Author: Josh Lew
I am often surprised by the different motivations people have for travel. Mostly, it's a "I'm impressed" kind of way; though there is the occasional head nod which covers up my interior chuckle. The last time I had to do this, it was because someone had just told me that they were going to India on a six-day tour to learn how to usemedicine to cure blind people.
There are plenty of legitimate learning experiences out there. A bit of research can plug you in to whatever subject you want to know more about. The best way to learn a language is to jump in at the deep end and take a course in the country when it is spoken. Most countries offer some sort of program. In Kaohsiung, Taiwan, for example, there are many schools teaching Mandarin Chinese, including several internationally recognized universities. Cooking classes are also popular. Bangkok has several schools teaching the basics of Thailand's well-known cuisine. Beaches from Australia to Aruba to Africa have places where SCUBA divers can be certified for basic diving or even as instructors.
The point of this post is not to recommend the specific activities listed above, but to give a sampling of what's out there. Immersing yourself in a foreign language or learning the tango can be a wonderful, out of the ordinary experience. Or at least, you can use these educational activities to justify spending your savings on travel rather than saving for retirement. It sounds a whole lot better to tell mom you are going to Mexico to learn Spanish rather than to appease you insatiable appetite for new places and experiences.