New Year, New Experiences

A belated Happy New Year to you all. I hope 2015 is treating you well and that you have lots of wonderful things to look forward to this year.

I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions. With the benefit of my advancing years, I’ve learned that I rarely keep them — for a variety of reasons, not just laziness — and they become something to beat myself up about around September. Not very healthy! What I’ve learned to do instead is to take some time to think about what I want to do that’s new over the coming twelve months.

DSC_3211Some years, the focus is on travel and visiting new places. One of the benefits of being a romance author is that I can go to the national conference and either visit somewhere new or use it as a stepping stone to somewhere new. We also have family and friends scattered in different places, which gives plenty of opportunity for visiting and exploring. Last year, for example, the new places we visited were Kelowna in BC, Seattle, Edisto Island in SC and Columbia in SC.Amsterdam 2014 017

Even when we return to a place we’ve visited previously, we always try to see something new. Again, last year, we returned to San Antonio and Amsterdam. The Riverwalk had changed enormously since our last visit to San Antonio, so that was fun to explore. Amsterdam is a great walking city, so you can potter away for days and see new areas. But the new experience for us was going to the recently refurbished – and spectacular — Rijk’s Museum.

LUD_413_LIV_COUV.inddThis year will get off to a great start when Doc Cambridge and I head to Paris for the day, to a book signing. Although I visited Paris many years ago, it was only on an in-and-out business trip and it wasn’t the best experience. This time will be very different, I’m sure. For a start, we’re going to travel on the Eurostar – the train that goes under the Channel – a new experience! Then, we’ll be meeting some of my French readers for a fun day to celebrate the launch of La Proposition Idéale — book 2 in my New Jersey Ice Cats series (ie A Perfect Trade).straw plaiting

Some years, the focus is on learning a new skill or advancing an existing skill. Over the last couple of years I’ve learned how to knit in the round, crochet and make jewellery. Earlier this month, I went to a session at my local WI (Women’s Institute) and learned the art of straw plaiting. While I wasn’t very good at it and probably won’t do it again, it was fun to learn all about an important trade from this area.

IMG_1953Another area where I like to have new experiences is cooking. I keep meaning to make a new recipe from each of the recipe books in my collection, but I get so busy I stick to the old favourites. However, again, in previous years I’ve been on courses to learn the art of Indian cookery and how to make sushi! (I was much better at sushi than straw plaiting!)

A Perfect Catch CoverOver to you – do you like to have new experiences in a new year? Have you planned any for 2015 – travel to new places, courses for new skills or cookery? One commenter will get to have a new experience as they will win a copy of my new book, the third in my New Jersey Ice Cats series – A Perfect Catch – which will be out in a couple of weeks.

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  • Mary Preston says:

    I find my enthusiasm tends to lead me to improve on the crafts & skills I already have. There is always more to learn.

  • Jane says:

    Hello Anna,
    I’ve made California rolls at home and it wasn’t as simple as when you see the chef make them at the sushi bar. I always want to travel more, but it’s not always possible. We don’t have any trips planned, but my cousin is getting married and he’s thinking about a destination wedding. Maybe we’ll get to go somewhere tropical. Have fun in Paris.

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hi Jane! Even having done the course, I know it’s not as easy at home to make sushi. The cool thing is learning how not to overfill the rolls and how to roll them neatly!

      Ooh a destination wedding sound great!

      Thanks – I’ll think of you!

  • flchen1 says:

    We have a family trip planned for later in the year–only DH has visited DC before, so it’ll be a new one for the rest of us 🙂 We’re always trying new food, and yes, cooking new things… can’t think of other new experiences we’ve planned yet… I’m sure there will be many! Congrats on the upcoming release, Anna! Can’t wait! (That’s one given–new books! 😉 )

    • Shannon says:

      Oh have fun. I love living in the area. Hope you have planned just not a day trip around the monuments, but a drive by night tour.

      For eating like a local, take the subway to Archives, Gallery Place, McPherson Square, or Dupont Circle and wander two three blocks. ‘Ware some of these are lobbyist places, but others are for the workers in the city.

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hey Fedora – what fun! I love DC, having lived there for years growing up! Hope you have a fabulous trip there.

      Oh yes – new books are always a good new experience! 😉

  • Helen says:

    Hi Anna

    I ma sure you are going to have a ball in Paris at the book signing I went to a book launch yesterday at a country library for Bronwyn Parry and we had such a great time and I am so looking forward to reading this one can’t wait 🙂

    As you know I have retired so I am really looking forward to doing a little bit more for myself this coming year a little travel probably not overseas but visiting family and friends so road trips and of course I do hope to get more reading time in 🙂

    Have Fun

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hi Helen! Bronwyn’s signing looked such fun. I’d love to come back to Australia and have a signing one of these days.

      You’ll find yourself so busy, now that you’re retired, you’ll wonder how you ever managed to find time to work! At least, that’s what Doc Cambridge has found LOL. I know you’ll enjoy having more time to spend with the grands.

  • Franca Poli says:

    Hello Anna,

    I would love to visit London and Paris, and I hope that in 2015 I can realize this dream together with my husband. 🙂


  • Shannon says:

    I would really look forward to Paris.

    My new thing this year is going to be a conference, maybe a one day trip to Manhattan. And I’ll get to the Oregon coast, something I haven’t done since I was 12 or 11. I think that counts.

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hi Shannon! I’m getting excited about Paris – my lovely readers have been so nice that I know my trip there will be a lot more fun than the last one!

      Are you planning to go to RWA in NY? Hope we’ll see you there.

      I’d love to go to the Oregon coast. It’s new to you as an adult, so of course that counts!

  • Hi Anna!

    I’m not so big on New Year’s resolutions either. Sometimes I think I should just make one – SURVIVE! LOL.

    As for visiting new places – this year I have trips to Houston TX, Milwaukee WI, Branson MO, New York City NY, and San Diego CA on the calendar Guess that explains my Christmas present – a new suitcase 😛

    • Anna Sugden says:

      LOL Donna! I know what you mean about surviving!

      I’m so looking forward to seeing you in NY! Looks like you have some other amazing trips planned too. I envy you the new suitcase, as ours are in desperate need of replacing!

  • sandyg265 says:

    My niece is graduating from college in May so I’ll be taking my Mom to Boston. I’ve been there before bjut not for a number of years.

  • jcp says:

    No trips planned for me in 2015. But you never know what the new year could bring.

  • Colleen C. says:

    I have not been on any trips in a few years… no immediate plans… right now I travel to places through the pages of some great reads! 😀

  • catslady says:

    My resolution was to read more – something I thought I could accomplish. I’ve only kept track for two years and I read about the same amount. I use to travel and I use to do lots of new crafts. I really can’t afford the traveling and I miss it. As to all the crafts, I’m afraid the computer has taken over but I do think I’m learning a lot of new things if not actually making new things lol.

    • Anna Sugden says:

      LOL Catslady, I know what you mean about learning lots of new things even if you don’t actually make new things. Given some of my research lately, that’s probably good! 😉

  • Sally Schmidt says:

    I plan for my new experience to be retirement! I retired last year but surgeries and home remodel have and are still taking up a lot of time. Another couple months and then I can see what new things I can learn or get up to. And travel won’t be exotic but it will be fun. Going to see some new babies!