Vacation Question #836 - solo vacation with some unique component
September 24, 2018 7:05 PM   Subscribe

Hi All. I'm looking for a unique solo vacation for my 50th birthday. I'd like a vacation that involves doing something or learning something. (Lots) More below.

Consider budget and trip length to be more or less unlimited for now, but I'm thinking up to a month. Anywhere.

Examples of vacations I have liked: Snorkeling with humpbacks in Tonga; Surf Camp in Costa Rica; Raft down the grand canyon; crafts class at Arrowmont; Kayak Surfing/windsurfing lessons in Belize; working cattle ranch. I am also a diver and photographer but am feeling lukewarm about those hobbies right now.

I'm active and healthy but can't hike (knees), don't want to bike (ouch), and not sure my rear end can take another horse vacation. I like Yoga, but I'm not very good at it.

I'll be a solo female and prefer to join a group on an organized tour or at a resort or school. (Less planning/decision making about where to eat, what to do.)

Generally prefer nature, the outdoors, the ocean, beaches, islands, and animals over cities, culture, history or art. Camping or primitive hotels are fine.

Before everybody yells at once: "Safari! Africa!" or "Galapagos!" I know those are obvious answers, but they aren't triggering a lot of excitement/passion in me - time must not be right.

Volunteering would be fine, as long as they don't expect me to do tooooo much physical labor. I love animals of all sorts. Can you volunteer at a baby rhino orphanage somewhere?

Any ideas about specific resorts, tour companies/trips, classes, etc, greatly appreciated! Especially off-the-beaten-path stuff like "Work at the baby rhino orphanage" or "Help map the newly discovered XYZ cave" or "help dig up the ruins found in the farmer's field."

What about digging up dinosaur bones - has anybody done that? Fun? I see there are some places that allow you to tag along with the scientists.

Thanks in advance! No idea too far out there!
posted by bluesky78987 to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Animal rescue volunteering in Australia?
posted by permiechickie at 8:01 PM on September 24, 2018

You might like some of the courses they offer at yestermorrow sustainable design/build school up in Vermont..
posted by elgee at 9:05 PM on September 24, 2018

Getting a paragliding certification is on my todo list. Haven’t started yet so no specific recommendations, but can be done in a couple of weeks for a couple of grand.
posted by doctord at 9:23 PM on September 24, 2018

You can volunteer to look after elephants in Thailand/Cambodia.
posted by penguinliz at 2:47 AM on September 25, 2018

Here's an article in the Guardian about volunteer tourism to help save orangutans - this happens in Borneo and Indonesia
posted by nantucket at 4:20 AM on September 25, 2018

This tour, snorkeling with humpback whales in the Caribbean, is on my bucketlist. They have other ones too. (Full disclosure: My sister knows the family that runs the company and I've met one of them a few times.)
posted by mark k at 8:06 AM on September 25, 2018

posted by sammyo at 8:06 AM on September 25, 2018

I've been looking into a company called Intrepid Travel lately. They might have something you'll like. Intrepid Travel
posted by Julnyes at 8:30 AM on September 25, 2018

I have a friend who did the Orangutan volunteer work in Borneo and found it to be wonderful.
posted by MountainDaisy at 9:07 AM on September 25, 2018

Have you checked out the volunteer expeditions organized by Earthwatch?
posted by Corvid at 11:35 AM on September 25, 2018

Thank you so much everybody, some really good ideas here! Several of these look like real possibilities.
posted by bluesky78987 at 8:54 AM on September 27, 2018

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