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By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ -- Some people dream of touring ancient ruins, modern cities or the great art museums of the world.

Sarah Damsky, a 30-year-old social worker now living in London, loves doing all those things on vacation, but often returns exhausted.

So when Damsky went on a yoga retreat to Vieques, Puerto Rico, she found she was "refreshed" and better able to tackle her everyday life.

Damsky is among a group of travelers who don't just look to sit on the beach -- although there can be plenty of that too -- but to be active and learn something new and healthy while on vacation. Some women on her trip converted to vegetarianism after enjoying a week of well-prepared meatless meals. (Damsky was already one.) Most travelers returned with new friends and new knowledge that they have since incorporated into their everyday lives.