Solo Travel 2018: Bolster Your Creative Self

Learn something new in a beautiful locale.

Mealtime with First We Eat. Photograph courtesy of Eva Kosmas Flores

Making a New Year’s resolution is easy. Keeping a New Year’s resolution — that’s a different story. Three months into 2018, how are those plans for developing new hobbies coming along? Yeah, that’s what we thought. Like it or not, it’s going to take a full pause on everyday life to kick-start projects that don’t already fit into your schedule. Luckily for travel fiends, new cool-kid workshops Damesly and First We Eat can help you pick up skills in some seriously spectacular destinations.

First up, Damesly. Founded in 2016, this boutique travel company runs skills-based, female-only excursions across the U.S. Some trips — like a houseboat tour of northern Arizona’s Lake Powell — are aimed directly at those looking to build small businesses, while others flex creative muscles that can be used professionally and personally. Case in point: September’s “Cameras + Canyons” tour, in which you’ll spend four days exploring the Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon, photographing some of Mother Nature’s most breathtaking work under the guidance of one Jaye Callahan, who has shot for National Geographic and the Travel Channel. No matter the skill, the most important thing Damesly attendees take away from their small-group experiences — trips are capped at 10, with most participants arriving solo — is a heartening dose of X-chromosome-infused encouragement to fully commit to whatever it is you’ve been meaning to try. “A supportive group of new girlfriends can be just the push you need to take things to the next level in your life and career,” says founder Kelly Lewis.

If your #sidehustle goals involve upping your food Instagram game — let’s face it: These days, getting the right angle on the right avocado toast can make or break a blog — book your next vacation with First We Eat. Led by Eva Kosmas Flores, who boasts nearly 200,000 followers of her own on the platform, these workshops pair delicious food and bev with hands-on lessons in food styling, shooting techniques, camera equipment and propping. Also capped at around 10 participants, the trips, which vary in length and are held all over the world, welcome individuals of any skill level, so long as you have a mirrorless, DSLR or iPhone camera. This year, FWE will journey to Portugal and Italy in May and Ireland and Croatia in September. Past trips paint a picture of what your itinerary could include: foraging for truffles, watching demos run by pro cooks and stylists, and standing shame-free on chairs to take pictures of multi-course gourmet meals before eating them.

Book It!
The Group: Damesly
Destinations: United States
Rates: From $1,200 to $2,800, airfare not included

The Group: First We Eat
Destinations: Europe and beyond
Rates: Start at $2,950, airfare not included


» See Also: Five Ways to Get Away From Philly This Spring, No Companion Required

Published as “Me, Myself And I: Bolster Your Creative Self” in the March 2018 issue of Philadelphia magazine.