Maybe you’ve always wanted to become a first-rate chef—or just a better cook. Perhaps you’ve longed to fly down a straightaway in a car that costs more than your annual salary. Or it could be you’ve been nursing a dream of wowing a crowd with a song all on your own.

Rather than spend your next getaway lounging by the pool or picnicking in the mountains, follow the lead of three writers who decided to pursue their long-held passions on “vocation vacations.” Learn to rope a bronc or ride a wave, commune with your dog or juggle like a clown. Whatever you do, make your dreams a reality.

Illustrations by Mary Kate McDevitt