Sometimes daily life gets in the way of trying new things. We get into routines and chip away at our to-do list: take the dog to the vet, buy groceries, change the A/C filter. Meanwhile, the things on our "someday" lists never find their way onto our schedules--learn how to cook Mexican mole from scratch, try your hand at glass blowing, research your family history. Many people look forward to vacation as time to sit down and enjoy the luxury of doing absolutely nothing, but if you've always dreamed of learning how to play African drums, vacation might be the perfect time to start.

With your everyday duties suspended for a little while, travel affords great opportunities to pick up a new skill or explore a hobby you've never tried. I've brought home newfound skills in acrobatics, preparing trout almondine, and saddling a horse from vacations, and those trips have been some of the most memorable I've taken. These days, I have fantasies of being a skipper, sailing a boat over the open water. I'm going to give myself a little stay-cation treat and take a class in sailing at Lake Chapman at Sandy Creek Park here in Athens next month. In the lovely autumn weather, it's also a great way to enjoy the beautiful scenery and fall color. If you're heading to Athens this fall, there are plenty of opportunities to gain a new skill while you're here. To me, that's even better than a souvenir.

Set sail at Lake Chapman: Sailing workshops for adults are offered October 18 and November 21, and for youth October 17 and November 7. Check out the calendar for registration info.

Discover your family's story: "Getting Started With Genealogy" at the Athens Clarke County Library is happening October 15 from 6-8:30 p.m.--no registration required.

Go green: A weekend-long workshop on transforming your home into a "fun and practical part of a more ecological world," called "Sustainability: Bring It Home!" is happening at the State Botanical Garden (click on "adult programs") November 13-15.

Spinning wheels: Throw a bowl on the pottery wheel or shape a decorative jug at the weekly "Try Clay" open studio at Good Dirt.

Make like "Julie and Julia:" Virginia Willis, author of bestselling cookbooks including "Bon Appetit, Y'all" will lead a class in French cuisine cooking techniques on October 15 at the Rolling Pin.

Want to learn something specific? Challenge me--leave a comment and I'll search Athens for someone who can teach you.