Trying new things

I’m a fan of trying unusual things. In this post, I thought I’d share some examples of things I’ve done in the last year or so, in case it gives you an idea of something you might want to try.

Take an alpaca for a walk

Otterbourne has a small alpaca farm that offers alpaca walking. You learn a bit about the animals, and you take one for a walk along the Itchen river. (They’re pretty strong, so it felt more like being taken for a walk by an alpaca at points!)

Sleep in an old rescue helicopter

There are a few campsites around that have converted vehicles into somewhere to stay. We spent a few nights in an old Royal Navy search and rescue helicopter. I slept in the tail boom. We like camping, but this was a fun twist. I want to try the bus next!

Learn how to use an espresso machine

Winchester Coffee Roasters (who do very good coffee, by the way!) also run a coffee school. If you’ve ever wondered what the barista is doing with all that noisy equipment in your favourite cafe, you can take an introductory course and learn how to do it for yourself. It was harder than I expected… the first several espressos I made all tasted like battery acid – stomach-churningly bad! My attempts at latte art were pretty weird, too.

Fire a shotgun

Turns out that firing a shotgun in real life isn’t very much like doing it in a video game. Who’d have thought? For this afternoon in the South Downs, we got a shotgun, a box of shotgun cartridges, and an instructor to explain what to do. The fact that I hit anything at all was a pleasant surprise.

Take a cruise up the Solent

Southampton has a steamship called the Shieldhall that does cruises in the Solent. You can go below decks and look at the engine which was fascinating. But mostly it’s a slow and leisurely ride and you enjoy the view. They have a good bar on board, too.

Make something from glass

Craft Courses is a website where you can find courses from creative people who want to share their arts and crafts skills. I found one offering glass fusing, which isn’t a craft technique I was super aware of before finding this.

Float in the dark

A sensory deprivation tank involves floating in warm salty water in the dark. It sounds less creepy when you call it floatation therapy. The salt in the water means that you float with your head above water without trying – bobbing around without touching anything except water. The water temperature is close enough to body temperature that you sort of don’t feel the water. And it’s pitch black. I have no idea if there is any clinical benefit to it, but as an unusual experience to try, I’d recommend it.

Meet some birds of prey

A chance to meet a variety of hawks, owls, and vultures. You learn a bit about them, what it means to be a falconer, and you take some of them out to fly them for yourself. This was lovely.

Be surrounded by bees

A chance to learn about bees. We opened up a hive, saw some bees hatching, and got up close and personal with sixty-thousand bees. The sound was the most surprising thing… they were so loud!

Make a blade

Get a bit of metal, put it in a hot fire, when it goes a bit squidgy you hit it with a hammer. Repeat until it’s an interesting shape. It’s surprisingly hard work.

If you’ve got any suggestions of other things near me that I should try, please let me know. I’m always on the lookout for new ideas.

Leave a Reply