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Learning vacations are focused primarily on adding to your knowledge of a particular subject -- anything from studying Spanish in Mexico to digging alongside archaeologists in Egypt to learning art history in Florence. Several tour companies specialize in these types of vacations, which appeal to travelers who want to combine a stay in a far-off location with an educational component. These trips often feature lecturers and local experts to enrich your experiences.
One way to combine a relaxing vacation with learning something new is to learn a well-being activity, such as yoga, meditation, or pilates. Not only are these activities great for the body and mind, but they can make for a peaceful and enjoyable vacation in an exotic location. These activities can take place throughout the world, from retreats in India, to beaches in Southeast Asia, to mountain lodges in South America.
Traveling abroad can open up new opportunities for learning sports and active pursuits that would be impossible at home, for example, horse riding, sand boarding, and mountain climbing. It’s also a great way to learn water sports such as surfing, waterskiing, and wake boarding. Most of these sports and activities can be undertaken as a single taster course of a day or two, but setting aside an entire holiday to learn a new activity can be rewarding, as you chart your progress and improve day by day. A popular active learning vacation is sailing, where you can take in a few days or weeks of learning how to sail, while also exploring a region. Another is scuba diving, where you can spend days learning about diving while exploring an underwater world, and receive a qualification at the end.
Taking dance lessons can be a great way to learn a new skill and also learn about the culture of a specific region. Tango, for example, is an integral part of the culture of Buenos Aires, and taking some lessons here will open up a whole new side of the city to you. While salsa lessons are available throughout the world, learning the dance in Central or South America allows you to not only learn the steps, but to surround yourself with the culture of salsa, too.
There are a wide range of dance lessons available worldwide, from the well-known dances of Latin America, to tribal dances of Africa, or Bollywood dancing in India. So you can plan the location around the dance, or plan the dance around the location.
There are countless opportunities for combining a vacation with pursuing a creative passion. If you’re interested in fashion, why not try making your own clothes or jewelry? For those interested in photography, travel can open up a whole new world of photography adventures, allowing you to both pursue your hobby and to improve your skills. Or for those who enjoy writing, a writing retreat can be a great opportunity to focus on your passion, while meeting like-minded people.
Where better to learn to cook authentic cuisine than in the home of the cuisine itself? Cooking courses can range from a single lesson to weeks spent exploring the culinary world of a country, and are a great way to experience the tastes of a region while learning a new skill to take home. Cooking courses can take place anywhere in the world, so all you need to do is pick a cuisine or country that interests you.
There’s no better way to learn a language than by immersing yourself in it. Many language immersion courses are quite limited in where they take place (If you want to learn Mandarin, China is the obvious choice!). But others can take place in a wide range of countries. For example, if you’d like to learn Spanish, you can go pretty much anywhere in Central or South America, or of course, to Spain itself! Be careful when choosing a location though, as different places have different regional accents and dialects. The french spoken in France is far different to that spoken in Quebec, or throughout West Africa! So do your homework before you go, and find a course that’s right for you.