Vacational Learning – holidays to last a lifetime

There is no doubt that continuous learning is important. Learning new things, seeing different perspectives and increasing our skill set are critical to building a growth mindset which in turn helps us realise our full potential – individually and collectively.

Much of our training today is delivered in short form, like masterclasses. These are often squeezed in between work commitments, rushing off in breaks to make calls, checking our emails throughout the day and thinking about the work waiting for us back in the office.

We are also seeing the increased adoption of various forms of digital training solutions like online, virtual and augmented reality, with the benefits of reduced time and cost to deliver, but they also have limited human interface and shared experiences.

While these are appropriate for certain types of training and skills development, they may not always be the most effective way to learn and create longer term habits.

There is an emerging category of learning and development – Vacational Learning, or Learning Holidays – where time away from the home and work environment is providing the space and inspiration to develop long lasting skills and connections. It builds on the benefits being experienced by people increasingly participating in Wellness Tourism – which is growing at twice the rate of other types of tourism. It is the yin to the yang of our busy, accelerated lives where we can take the time and space to refresh and recharge, physically and spiritually, in some amazing places.

Where wellness tourism is typically focused on physical, mental and spiritual renewal, Vacational Learning provides an extra, powerful dimension and in particular, is an effective way to build what is considered one of the most essential skill for the 21st century – creativity.

Vacational Learning, as the name suggests, combines the best of both worlds. The inspiration and fun we experience from immersing ourselves in new places and meeting new people, with the time and space needed to learn and build new creative skills.

 This kinesthetic and active learning enables us to be fully present and participate in the experience over a longer period of time which has been shown to build greater retention of what we learn and the chance for more profound, ongoing adoption of new perspectives and skills.

It really comes down to investing our time to truly become absorbed in, and inspired by, our surroundings and to learn and adopt new creative skills – in fact they say that it can take up to 21 days to form a new habit.

In some way, it is a throwback to the past. Like making the time to travel to a new city by car or train rather than plane. Noticing the trees, houses by the rail line, children playing in the parks, and appreciating how we feel and respond along the way. Giving ourselves the time to be curious, to daydream and let ourselves be absorbed and moved by the journey – as opposed to simply focusing on the destination or outcome. It is about exploring thoughts and connections to enable us to see different perspectives.

While Vacational Learning is becoming a growing trend, it has yet to hit the mainstream in corporate L&D departments. Not only could it provide a highly effective learning solution, but it could also provide a more lasting reward for high performing individuals, or as an option for Long Service Leave or Sabbaticals. 

So, while we continue to live our lives often focused on the quickest path to completing the task at hand, your next holiday could be just the chance to creatively recharge by making the time and space to have a holiday that can build new skills to last a lifetime.

Creative Cities 21 re-energises people through 1, 2 and 3-week creative learning experiences in great cities of the world. By combining the benefits of acting, painting, innovation & travel, we ignite your creativity, helping you realise your personal and professional potential.


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