Chances are if you love to travel, you probably also love to learn and grow. When we travel we engage with new ideas, cultures, people, and ways of thinking. We stretch comfort zones and eagerly try new things.
Luckily, now we can learn from almost anywhere in the world with access to a computer or your favorite mobile device. Here are a few of our favorite online resources to keep learning while traveling, whether you are on sabbatical or broadening your horizons from home.
Want to Learn Another Language?
One common goal when traveling internationally is to learn or become more fluent in another language. Traveling to a foreign country can be both exciting and overwhelming, and while language can sometimes feel like a barrier, it doesn’t have to be. Learning even a few key phrases can change the whole experience.
Rosetta Stone is a great place to begin learning a language. Visual cues, written words, and audio reinforce basic concepts of over 20 languages offered through Rosetta Stone “Totale.” It is accessible online and with an app. With digestible lessons you’ll be saying grazie con gusto in no time!
Download the app on Android or iOS
Duolingo is another option to make learning another language “fun and addictive,” in their own words. The lessons are short, sweet and their app can be set up with automatic reminders so you get a daily dose of a new language. Duolingo prides themselves on the gamification of learning, and the built-in rewards definitely make it fun.
Do You Want to do Yoga or Meditate while Traveling?
Improve Your Yoga Practice
Running to the gate in the airport, squishing into a seat for hours, driving to faraway destinations: these are all a means to an end for the frequent traveler, but they can wreak havoc on your body and your mind.
Yoga is one of the easiest ways to stay mentally and physically strong while traveling or just fitting exercise into your busy days. There are a plethora of websites and apps, usually accessible with a monthly or annual membership fee, but here are a couple of our favorites:
Yoga Anytime offers a consistent global community of teachers with over 2600 yoga class videos. There are a variety of classes to choose from, and class categories like “Move,” “Connect,” “Heal” and “Begin” let you tailor your experience and progress at your own speed.
Download the app on iOS
Similarly, Yoga Studio by Gaiam offers classes for all levels, and even classes designed for those with back pain, runners and expectant mothers. There is an option to download classes on the app to your phone, so you still have access if you are traveling to an area with unreliable internet access.
Meditation on the Go
With mindfulness as a goal for many of us, there are many meditation apps available to explore and learn while traveling. Some of the top-rated apps are Calm, Headspace and Insight Timer.
Calm has won awards for its breathing exercises, relaxation techniques and specially-designed meditations for people of all ages, including young kids and teenagers. The name probably says it all!
Headspace provides many sessions with specific themes to help people dealing with issues like stress, anxiety and sleep difficulties. The guided meditations are short and focused, so it’s not overwhelming to work it into your days.
Insight Timer has the claim to fame that “more meditation is practiced on Insight Timer than anywhere else.” There are numerous guided meditations and the opportunity to interact with the community on the app. Many enjoy the music and ambient sounds for better sleep.
Want to Read More Books?
Whether you are heading out to teach at another university, delving into a research project or your sabbatical is designed to provide much-needed downtime, you can’t go wrong with reading more books. First, decide which of your goodreads you get to enjoy while traveling to your destination and which books you’ll save for your sabbatical leave.
Many people swear by audible for everyday life, especially if they have a long commute. It allows you to download audio books to your device so that you can transform anytime into book time. For travel, it’s even better to fill hours on a plane or train. Choose anything from classics to best sellers, you’ll find the selection is vast and varied as your many journeys.
A kindle or another e-reader are popular choices for travelers, for the obvious reason that it’s so compact and can hold so many good reads to catch up on! It’s even more budget-friendly if you have a library card to be able to borrow e-books and return them. Before you travel, make sure to double check if you’ve downloaded your books or confirm that you’ll have reliable internet access for those titles stored in the cloud.
For those of us who still enjoy an actual book to hold in our hands, but don’t want to lug them around from one country to the next, it’s always fun to check out the treasure trove of titles in used book stores. You can always leave your finished book as a little surprise to the host or the next person staying in the SabbaticalHomes place you have enjoyed!
If you are staying longer at your destination and have access to an academic library, that is another easy way to focus on research and catch up on your pleasure reading.
Have You Always Wanted to Learn a Musical Instrument?
One of the things many adults regret is not following through with music lessons as a child. Hearing a beautiful piece of live music can inspire you to want to dust off the piano and tickle the keys, so maybe having time off is the time to do it.
Joytunes.com is a website dedicated to “making the world more musical,” with apps designed to making learning an instrument easy (and joyful, of course). Simply Piano is a highly rated app that even piano teachers use to have their student’s practice. It is tailor-made for those who want to learn while traveling and extend their music education!
PianoCub allows you to log in from anywhere in the world on any device and begin learning where you left off (even if that means from the ground up). The site was created by a USC Thornton School of Music graduate to make classical music training more accessible to children and adults alike through video tutorials and quality learning materials.
Want to Learn to Cook?
Have you always wanted to become the masterful chef you know lives inside you? Food is an express lane to our hearts, so it’s no wonder that a favorite pastime of travelers is experiencing unique foods in new places. But what if you want to learn how to cook that special dish? There are so many opportunities to shop in local markets, enjoy what’s in season and maybe even take a cooking class while traveling to another country!
World citizens know that immersing themselves in the food of a culture is one of the best ways to get to know a different city, country and even some of the language. Here are some reasons why it’s important to cook while you’re traveling, from chef Alison Roman, in an interview with “Travel + Leisure.”
If you don’t cook frequently or have some dishes you really want to learn how to prepare, Salted is a website that allows you to learn to cook online through easy-to-follow video tutorials. Described as “cooking school at Netflix prices,” you can learn basic building blocks or complex recipes.
Your travel may be designed around a research focus, writing a book or teaching in another place. Maybe cooking foods you love is a way to create your own sense of home while you are away from home. Or, you may incorporate a little treat like a culinary school vacation into your sabbatical. Read more on the Travel Channel’s review of wonderful vacations that focus on the food and cooking of a region.
‘How to’ provides our audience with tips on subjects that are most relevant to travel, aiding any question and/or concern one may have throughout their experience. We strive for each individual to enjoy their travels, especially when it comes to foreign situations.