Hawaii is a paradise on earth for tourists who are all looking for something different from their tropical holiday. Some can't wait to get on a surfboard and out into the waves whereas others wish they could but don't know how. Some tourists use their holidays as an opportunity to climb out of their comfort zone and experience something that takes their breath away. Others just want to gain new skills and with leisure time on their hands, they can throw themselves in to all kinds of fun lessons.
In Hawaii, you can simply learn to relax and soak up the sunshine. You can learn about modern history by visiting the Pacific Aviation Museum in Pearl Harbor, or ancient history by hiking around active volcanic sites and trying to get your head around the sheer awesomeness of the earth. Or, you can enroll in lessons for various activities, some that will result in an actual certificate, others that are purely for an adrenalin rush or a period of Zen-like bliss.
1. Take hula lessons and lei making classes in Hawaii
Ask any woman what they think of first when you say 'Hawaii' and they're likely to come up with hula dancers and those pretty flower lei garlands, close to the top of the list. As a visitor to Hawaii, you really should learn how to hula because it's fun, beautiful, very feminine and tells a story about the islands' cultural history. While you're there, make a lei and rosette (hair piece) to wear while practising your new moves.
2. Fly the Hawaiian skies, in the cockpit
The sky is literally the limit in Hawaii where you can take a scenic flight for a sightseeing adventure. You can even record your experience on the inflight video camera system and take it home to stun friends and family.
3. A deep education in the Hawaiian ocean
When you love nothing more than being in the ocean, you should book yourself in to learn something new beneath the waves. How about going for your Scuba certification? In Maui, you can dive with experienced and qualified instructors, complete your coursework and receive your certificate. Or, you may like to take a class in underwater photography and videography. Receive instruction from a world-class professional who has shot video for the Discovery Channel, the Travel Channel and NatGeo WILD.
4. Take your stand up paddle boarding to a new level
Everyone knows that stand up paddle boarding requires fierce core strength, but did you know you can take it up a notch with yoga? Yes, stand up paddle board yoga lessons are a real thing, available on the north shore of Kaua'i! Bliss out on your board as you float in a protected sand and reef bottom location. Guaranteed to give you precious memories of the best your body has ever felt.
5. Surf's up and school's in for Hawaiian tourists
What else could you do if you're in one of the world's most famous surfing hot spots? You'd want to learn to surf, of course! Any age can join a surf class or clinic, without any previous experience. You'll start with learning balancing techniques on the beach and a Q&A session will help you better understand what's involved. Then, you'll paddle out into the waves and your instructor will be there to coach you the whole time. If you want, you can also have private, one-on-one surf lessons.
6. Pluck up the courage to learn ukulele in Waikiki
In Waikiki, complimentary ukulele lessons are frequently offered to travellers at Ukelele PuaPua. They want you to know and love the instrument the way they do and by showing you how to play, they may just score a new customer. Tourists love visiting the store
because the staff are passionate and friendly, and let's face it, from Vance Joy and Jack Johnson to Jason Mraz and Train, the ukulele is big business these days.
7. Hawaiian spear fishing lessons
It's harder than it looks and you have to be a proficient swimmer with a bit of snorkelling experience behind you, but you can learn the basics of Hawaiian spear fishing on Oahu. The instructors will teach you safety tips, how to use the spear and how to walk and swim with it. This is definitely a skill you'll use some day if you're ever marooned on a desert island and get a bit hungry.
8. Rappel down a cliff in Maui
No experience necessary! Enjoy a jungle waterfall adventure in Maui, learning how to rappel down tropical cliffs and into sparkling freshwater pools. All the gear is provided so you only need to take your nerves of steel and tons of energy. For six hours, you'll be hiking, swimming and rappelling, lapping up extraordinary scenery including magnificent 30- and 50-foot waterfalls. Learning to rappel is challenging but infinitely rewarding and you will be supported by experienced instructors every step of the way.
9. Discover real inner peace with meditation
Hawaii is a world-favourite destination for yoga meditation retreats. Even first-timers can learn how to do basic yoga, discover meditation techniques and enjoy the sense of calm that comes from simply stopping the world and being calm. There are mother/daughter retreats and retreats for weight loss and to celebrate summer solstice. Indulge in gentle activities such as yoga, breath meditations, slow dancing or rhythmic exercises to bring true relaxation and healing.
Life itself is a learning experience. The more you participate, the more of an interesting - and interested - person you become. Beyond the nightclubs, cocktail bars, swimming pools, beaches and day spas, Hawaii has so much more to offer. For a happy balance, why not consider choosing to learn something new on every second day of your holiday? You never know when your brand new skills will come in handy in your everyday life.