this past year and a half, it’s that we’re adaptive creatures. Simply by enduring the hardships that are troubling the world these days, you’ve proven to yourself and everyone else that you’re a survivor. Coincidentally, that means you’re capable of leaving your comfort zone.

If you can leave that zone when pushed by outside factors, why not leave it on your own terms? Get uncomfortable and explore new things. There’s a good chance that you’ll meet interesting people along the way, learn new skills, and become a more complete person altogether!

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