Learning to cook in Italy (G Adventures)
Article Words : Wanderlust team | 27 November

The Wanderlust guide to the best of learning trips

Don’t just come back with a memory, come back with a skill! Your guide to learning while you travel

Adding a ‘study’ element to a trip can add to your travel experience. As you scour the city looking for unusual photographic angles, as you spend hours at your easel perfecting your African watercolour, or as you linger in a street café mulling how you’d write the scene, you are truly absorbing your surroundings.

Knowing you are there to learn or to create something – article, photo, painting – forces you to look deeper, focus on the detail, and ultimately get more out of your destination. A food or wine tasting course is a great example of this, learning how to create dishes from your favourite cuisine that you can then repeat when back home.

They say that travel broadens your mind. Here’s how it can also broaden your skill set too.

Female student during Spanish class (Shutterstock)

Female student during Spanish class (Shutterstock)

Looking for inspiration?

Whether you want to learn a new skill or take your current skill set to the next level, there is a suitably exotic place where an expert is waiting to teach you. The tricky part is deciding where to start.

Of course, sometime the decision is self-evident. If you want to become a master of Vietnamese cooking, well, Vietnam is the place to go. It’s not always so self-evident so the Wanderlust team have put together a list of 9 trips to take to learn a new skill, as well as 5 incredible learning trips guaranteed to polish your skills. From learning wildlife photography with a BBC cameraman in Peru to creating authentic dishes in Istanbul, we’ve got your interests covered.

Or check out these testimonials from travellers who picked up new skills – and it some cases, new careers – on their travels. From African bush craft and Indian cooking to new language and photographic skills, these people went on learning adventures that changed their lives.

More information

9 trips to take to learn a new skillWanderlust team

5 incredible learning tripsWanderlust team

The complete guide to learning holidays – Various contributors

Trying to communicate (Shutterstock.com)

Trying to communicate (Shutterstock.com)

Learn the lingo

There's no better way to learn a language than by immersing yourself in a place where it's the mother tongue. You’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll learn a language when you are immersed in the country and the culture, and are forced to speak to the locals.

Even more so when you go to a local language school. You’ll find them all over the world – just choose a language and a country that speaks it.  Just make sure they offer complete immersion, says Ulrike Reinke in her guide to learning a language. Oh, and try to stay with a local family too.

Gwenllian Jones did a four-week Italian course in Tuscany and reveals the 5 things she wish she’d known about learning a language overseas.

More information

How to learn a language – Ulrike Reinke

5 things I wish I’d known about learning a language overseas –­ Gwenllian Jones 


Dancing in Buenos Aires (Shutterstock.com)

Cook, eat, dance

It’s not always about learning a new skill that will look good on the CV. Travel is an experience for all the senses, so why not undertake a course or too that will help you enjoy the finer things of life too?

Like cooking. Sally Bloom learned to cook like a Jordanian grandmother in Amman and says the best part was that she got too eat it too. Mark Kensett learned to cook like a local in Marrakech. It was buying the ingredients in the local souk he enjoyed most. And Max Burt learned how to knock up a mean Kao Soy in Chang Mai.

Maybe you’ve been inspired by the various celebrity dancing TV shows to spice up your salsa or iron out the rough edges in your American smooth. Natasha Singh reveals the world’s most intricate dances and where to learn them. Burcu Kisakurek is on hand too with 8 tips to belly dancing success. Your office party will never be the same again.

More information

Learn to cook like a Jordanian grandmother – Sally Bloom

Learn to cook like a local in Marrakech – Mark Kennett

Learning to cook in Chang Mai – Max Burt

The world’s most intricate dances  – and where to learn them – Natasha Singh

8 tips to belly dancing success – Burcu Kisakurek

Scuba diving on coral reef (Shutterstock.com)

Scuba diving on coral reef (Shutterstock.com)

Master the oceans

One of the most popular learning adventures in travel is learning to dive. And is it any surprise? The opportunity to swim in warm, crystal clear waters surrounded by vibrantly colourful marine life is limited in most of our lives.

Again, your choices are almost infinite. If it’s warm, wet and tropical, chances are there’s a dive school. To help we’ve gathered together a team of experts to give their considered opinion on the best places to learn to dive.

If you’d rather sty on top of the water, we’ve also gathered together the 10 best places to learn to surf too.

More information

The best places to learn to dive – Various contributors

10 best places to learn to surf – Various contributors

Painting a landscape (Shutterstock.com)

Painting a landscape (Shutterstock.com)

Getting creative

There’s something about travel that compels something in all of us to try and capture – in either words or images – the wonders that are before us. Inspiration is quite literally around every corner.

Wanderlust Journeys is the ideal way to hone these skills on the road. The destination provides the inspiration. The distinguished travel experts will share the creative secrets that will transform work from good to outstanding.

You may be keen to explore more esoteric mediums. Mary-Anne Bartlett from Art Safari explains what it’s like to learn to paint abroad, while Marie Javins learns to work silver in Bali.

More information

Travel writing and travel photography trips – Wanderlust Journeys

5 steps to being an artist on the road – Mary-Anne Bartlett

How to work silver like the Balinese – Marie Javins

Guy taking notes in the wild (Shutterstock.com)

Guy taking notes in the wild (Shutterstock.com)

Everything you need to know

Ready to start planning your trip? Our Learning travel guide is the place to start. Make sure you drop by our list of the Top 10 learning trips. And we’ve rounded up the latest news about learning trips too.

If you have a particular question about learning trips, pop over to the myWanderlust Forum where our knowledgeable community are ready to spring into action and share all they know. Or check out the questions that have already been asked about learning trips. The answer to yours might already be there.

More information

Learning travel guide – Wanderlust team

Top 10 learning tripsWanderlust team

Learning travel news

Forum posts about learning travel 

Guy taking landscape photos (Shutterstock.com)

Guy taking landscape photos (Shutterstock.com) 

Ready to go?

Here’s a selection of fantastic learning tours offered by our partners. From food adventures in Thailand and conservation and research adventures in Namibia to learning Spanish in Guatemala and Buddhism in Cambodia , there’s something for every taste and budget.

More information

Our Trip Finder can help you plan your next learning adventure