couple on beach holding surf boards on heads and smiling

Pick up a new sports skill, or sharpen an existing one, as you travel. (Photo: Getty Image)


Live the #SportLife? Up Your Athletic Skills or Learn a New-to-You Sport as You Travel

Imagine yourself surfing a huge blue wave, riding a magnificent horse or hitting a hole-in-one on a legendary golf course. Worldwide, you can make your sporting dreams come true — safely and confidently — when you book lessons with local instructors or excursions with qualified outfitters.

Whether you’re mainly into mindfulness and wellness or deeply determined to lift your athletic skills to new heights, it’s time to get inspired.

As always, check for travel restrictions and closures before planning your trip.

Barbados: Surf with Confidence in the Caribbean

Pirates like Blackbeard and Henry Morgan once made Barbados infamous, but today the Caribbean island is a famous surfing destination.

At Barry’s Surf Barbados in Bridgetown, get a three-day beginner’s surf lesson package to make the most of the tropical waves. After surfing, relax with a stroll along the Careenage boardwalk or enjoy a glass of Mount Gay Rum.

Canada: Take Private Ski Lessons with an Olympian

man holding skis and smiling on mountain
Shred pow with the best. (Photo: Getty Image)

Situated north of Vancouver, Whistler served as the official host mountain resort of the 2010 Winter Olympics. This spectacular British Columbia ski town is home to former Olympic heroes like Ashleigh McIvor, Britt Janyk and Rob Boyd, who offer private full-day ski lessons.

Carve fresh powder on Blackcomb Mountain and listen to tales of Winter Games glory as you improve your skiing technique. You can also admire a panorama worthy of a gold medal from the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, which spans 2.7 miles, or devour grilled sockeye salmon at the BrewHouse.

Japan: Kick Your Karate Skills Up a Notch

Whether you were thrilled by karate’s inclusion as an Olympic sport or simply love binge-watching “Cobra Kai,” taking karate lessons with Karate Dojo WaKu in Tokyo is a fun, authentic experience.

Under the guidance of black belt instructors, change into a karate uniform, learn about karate philosophy and master basic stretches, punches and kicks before smashing some boards. Staff members speak English, Chinese and other languages.

Mexico: Discover the Joys of Ocean Kayaking

kayaking in mexico
Paddle your way through waters near La Paz. (Photo: Getty Image)

Picture yourself paddling a kayak in the serene coastal waters around La Paz as sea lions sun themselves on nearby rocks and gray whales spout and breach to the west. Even for newbies, it’s a dream within reach when you take a Mexico kayaking tour with veteran outfitters like Sea Kayak Adventures or Wild Women Expeditions.

Pair your kayaking education with a stay in Los Cabos, relaxing with an Ayurvedic massage, sipping cold Mexican beer or playing golf.

Scotland: Hone Your Golf Game Where It All Started

For both new and experienced golfers, it’s tough to top the thrill of golfing at St. Andrews. North of Edinburgh, the Scottish birthplace of the sport features iconic landmarks, like the 1754-founded Royal and Ancient Golf Club clubhouse and the Swilcan Bridge on the 18th hole.

Check out the St. Andrews Links Golf Academy. PGA-qualified instructors use the latest innovations, from swing analysis studios to biomechanical assessments, to help you improve your long game and short game.

UAE: Enjoy the Exciting Equestrian Scene

bottom half of running horse
Sharpen your equestrian skills. (Photo: Getty Image)

Visitors to the United Arab Emirates relish the opportunity to go horseback riding over desert sand dunes or next to the aquamarine Persian Gulf. The world-renowned Arabian horse breed originated in this region.

There are many ways to seek Middle Eastern equestrian excellence. Take dressage lessons at the Al Forsan academy in Abu Dhabi, or head to Dubai to learn the fundamentals of polo at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club.

U.S.: Explore the World of NASCAR Racing

If you’ve ever dreamed of emulating the driving exploits of NASCAR legends like Richard Petty and Jimmie Johnson, you’re not alone.

You can get that thrill America-wide with the NASCAR Racing Experience. It’s offered everywhere from the Atlanta Motor Speedway to the Phoenix Raceway. Spotters provide personalized instruction over a two-way, in-car radio as you learn to burn serious rubber.