When I left for a six-month trip to India, back in 2005, I was at the lowest point of my life. Frankly, I felt like I was throwing myself off a cliff. I don't know exactly what I expected about India or the trip, but I don't think I expected a magic carpet to appear.
From tree climbing in the Amazonian jungle or galloping on horseback across Uruguayan plains, to getting spiritual at an Argentine Yoga retreat or pedaling through the Atacama Desert, South America has no shortage of experiences that are both easy on the wallet and the conscience.
One of the benefits of long term travel is the ability to spend several days, or even weeks, immersing yourself in a new skill. Here are some suggestions on places where you can learn to do everything from surfing to French cooking.