Going to school while traveling the world: How to continue education as a traveler

One of the things I have been doing is slowly continuing my education while away from home. While it can be harder, it is very possible. For people who travel often sitting in a traditional classroom is not normally an option. What is some of the benefits and some of the limitations? 

First of all, the reason that I would even waste my time doing it is not for career advancement. I actually believe this part of the problem with western education. We do not go to school to get a “better paying job.” The pursuit of education should always be about personal enrichment. I am there to learn, not to try and land a high paying job.

I am not that serious of a student, either. I take a course a year normally. With that said, when you are doing reading that requires 1,000 page books, it does take longer than Welcome to College 101. I think it is important to just keep after it, no matter how it takes.

I firmly believe when we stop learning, we stop living. Personally, it is my goal to always learn something new every day and I normally try to learn two or three things that I did not know before.

Getting textbooks can be a challenge

Challenges to Education while traveling

The first one is that sometimes you can’t get your books on Amazon Kindle. Getting hard copies of text books can be quite challenging. In the Philippines, the postal service, Phil Post, is one of the worst I have seen. Hard to believe that it is worse than Samoa Post but in reality, it is.

Getting packages to the country takes time and can be a little pricy if you have to do it often. I normally use Johnny Air to get them which is about a week in transit and cost about $6 a pound. (You have to pay for at least 2 pounds). It is not perfect but it works.

In most other countries, like when I was in Fiji, I was able to just use the postal service and play the waiting game. This is normally the best option (and only one in some places) for most people.

Another practical challenge that I have is making sure that the internet is stable wherever I am. The fact of the matter is many countries do not have, nor want, solid connections and when you are taking classes over the internet; this is critical.

In the Philippines, this is a daily issue but this is not always true across the board. For example, Hong Kong and Japan has some of the best data service in the world. For a student, you just have to find a good uplink and always use it.

Besides that, it is just the time difference that you have to wrestle with. Most of my work is not something I have to log into at a set time but some class do require that so it is something you consider. You might have to be in class at four in the morning.