Wanderlust: No Experience Necessary

by Corry Cook

When it comes to leisure trips, returning home with a new skill set is often more enticing than a standard souvenir. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of travel experiences that engage the mind and body — from storm chasing to underwater exploration. Led by experts in their fields, these live-and-learn journeys are ready when you are in 2022.

Forage a Fresh Perspective

Take “farm to table” to the next level. Pelorus has created a culinary retreat in Scotland for those hungry to learn how to pick and prepare the freshest and most delicious wild foods the country has to offer. With guidance from a chef trained in the techniques of wild cooking, admire the beauty of the coastline while hauling lobster pots, foraging mussels and gathering edible seaweed. Then bring the bounty to shore for a feast on the sand around a roaring driftwood fire. Head inland to hike through dense woodland and learn the challenging art of mushroom picking. Or harvest berries and let a master mixologist show you how to combine them with Scotland’s most famous export: whisky.

Master Time Management

Heli-fishing in Alaska’s vast wilderness is a cutting-edge, time-saving adventure that maximizes every hour of valuable vacation time. A 40-minute flight from Anchorage, Tordrillo Mountain Lodge is remote, luxurious and teeming with experts eager to challenge outdoor enthusiasts. The brainchild of Olympic gold medalist Tommy Moe and heli-ski pioneer Mike Overcast, the resort offers year-round action with Alaska’s only via ferrata (Italian for “iron path,” a protected mountain climbing path) — not to mention skiing, fishing, wildlife viewing, wakeboarding, fattire mountain biking, salmon fishing and glacier hiking. The long days of June reign supreme at the lodge, as it’s the only month you can carve on the mountain and cast on the river — in a single day. Whether you’re an expert or just wanting to learn with personalized instruction, the Kings and Corn program offers a grand summer day of heli-skiing corn snow, followed by guided fly-in fishing for Alaska king salmon on the Talachulitna River under the midnight sun.

Take a Plunge

Nestled discreetly in the hills of Sonoma, NewTree Ranch is an escape from the hustle and bustle of the workaday world, allowing guests to reconnect with nature — in a bold and cold new way. Under the instruction of a certified instructor, experience the Wim Hof Method with a half-day journey that includes silent meditation in a secluded sanctuary, breath exercises reminiscent of Pranayama breathing in yoga, and an ice bath to supercharge the mind and boost the body’s immune system. Feeling calm and revitalized, you may even adopt Wim Hof as a lifelong practice to take with you upon leaving the ranch.

Legendary Aussie storm-chaser Clyve Herbert adjusts the rooftop weather station on his chase vehicle as a severe storm builds in the background

Weather the Storm

Little may be as electrifying as the sight of an oncoming storm. Untold Story dares explorers to embrace the thrill, the adrenaline rush and the confidence that comes with learning what Mother Nature’s tempests are all about, tornadoes included. Be they in the Texas Panhandle, the cornfields of Illinois or somewhere in between, bespoke storm-chasing experiences include joining world-class meteorologists as they hunt for unusual weather patterns, dark skies or jaw-dropping twisters. Participants may get as close to the action as conditions safely allow.

Walk in New Shoes

The outdoor adventure experts at Edgewood Tahoe are ready to make the region’s world-class snowshoeing and diverse terrain an enjoyable workout for all levels and abilities. The resort has long specialized in winter wellness, with expertise on everything from the right kind of footwear to the type of heart-pounding action that best matches your New Year’s fitness goals. With solo and group expeditions available, cold burn first-timers and experts alike can snowshoe, then savor the reward of a bubbly toast at the Edgewood’s Champagne Chalet. On alternate days, break a different kind of sweat with outdoor “snowga” sessions on the resort’s peaceful snowy beach or ice-skating with picturesque views of the lake and snowcapped Sierra Nevada.

Breathe Below Sea Level

Situated in the heart of the South Pacific, Fiji’s legendary tropical waters are a paradise of colorful corals, dramatic topography and awe-inspiring underwater life. But why should fish have all the fun? Learning to breathe underwater is just one of the thrills that comes with scuba diving alongside accomplished divers from around the world at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort. Known for its limitless H20 action, the property’s South Pacific Dive & Rejuvenate Package focuses on the restorative and energizing power of water to shake off those winter blues. Whether a novice or PADIcertified diver, explore life below the water’s surface with the resort’s resident marine biologist. Back on land, enjoy spa treatments infused with coconut oil, fresh milk and plant extracts for a natural reset above and below the surface.

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