June 04, 2023   8:21pm

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Our “Travel” adviser Susan provides sites that cover everything from the usual to the more unusual — cooking, language, sports, writing, watercolors, waltzing …


It often seems that there is so much to learn and so little time in which to get it all in. A vacation — time away from your normal routine — might be just the chance to learn a language, study photography, perfect a cooking technique, dabble in watercolors, get started on that novel you’ve always wanted to write, or even perfect your golf game. And better yet, you can follow your dreams while experiencing a new place in the world. Here are some thoughts to get you started:

Shaw Guides:
Lists programs worldwide which can be searched: By discipline (cooking, language, photography, writing, and sports such as tennis golf, etc.); by country (including U.S., Europe, Asia, South America); and by time of year. The depth and breath of the offerings listed are a good way to get started on finding the right program.

Info Hub:
Similarly, Info Hub which bills itself as “the Ultimate Source of Out-Of-the-Ordinary and Inspiring Travel Ideas!” lists Language Schools, Photography & Videography and Arts and Crafts, Food & Wine, etc. along with more active vacation options. Try a Batik Painting Course in Indonesia, or a Photography course in New Mexico or Italian Cooking in Puglia or the Veneto — options abound.

Transitions Abroad:
Although aimed at helping students and professionals study and work in other cultures, the site lists language schools and culinary travel opportunities abroad. NOTE: this site is aimed at the independent traveler. Volunteer programs (the subject of my next post) are also listed.

Forbes Traveler:
While researching this post I came across an interesting article for those wishing to pursue language learning in high style — all schools featured in this story are billed as “Luxe Language Holidays”. They look very exotic indeed. Another site, which focuses on language learning in Europe with small groups is Language Learning Vacations.

Exotic Learning Vacations
Also from Forbes Traveler vacations, is a listing of high-end, exotic offerings, including Waltz lessons in Vienna, Glass Blowing at Chihuly’s studio, gambling courses in Monte Carlo and Chocolate Courses at Valharona in Lyon, France, among others. Expect a price tag to match the level of the offerings – these endeavors many not seem as noble as some of other listings, but enriching in their own way.

Classical Pursuits:
Offers tours with special focus such as Hemingway’s Paris, Dante’s Italy, Lorca’s Spain, with activities that include discussion of the related readings (you will get a reading list in advance to bone up!).

Cooking Vacations: As you will see from a google search using the words “Cooking Vacations,” the options are endless — from the well known to the obscure. You may also wish to consult this book available at Amazon:
“Cooking in Paradise: Culinary Vacations Around the World”.


Enter your area of interest into the search box in google, along with “class” or “learning” and, perhaps, “vacation” and see what comes up. The possibilities seem endless.

Check it out in advance: It is not possible for us to verify all possible listings for educational travel. So, in case of doubt, check out the institution or group involved — in advance! Ask for references from past clients if necessary.

Think About Before You Go
What is included in your Learning Vacation? If lodging is part of the deal, will you be okay with that choice? If not, what are your options. Are meals included? If not, is there a place in town you can walk to or do you need a car? Same for transportation getting there — if you are arriving in a remote location, how do you get to where you need to be? Are there pick up services, or are you on your own? How critical all of this is will depend upon how independently you want to travel. If necessary, get a travel agent involved to help you connect the dots so you get to where you need to be and stay comfortably.

Happy searching – Tell us what you found of interest at snoety.com!


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