Summer is full of perks but with the laid-back atmosphere and oppressive heat, wasting the season away is easy. If you’re looking to strike the balance of pleasure and productivity, these retreats will teach you a new skill (or help you polish an existing talent) in vacation destinations around the world. Sometimes, to get out of that summer slump, all you have to do is get creative.
Lotta Jansdotter Workshops
Brooklyn-based artist Lotta Jansdotter loves creating with her hands—so much so that she teaches her craft through workshop retreats held around the world. Tokyo, the Åland Islands in Scandinavia (Jansdotter’s birthplace) and India are just a few of the places where the pattern and print maker brings participants to share her techniques and the inspiration behind her art. Some of the workshops also give students the opportunity to meet with local artisans to further inspire creativity.
The Writers’ Lab
Writers looking to hone their skills can do so at the Writers’ Lab on the island of Skyros in Greece. The Lab offers classes on everything from screenwriting to comedy writing to finding your “writer’s voice.” Classes take place outdoors, so students can take in the beautiful scenery, and are taught by renowned authors and writers, including BAFTA-nominated screenwriter and author Steve Attridge.
Mabel Dodge Luhan House
Taos, New Mexico
The home of 20th-century socialite and patron of the arts Mabel Dodge Luhan has played host to Georgia O’Keeffe, Ansel Adams and D. H. Lawrence, so it’s no wonder it’s become an artist’s paradise of sorts. These days, the historic building in serves as a hotel and is a sanctuary for creative thinkers and artists with its numerous art and writing workshops and retreats. The coolest part? The rooms are named after the famous people who stayed in them, so you can really channel your inner artist.
Bali Mountain Music Retreat
This retreat on Mount Batukaru allows musicians of all levels (even beginners) to escape from their busy lives and enjoy the therapeutic effects of making and playing music. Evening performance parties are held so that any willing participants can play for his or her peers. Locals are even said to join in, which can lead to a jam session filled with music from around the world. Workshops include guitar lessons, songwriting, singing, Balinese music and music in nature—that is, performing in the mountain forest.