Make this vacation your best one yet. Learn a new skill on holiday, says Claire Turrell
You could come home from your holiday with just a tan or you could come back from your break as a surfer, novelist or elephant whisperer. Travel experts reveal that the hottest trip to book in 2019 is an achievement-based holiday. Singaporean psychologist Geraldine Tan of The Therapy Room says: “People are not interested in status or luxury. They are responding to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and want to realise their own full potential”. So we’ve put together a list of vacations you might want to trade your hammock for…
A surfer in Bali
If you are going to learn how to surf it might as well be on a tropical island. Head to the Bali Surf School near Uluwatu. The instructors will teach you how to jump on the board, select the waves and ride the surf back to shore. The team will also film you during your lessons, so you can see where you can improve. Priced around USD$52 (THB1,633.80) per day.
Leather craftsman in Thailand
Master one of the world’s oldest trades and become a leather artisan. At Suranat Leather Studio in Chiang Mai, Thailand, you will be taught how to master the techniques you need to make a bespoke passport holder, leather wallet or handbag. Classes from Baht 1,200.
Elephant whisperer in Laos
Gain the most impressive LinkedIn update yet – become an elephant whisperer. At the MandaLao elephant sanctuary near Luang Prabang you can spend the day with your own pachyderm. The mahouts will teach you how to communicate with your four-legged friend, before you feed them breakfast, bathe them in the river and join them on a trek to a hidden waterfall. Price USD$150 (THB4,711.98).
Michelin-starred chef in France
If you are going to learn how to cook, it might as well be at Ecole de Cuisine Alain Ducasse. Those new to the kitchen will be shown by the Michelin-starred chef’s team how to give a three-star twist to fish, poultry and pastry. Classes from Euros90 (THB3,235.97).
Novelist in the UK
Nothing is going to spur you on to write your first book more than being tutored by two award-winning authors in the former homes of poet Ted Hughes and playwright John Osborne. Writing retreat specialist Arvon offers retreats in Shropshire, Yorkshire or Devon. Its tutors will help you put pen to paper with the help of workshops, private tutorials and evening readings. Five-day retreats priced from GBP648 (THB26,641).
Photographer in Italy
Join the Dolce Amore Photography team in Italy for a masterclass to remember. This tailor-made journey will give you the chance to capture the Italian countryside on film, as well as find out more about its culture. Your tutor will give you tips on lighting, composition and technique. The best shots from your trip will go into an e-book to create the ultimate souvenir. Priced from Euros700 (THB25,167) for two days.
Fashion illustrator in Australia
Want to grab a front row ticket to the hottest fashion show? Then brush up on your illustrator skills. During the five-day Fashion Illustration Workshop at the Whitehouse Institute of Design in Sydney, you’ll be taught how to sketch freehand and how to analyse fashion trends. Priced AUS$697.39 (THB15,764).