2020 was a year where we all had to pivot the way we live our lives – from learning to work from home to socialising over Zoom, and dealing with more free time on our hands than ever before.
While many might have chosen to while away the endless hours with Netflix box-sets and movie marathons, others chose to use that precious extra time to learn a new skill or indulge in that hobby they’d always wanted to try – making for a more fulfilling and often, more productive experience all round.
As we make our way through the initial weeks of 2021, the landscape, it seems, hasn’t changed much – depending, of course, on where you are based. Once again, we’re enduring long-lasting lockdown restrictions – and with face-to-face socialising and family get-togethers still very much off the agenda, you may well be looking for a new and equally productive way to spend all that free time.
For many of us, though, it’s not just about spending our lockdown effectively, and the ongoing restrictions have made us reassess our lives for the long-term. So, if having the time to indulge in your passions has made you realise just how little you were truly living life prior to the start of the pandemic, you might already be dreaming of how you’re going to make the most of it when things return to normal.
So, from things you can learn from the comfort of your home to those dream hobbies and skills you’ve always dreamed of mastering elsewhere, take inspiration from our list of top pursuits to pass your time with in 2021.
If you’ve long found yourself admiring the beautiful bouquets and pretty posies you’ve been sent by those special people in your life but struggled to arrange them as effectively yourself at home, then brighten up your day by learning a spot of floristry. As we head into spring and the flowers begin to bloom in our gardens, there’s no better time of year to get some practice in – and with a plethora of online courses available around the world, there’s something for everyone, wherever you happen to be spending your lockdown.
Fancy something a little more hands on? Those based in Australia can visit Pearsons School of Floristry for a range of different courses that are designed for all experience levels and aspirations. This award-winning, ASQA accredited training organisation is renowned within the industry for delivering high-quality, innovative and inspiring courses that will whip you into shape in no time.
And if you don’t live in Aus? It’s the perfect excuse for a trip once travel returns to normal.
Improving your culinary skills
In the current climate, many of us have more time to experiment in the kitchen – and in doing so, have developed a new-found passion for cooking. But, if your culinary skills aren’t quite up to scratch or if you’re eager to elevate your current degree of know-how to a whole new level of expertise, then a cookery course could be just the ticket.
London-based Leiths School of Food and Wine offers a wide range of courses that budding chefs can take both online and in the cookery school itself – depending, of course, on when you want to start. Current online courses even include a special offering aimed at teens – so if you’re in need of something to keep your offspring occupied during their extended period at home, then you’re in luck.
Later in the year, there will be a range of advanced courses and evening classes to attend for face-to-face learning, allowing you to continue developing upon your new passion in the longer-term.
Sailing a boat/yacht
Thinking of making 2021 the year you splash out on that dream yacht? Then it’s time to start brushing up on your sailing skills, courtesy of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA).
The ‘Start Yachting’ course offers a short introduction to sailing for complete beginners, by the end of which you will have had some hands-on experience of steering, sail-handling and ropework, as well as learning about safety on board a yacht.
Next, it’s time for the real fun to begin – because holders of this certificate can go on to complete the Competence Crew course in a reduced time of just three days – getting you ready to head out on your new luxury vessel just in time for the summer.
Flying a plane
If the past twelve months have inspired you to do something big this year then it doesn’t get much better than learning to fly. Having the ability to soar above the clouds in your own private plane is something very special indeed, and a huge bucket-list tick for aviation enthusiasts and luxury lifestyle lovers alike.
Flight training demands plenty of discipline and determination, but those who are dedicated can achieve their frozen ATPL pilot’s licence in around 14-18 months. However, in order to fly solo, you’ll then need to complete 1,500 flying hours as a co-pilot before your licence is unfrozen – so if it’s something you’ve been putting off for far too long already, then this is the year to make a start towards your dream.
From home or away, make the most of your 2021 and take up some new hobbies, learn some skills and squeeze every last drop you can out of life. With a return to freedom on its way, there’s a lot to look forward to – and now is the perfect time to start planning.