You’re itching to travel to someplace stunningly beautiful. But you also have a craving for self-enrichment, a desire to learn a new skill, or improve on one you’ve only dabbled in before. Why not do both? Now, thanks to an increase in clinics, workshops, and sport-based retreats, you can take an unforgettable vacation and pick up a new talent in the process.
Become a Better Rock Climber
You climb, but maybe you’re ready to lead on trad gear or send multi-pitch routes. Or maybe you’re a total newbie who wants to learn the ropes. Why not do it in Thailand? Sign up with Colorado-based Apex Mountain School’s Thailand climbing trip, which happens a couple of times per year. You’ll spend 11 days scaling seaside limestone cliffs in Phuket, Krabi, and Tonsai Beach. On down days from climbing, you’ll go snorkeling, sea kayaking, and trekking amongst elephants (from $3,500).
Sure, it involves holding your breath while diving deep under the ocean’s surface. But if you want to spear fish, become a better scuba diver, or just be more comfortable in the water, it’s worth giving this sport a shot. Evolve Freediving teaches two-and-a-half day beginner courses in places like Trinidad in the southern Caribbean, Honduras, or Key West, Florida. You’ll learn breath-holding tips, plus descending techniques and safety protocol (from $350).
Train for a Triathlon
If you’re going to spend an absurd amount of time swimming, cycling, and running in preparation for an upcoming triathlon, you may as well do it someplace stunning, like, say, Greece. RnR Tri Camps offers seven-day triathlon training camps in the fishing village of Sivota, Greece, and at a posh beach club in the coastal town of Messini, Greece. You’ll do drill work, strength training, and endurance sessions with elite-level coaches and have plenty of time left for massages, sailing, and Greek cuisine (from $955).
Take Pro Adventure Photos
Whether you dream of becoming a professional photographer or you just want to take better Instagram photos on your next adventure, consider taking Summit Workshops’ course on adventure photography, held each September in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. You’ll shoot pro athletes trail running, rock climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, and more with instruction and critique from some of the outdoor industry’s best photographers and photo editors. Plus, you’ll spend a week enjoying the Tetons ($1,995).
Stretch like a Yogi
Face it, you probably don’t stretch enough. Make doing a week or weekend straight of yoga more enticing by checking out YogaWorks for retreats in places like Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, the Italian countryside, an island off the Nicaraguan coast, or an eco-sanctuary with yurts and Jacuzzis in Ojai, California. You’ll do meditation, lots of downward dogs, and, when you’re not on your mat, you’ll get to surf, hike, relax, go wine tasting, and enjoy the culture of the place (from $700.)