Expand your horizons in 2020

by Andy Bryenton

It’s a new year and a new decade — time to commit to some extra personal growth, making this a year for new beginnings. There are plenty of people in our part of the country who are willing to share their knowledge with you. It’s all about choosing a direction that unlocks your natural talents.

1. Get artistic! The Kaipara is a place, which positively buzzes with artistic talent, and that means opportunity. Painting can be stress-relieving, therapeutic and a great outlet for your emotions. Learning to use a pencil, pen, brush and even a spray can is easier than you may think. Everyone has an inner artist; check out your local community centre or art gallery for forthcoming classes and jump in. Even Da Vinci and Picasso started with a

2. Ride on forever. With some of the best riding roads, scenery and weather in the world, getting on board a motorcycle is a bucket list check for many of us. Take the plunge, take a defensive riding course, gain confidence and enjoy the open highway.

3. Make some music. You may not become a rock star, but there’s a lot of fun to be had belting out your favourite rock songs on the guitar, or enjoying the peace and serenity of the classics. There’s also plenty of scope to delve into electronic music right from your home computer. Talk to your local music shop, look at lessons online, or contemplate having some musical fun by joining a group like Dargaville’s ukulele orchestra.

4. Embrace world cultures. Online lessons, library books and interactive courses can all teach you the basics of a foreign language. It is proven to aid in brain health, and in keeping sharp and intelligent even into one’s later years. Make it more fun by booking a holiday to an exotic land, then learning enough about the language and culture to really appreciate your trip away. You’ll be amazed at how friendly the locals are when you make the effort to connect in their language.

5. Take up a new sport. Learn to sail. Learn to swim. Learn a martial art. The body and the mind will benefit from doing something active and fresh, like getting on a bike for the first time since your school days or taking advantage of the beautiful coasts by learning some new angling tricks.