My husband, our 6-year-old daughter, and I travel for weeks to months at a time. Over the past year and a half, we have spent 2 months in Portugal, 2 weeks in Utah, 1 month in Greece, 1.5 months in Mexico, and very recently, 3 months in Italy.
This lifestyle is unfamiliar to many and it was unfamiliar to us as well until January of 2022. It all began during a 2-hour car ride when my husband and I had a conversation about the desire to travel but we were not sure how to handle our desire for extensive travel with our daughter’s upcoming required education.
Neither one of us was interested in homeschooling but figured that there must be other options out there. When we finally got back home, I immediately started Googling alternative education options and different ways of learning while traveling. That's when I stumbled upon the terms "road schooling" and "world schooling”.
What is “world schooling”?
While this isn't an exact definition, world schooling is a broad term meaning quite simply, using the world as your school.
Instead of just reading about the Declaration of Independence in a book, you go and see it and learn what it is and its importance.
Instead of watching videos about how to make pasta from scratch, you learn from someone while in Italy!
You learn a foreign language and culture by immersion, rather than just from a book.
The world is your child's school.
How does world schooling work?
World schooling looks different for different families. Some families are homeschooling their children as they travel, some enroll their kids in local schools with local kids, others use online or in-person tutors, or some families choose not to "school" their children at all. It's whatever works for the family.
A very similar term to world schooling is road schooling. It's just like world schooling except generally happening "on the road" such as in RVing and may or may not take place in one country.
How can families afford to world school?
Again, it works differently with every family, but most of the time, at least one parent works remotely.
Most people are tied to a location because of their job. When you are not tied to a location for a job, or for any reason, you are free to live where you want for as long as you want.
A relatively new word has emerged to describe those who can and do work from anywhere: digital nomad.
Do people give up their homes and all their belongings to do this?
Some do and some don’t. We have met families on both ends of the spectrum and everything in between.
We know families that did sell their homes and most of their belongings and now travel full time. “Home” is simply wherever they currently are!
Others, like us, travel part-time and have a home base. We currently prefer to travel for a few months, return home to Ohio, and then travel again.
What do you do for work?
My husband, Kevin, trades stock options. He is great with numbers, which is fantastic because I'm terrible with them!
If there is good internet access, we can work from anywhere in the world. Kevin just needs to be able to access his computer during US stock exchange hours, which obviously differs depending on which time zone we are in.
What about your daughter's education? How are you handling that?
This is something we are taking one school year and one trip at a time.
We spent 2 months in Portugal, 1 month in Greece, and 3 months in Italy, with Boundless Life and she attended their school at each location.
Boundless is a company that launched in February 2022 to provide a community and schooling for digital nomadic families. They have their own school for the kids of the families participating in the Boundless program, as well as other perks and amenities.
(If you are interested in the Boundless Life program, and fill out an interest form on their website, when it asks how you heard about Boundless, select “Boundless Family Referral” and type “JulieCrawford” all one word, to save €400 [about $440] off your booking!)
In Mexico, we joined a group of world schoolers, and she attended school every day of the week. But instead of a traditional classroom setting, she had beach school on Mondays, field trip day on Tuesdays, jungle school on Wednesdays, and park school on Thursdays and Fridays. All the "classrooms" and learning were outside.
While we are traveling, she isn't missing school or even missing out on learning. She is attending a school as we travel, but beyond that, she is learning so much in our day-to-day interactions and outings as we travel.
Where Can I Learn More?
Also look for world schooling groups on Facebook. There are TONS of them!