Thinking of different ways to add a bit of adventure and excitement to annual holidays it dawned on me that one of the best ways to do that is to try something new! Not just a new destination, but trying a new activity altogether.
Aside from the usual sightseeing, sunbathing, sampling of foods and enjoying a few cold beers on the beach/ by the pool, why not take the time to learn a new skill.
You might enjoy it or might not, regardless, you’ll have added a brand new skill to your skillset, have met a whole new bunch of people, used your brain and had fun at the same time – all while on holiday!
Below are three ideas that might just ticle your adventurous side..it did mine!
1. Language holidays abroad
A few years ago I was working for a language company. They sent me on a familiarisation trip to Malaca Instituto which is a language school for non-spanish speakers based in Málaga, Spain. I was only there for one week, however managed to improve my Spanish grammar, made a lot of new friends from all over the world, took a Flamenco dancing lesson, tried paella for the first time ever and became really familiar with the local area.
Because I suddenly had so many new friends, some much younger than me, we ended up partying every single night, suffered through our mild hangovers in the morning -together and lounged around the pool in the afternoons. Together we all clubbed in and hired a car for the weekend, drove to Marbella and had a few cocktails in Puerto Banus.
Altogether a lovely trip, great fun and definitely an adventure! I came back to the UK ever so slightly on the tired side however I remember feeling alive and like I had done something productive with my time abroad.
2. Learn how to surf
In 2002 I went for a 4-month holiday to South Africa and stayed with my mom in Cape Town. I had always wanted to learn how to surf and so did the necessary research and found an instructor which wouldn’t cost me an entire arm and leg!
I called him and we arranged surfing lessons, twice a week for two weeks. He provided the wet suit and surfboard and soon after arriving for my first lesson, I was in the water, paddling for my life trying to get to the other side of the wave with the little upper body strength I already posessed. (Which was nothing if I may add!)
Learning how to surf was something I had always wanted to do and by actually doing it, I realised it wasn’t as easy as they make it look on sports channels at all. PS. Another lesson learned? Make sure you you go for a wee, BEFORE you get in the water and get past 4 sets of waves. Wet suits are water proof, so what happens on the inside, stays on the inside. 😉
3. Learn how to play golf
OK, so this is a tiny bit on the tricky side as green fees, waiting lists and membership fees will stand in the way of you just rocking up on a green somewhere exotic, expecting to play golf. Around 2006, I was lucky enough to know someone who was a member of the golf club in Aguas Calientes, Mexico. I’ll never forget arguing my way onto the green as it was just a group of guys and the girls wanted to stay at home and bake cakes. I argued with my then boyfriend, threw a strop because I was auto-excluded from the fun, and then the guys finally agreed to let me go with them. I mean why couldn’t I just hang out at the driving range for a few hours, if they were so desperate to keep it a men only activity, right?
We finally got there in the end, me in my bright blue capri pants, a bright green top and white trainers, ready to take an 18 hole golf course in my stride. First time I had EVER played golf.
I think our friend was slightly embarrassed at how terrible we were, that he sent us to the driving range to have a one to one lesson from a professional instructor.
Needless to say, we got the basics down within the hour, spent what felt like ages, perfecting our swing and then went back to the golf course to start all over again.
That one embarrassing experience was an adventure all the same. Otherwise I would still not know the correct technique for holding a golf club, let alone how to swing one and actually hit the ball!