7 Skills You Can Learn on Your Travels ...

There are many benefits to travel and most of them are developmental and about personal growth, so I thought it would be fun to look at some more “physical” skills you can learn on your travels. Skills learned while traveling can be great fun, a brilliant way to immerse yourself in a different culture, and may also provide you with a hobby you continue at home and on your travels for many years to come. Skills learned while traveling can include and certainly are not restricted to the following:

1. Surfing

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Surfing is more than a sport, it’s a lifestyle. Of course it is an excellent form of exercise but for many it goes beyond a mere set of skills learned while traveling - it becomes a lifelong passion. Picking it up on your travels is ideal because once you get the basics down, it’s just a matter of continued practice. Additionally it requires little equipment (board, swimsuit, wax and sunscreen), which makes it very compatible with a jet-setting lifestyle. Most major airlines allow surfboards as checked baggage and if you aren’t too particular, it gets even easier: just rent a board when you get to your destination. You can make a pilgrimage of seeking out and surfing the best spots on the planet.

2. Cooking

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As a world traveler, you already have an appreciation for global cuisine. Take that appreciation to the next level by learning the foundational basics of your favorite cuisine, or at least how to make some of your favorite dishes. What better place to learn than in the country of origin! South American, South East Asian, European – the world is truly your oyster when looking for cooking areas of study. One place to start is the International Kitchen, which offers cooking vacations in places from the Amalfi Coast to the United Kingdom and plenty in between!

3. Painting

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Relaxing, refined and suitable for almost every level of ability, painting is one of the beautiful skills you can learn on your travels. Every region of the world has its own unique art history, but the European masters are a frequent reference point. Painting lessons are famously available in Italy and France, but don’t limit yourself; places like Amsterdam also offer lessons and workshops, and don’t forget watercolors and calligraphy in Asia.

4. Dance

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Dance is a universal form of self-expression and a fun way to keep your body conditioned. Even if you cannot speak the language of a country, setting foot on the dance floor can instantly communicate your connection to a culture and a people. And you don’t have to be an expert! Most people are impressed just to see you make an effort. Try Samba lessons in Brazil, Tango in Argentina or traditional Thai dance in Thailand.

5. Martial Arts

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Many people think of Asia when it comes to martial arts, specifically karate from Japan or Kung-Fu from China. There is also Capoeira in Brazil and Taekwondo from Korea. More than just self-defense or physical exercise, these historical art forms combine the culture, mythology, philosophy and even religion of the region of origin. All of them emphasize a sense of peace and the prevention of conflict, coupled with the skills necessary if prevention does not work or conflict is unavoidable.

6. Photography

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Sure, phone and mobile device cameras have evolved greatly, but you still wouldn’t want to rely solely on these devices to capture the travels of a lifetime. If you are going around the world, it’s worth the investment to take some lessons and learn how to best shoot all the marvelous things you’re sure to encounter. Classes are available worldwide, and some tours are specifically centered on the skill. Photography is one of those skills you can learn while traveling that will also be useful wherever you are in the world.

7. Yoga

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This popular physical and spiritual activity has roots in India. With repeated participation, students can achieve greater mental clarity, reduced stress and improved fitness and flexibility. What better place to study this ancient form and learn how to achieve its full benefits? This is not the yoga of your 30 minute fat burner DVD. Whether you are looking for an informal holiday or a serious month-long retreat, India has plenty of choices. There are yoga retreats in gorgeous locations all over the world where you can learn the art.

Which of these skills you can learn on your travels would you choose? Where would be you dream location to learn?

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