A few of my girlfriends have inspired me to create an exciting list of unique holidays. It is a unique activity in itself visiting a new country but I think more travelers are wanting to spend more time exploring new hobbies during their vacations and reconnecting with their passions.
We spend so much time leading hectic lifestyles and worrying about bills, life commitments and the future in general, that it can be hard to find time for ourselves outside of our duties.
It is important to take time for ourselves and remember who we are outside of the title of breadwinner, parent, employee, partner that is why there are a surge of people opting more for the experience holidays because they simply don’t have the time in ”real life” for recreation. Below is a list of popular activity holidays:
Mediation retreats are highly popular and can be found almost anywhere these days. A lot of retreats have been watered down and are really not the principles and teachings of meditation.
If you want an authentic meditation experience then Vipassana Meditation is a centre I would highly recommend. Location centres are worldwide. Goeneka Vipassana is great for beginners who are new to meditation. The whole process is explained and the most popular retreat lasts for 10 days. The retreat is not for the faint -hearted. A typical day starts at 4am -9.30pm with no talking or communication with anyone but the teacher for 10 days. Time is spent in silent meditation which is meant to help eradicate our own sufferings purify our minds and enlighten us to live life more positively. Basic food and board are provided and payment is by a form of donation. Here is a link to the Vipassana Meditation Centre
Another Mediation Centre which has been recommended to me is one in the foothills of Thailand. Chiang Mai. Again the principals of donation and silent meditation are the same. This retreat however is probably more for those that are more familiar with meditation.
Yoga retreats are for everyone from beginners to the advanced. The great thing about yoga is that it is accessible to all ages and fitness levels. But you need to spend time choosing your yoga break carefully. Generally in the West, yoga tends to be Hatha Yoga which is great for beginners with a mixture of slow sequences. I would only recommended Bikram yoga (40degree heat) and Ashtanga Yoga (vigorous sequences ) to the physically fit and experienced. I don’t think I have attended a Bikram class and not seen at least one person collapsing to the floor with heat exhaustion.
Yoga retreats range from the ridiculously expensive to the affordable. A recommendation would be Oceanyoga which is on the beautiful white sanded island of Fuerteventura. Here is a link to their website for more information: http://www.oceanyoga.net/
Beatrix- Potter, T.S Elliot, Virginia Woolf and many more great writers of our time have been known to hide away in rural retreats surrounded by the serenity of nature. Where they have let their creative juices flow and penned award winning literature There are a number of writing retreats which are teacher led.
The Arvon organisation have been leading writing retreats since 1968 and some of the courses are applicable for grants from the Arts Council.
I have always wanted to sit in the hills of the Himalayas and do something magical. So if you want to learn more about writing there are a few courses through the year to pick from. One that stands out to me for affordability is the the Blogging and pod-casting retreat which is $450 USD which includes accommodation. More details can be found: at http://www.himalayanwritingretreat.com/
More often than not, I leave a country inspired by their exquisite vibrant cuisines. I arrive home and stumble hopelessly around the kitchen trying to recreate a Kefta tagine I savoured in Morocco or the Turkish Flatbread I keep craving or the authentic Punjabi Matar Paneer I tucked into in Delhi.
If like me you appreciate your food and want to impress your friends and family with your worldwide cooking skills. Then you might be interested in trying out a culinary tour. Below are a few tours that have stood out to me:
It has become very cosmopolitan to have at least a second language in our tool box. The best way to learn a language is to speak and hear the words spoken everyday. Language retreats are a fantastic way of totally immersing yourself in the learning process. Maybe you want to learn Spanish in Andulacia or Argentina?! There really is an endless list of possibilities.
Cycling is a fantastic way of getting those feel good endorphin’s. Cycle yourself fit, meet a great new bunch of people and see amazing sites. There are Cycling holidays for beginners or advanced cyclists.