Sure, you can go lie on a beach or hit the streets of a big city. But, when it comes to vacations, many want to immerse themselves in a personal interest or customized experience. From honing your skills as a master chef to styling the perfect food shot to conquering your best sun salutation in a land once forbidden, today we’re showcasing how to dive deep into a hobby or interest on your next getaway. Here are five fabulous experiential retreats to add to your travel calendar!
Creative Workshops with Annette Joseph (in an Italian fortress!)
Get your fix of luxurious food, travel and art all at once with Annette Joseph Style Workshops and Retreats. There are currently four different week-long workshops scheduled for September that offer guests the chance to recharge while creating mouth-watering food in creative ways. From learning fundamentals of Italian cooking and styling your meal to harvesting and preserving food, each culinary workshop is sure to up your skills in a relaxing, restorative environment. For those even more creatively inclined, Annette also offers a week of painting with artist Steve McKenzie. As if these workshops weren’t enough, the retreat takes place in La Fortrezza, a stunning, newly renovated fortress overlooking the picturesque town of Lunigiana, Italy. Retreats are limited to 6-8 students.
For more information, click here.
Yoga in Cuba
Price: contact for pricing
Yoga in any setting can dramatically improve your headspace. So a week of restorative yoga on the beautiful island of Cuba with yoga experts Eduardo Pimentel and Shelley Lowther, owner of Dancing Dogs Yoga, could be the perfect break from your busy life. Eduardo, known as the Godfather of yoga in Cuba, met Shelley when she won a trip to visit Cuba and teach yoga there. She fell in love with the island, the people and the unique culture, and now she wants to share her life-changing experience with other tourists by leading her own yoga retreat in Havana in January. The true cultural immersion shows the power of yoga, as Shelley’s work transcends cultural and language barriers.
For more information about Shelley’s journey and her upcoming retreat, click here.
Photo Workshops in Paris
What better way to experience the “moveable feast” of Paris than to capture it on film? Peter Turnley’s photography workshop allows visitors to do just that. Peter, who authored French Kiss — A Love Letter To Paris, has 40 years of experience living in and photographing the beautiful City of Lights. Luckily, he passes on his wealth of wisdom in this immersive, thorough and creative week-long retreat. At the beginning of the trip, each attendee picks a theme for their photography that they stick with for the rest of the week. Peter believes this gives people a special chance to explore Paris from a new perspective. Photographers complete the trip with a portfolio of 15 beautiful images that all tell a compelling story.
For more information, visit peterturnley.com.
A Silence Workshop
Price: Contact for pricing
A retreat to The Abbey of Gethsemani immerses you in something rare and unique: silence. The monastery, located in Kentucky, holds a tradition of hospitality that dates all the way back to 1848. Guests spend their time at The Abbey in solitude, with the monastery’s expansive grounds at their disposal. The monks designed the retreat this way to be a time of prayer and reflection. This is rooted in their belief that stillness and quietude make room for people to connect with God. However, even for those who aren’t particularly religious, time at The Abbey of Gethsemani can be a wonderful chance to reconnect with yourself. We all get caught up in the noise of day-to-day life, so this time to quietly reflect could be the break you didn’t know you needed.
For more information, visit monks.org.
Cooking in Napa
There’s no better way to feel like a professional chef than through a Culinary Institute of America Boot Camp. One of our favorites is the five-day Plant-Powered Cooking Boot Camp in beautiful Napa Valley. In this intensive workshop, attendees work alongside CIA’s professional instructors to learn the unique art of perfecting plant-powered cooking. To a vegetarian’s delight, this retreat teaches aspiring chefs all the best techniques, recipes and ingredients to use in green-centered meals. The program also boasts a “learn-by-doing approach,” allowing visitors to be completely hands-on with their work. The name suggests this workshop isn’t particularly restful, but let’s be honest — any trip to the wine country is a prime time to relax.
For more information, click here.
Make your travel an experience to last a lifetime when you partake in any of these fun experiential trips!
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