5 New Skills You Can Learn While Traveling the World

If you’ve entered 2016 resolved to improve your life by expanding your skill set, remember that few activities are as conducive to learning as traveling the world. Use Inspirock’s free trip planner to make the most of your holiday and create an experience sure to send you home with the following–and a few other–skills and abilities under your belt.

1. Languages

Dictionary by: Dylan Cantwell (CC)
Dictionary by: Dylan Cantwell (CC)

Diplomats often learn a new language in just a few months thanks to accelerated courses using various multimedia tools. You don’t have to be in the foreign service to learn the basic principles of a new tongue quickly and easily. Watching French movies may improve your ability to speak in clichés, but spending part of your Paris trip attending a local language course is much more likely to improve your understanding of la langue française. Better yet–walk around the city, explore its many markets, and play sports with the locals. The ability to speak another language not only allows you to communicate easily with others in informal situations, but it also makes a great addition to any professional resume.

2. Cooking

Cooking by: seoulfully (CC)
Cooking by: seoulfully (CC)

Most people begin every New Year determined to improve their health by eating better. If you belong to this group, pack your bags and visit Tuscany, where you’ll learn how to eat better and cook healthier. No, you don’t have to sign up for an expensive and time-consuming course in restaurant-style cooking. All you have to do is explore the region’s many towns and villages, stopping whenever you feel like to sample antipasto misto, bruschetta, zuppa di fagioli, and pappardelle alla lepre–all classic Tuscan specialties. While you’re at it, pick up a few bottles of extra-virgin olive oil, a staple in Mediterranean cooking packed with antioxidants.

3. Scuba Diving

Scuba diving by: Ilse Reijs and Jan-Noud Hutten (CC)

Just think–if you don’t know how to scuba dive, you’re missing out on an amazing underwater world filled with some of the most unusual and fascinating creatures on our planet. And, no, it’s not the same as when you watch a documentary shot using HD technology. The world’s oceans feature numerous hidden corners that swimmers and snorkelers can never reach. What can you do? Visit Hawaii, where you can take diving lessons and choose from many operators offering guided tours of colorful reefs, underwater caves, and barnacled wrecks.

4. Gardening

Kitchen garden by: Neil Turner (CC)
Kitchen garden by: Neil Turner (CC)

Regardless of whether you live in a tiny apartment or on a sprawling estate, you can grow your own vegetables to use in your home cooking–which, hopefully, you’ve improved by traveling to Tuscany. Taking a trip to England is one of the best ways to cultivate your green fingers and learn about some of the world’s finest kitchen gardens. England’s top gardens grow fruit trees, vegetables, flowers, herbs, and decorative grasses using organic principles developed over many centuries. Many of them even feature tearooms and shops, where you can taste the produce and pick up a few tips.

5. Photography

Photography by: Wicker Paradise (CC)

Today’s world offers an overwhelming selection of electronic gadgets, and anyone with a smartphone has access to a camera capable of shooting both stills and moving images. But purchasing an expensive phone or camera won’t necessarily transform you into a master photographer. If you wish to develop your image-capturing abilities without the help of a professional instructor, travel to a place that’s easy to photograph regardless of your equipment. You really can’t go wrong taking pictures of any place on your Iceland itinerary, but remember that some of the best spots for snapping memorable images are the island’s glacial rivers, rushing waterfalls, and natural geothermal spas.

Lessons from Around the World

One of the best things about traveling the world is that you can come home from each place having learned something new. Each destination you visit can teach you something you didn’t know before, expanding your horizons, making you more open-minded, and allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of our diverse world. Before you go, try Inspirock’s itinerary maker to see and do more during your vacation, wherever you end up going.

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