Fundamentally change the way we both learn and travel.
We no longer have to tie ourselves to one city for four years and pay extortionate fees for the privilege of trying to broaden our minds and be useful to the world. The online education revolution means that we can educate ourselves at a time, place, and price that works for us.
We no longer have to view travel as a hedonistic pursuit. Travel shouldn't be something to "get out of your system". It can be so much more than a few months of getting drunk on exotic beaches, taking selfies on top of mountains and wandering around temples you know nothing about. With so many careers and businesses now entirely executable over the internet, travelling indefinitely is becoming a reality for many brave and adventurous souls.
The Digital Nomad movement is thriving and growing exponentially. All the pieces are in place for the Edumadic movement to follow suit.
Meet the Team
Zach has twice been the archetypical young professional in the city of London. With a stint in both Banking and Management Consulting, Zach felt the career paths he had been sold throughout his formal education were never going to live up to his ambitions of having a fulfilling and interesting life. With this realisation he did what every reasonable person would do, quit his job and moved to Morocco in the simultaneous pursuit of self education and world travel.
To cut a long story short, 9 months into the journey, Zach had a revelation. This would have been infinitely easier with a community of like minded people working towards similar goals to travel with. From that revelation came the founding of Edumadic, a company Zach wished existed when he first started out on this journey into the unknown realm of learning online whilst travelling the world. So many of the struggles he encountered would be solved by being part of the community and program that Edumadic curates.
You can find Zach on Instagram @zachetcetc
After a talk at his university from a past graduate about international teaching opportunities, Marc decided that this was the path he wanted to go down. So after graduating he jetted off to China to take up a role as a Senior Calculus teacher. A role that allowed 4 months holiday a year, which Marc put to good use travelling the world.
Marc and Zach met in a hostel in Goa at the beginning of 2016. Marc was making the most of his time off between semesters as he usually does, and Zach was travelling through India whilst studying online. By complete coincidence, they bumped into each other again at the opposite end of the country two weeks later. This time in Agra, they were both there to lay eyes on the majestic Taj Mahal. Zach actually took this picture!
Fast forward 6 months and Edumadic was well on its way to existence, and needed more crazy people to make the dream a reality. Luckily Marc was looking for a new adventure, and jumped at the opportunity to join the team!
You can find Marc on Instagram @magagnee
Melissa was in our brave first batch of Edumads. She had been building a successful career in publishing in New York City when she started looking for a new challenge.
When she heard about Edumadic it presented her a perfect opportunity to take some time away from the rat race to learn some new skills and really figure out what she wanted to do.
After a life changing 12 weeks on the Inaugural Edumadic Program, Melissa's eyes had been opened wide to a whole new world of opportunity, the first of which came from Edumadic itself! When we were looking to expand the team after the successful completion of that first program, we couldn't think of anyone better than Melissa to join us!
You can find Melissa on Instagram @melissapresti
Caitlin was in our second batch of Edumads in the fall of 2017. She’d recently finished a degree from the University of Michigan majoring in Psychology.
Caitlin wasn’t satisfied with immediately moving through the typical steps that are expected of university graduates. She had several internships throughout her university years and was far from inspired by what she experienced in them. Whilst her friends were accepting typical 9-5 jobs, Caitlin wanted to take time to explore her options, the world, and herself.
Which is when she found Edumadic. A program that presented the perfect opportunity for her to do all those things. And explore she did. As with most Edumads, the program completely changed the way she thought about her future. Being exposed to an entirely different way of life, entirely new environments, and entirely new perspectives.
We saw something in Caitlin. A desire to empower people in the pivotal years of their life to make decisions that align with their purpose and potential. After countless late night, deep and meaningful conversations, we knew that we had to have Caitlin on the team. So here she is!
You can find Caitlin on Instagram @caitlinclimes
(This article can be found on Zach's Medium Page)
“Travel and change of place impart new vigor into the mind.” — Seneca
“Five years from now on the Web, for free, you’ll be able to find the best lectures in the world. It will be better than any single university.” — Bill Gates (2010)
The first quote has always been true. The second, not so long. It’s where these two statements intersect that sparked my interest at the back end of 2015.
I had a great job at a Management Consulting firm in London. On the surface life couldn’t be better. But underneath I was restless, I wanted more.
The problem was the more that I wanted consisted of two things: world travel and a new career in Software Engineering. Two things that conventional wisdom would tell you cannot be attained simultaneously.
I could plunge myself deeper into debt with a masters degree, tying me down for a year to one city, with a schedule and syllabus that someone else decides, meaning I couldn’t possibly afford travel before or after.
Or I could fulfill my desire to see more of the world by taking time out of “the system” and give up on the career change, potentially jeopardizing my current career. My employer certainly wouldn’t hold my job for me indefinitely.
The opportunity cost of taking either of these routes seemed too great.
Then it dawned on me, could I do both?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 5 years or so, you will have noticed the meteoric rise in popularity of both Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) from some of the most prestigious universities in the world (MIT, Harvard, and Stanford to name a few), and other educational platforms such as Lynda, Udacity, Udemy and Free Code Camp. The list of such providers seems to be endless and ever growing.
The appeal of such companies and courses is obvious. The traditional education monolith is broken. The expectation that plowing yourself deep into debt to obtain a degree that will provide you with an avenue into the career and life you want is no longer true. As well as the exorbitant expense, you also have to commit 3 or 4 years of your precious time for an undergraduate degree and at least a further year for a Masters.
As always, governments are slow to realize such things. Silicon Valley however, is not.
Most are self paced, meaning you can learn alongside other commitments, or study intensely and acquire new skills at a rate of knots. The requirements for the courses provided by these companies are usually low. You’ll need a steady internet connection (most courses contain some video), and the discipline and free time to see the course through to conclusion.
I figured that I could acquire the new skills I needed while traveling the world for the same length of time I would have spent completing a masters, all for a fraction of the cost.
Fast forward to today, after 6 months on the road, and I’m 4 MOOCs and 5 countries down.
I’ve learned a ton on my journey, such as which destinations suit this lifestyle, what’s the best balance between comfort and price for accommodation, and how to keep focused when you’re surrounded by some of the most beautiful and interesting places (and people!) on the planet.
The number one thing that was missing from the majority of my journey was a community of like minded individuals pursuing similar goals to mine.
I found myself stuck between two worlds:
On the one hand there are Backpackers, committed to unadulterated hedonism. Backpackers are easy to meet. Most stay in hostels that are geared toward making quick and deep connections with people.
There is no doubt that spending time with the backpacker crowd is fun, and you’ll meet lifelong friends from all around the world. But when you’re trying to study, you can imagine, it’s distracting to be surrounded by people who’s purpose essentially amounts to having as much fun and good times as humanly possible.
On the other are the Digital Nomads. Their burgeoning ranks largely attributed to Tim Ferriss’ book, “The Four Hour Work Week.” Digital Nomads typically have well established careers or businesses that can be executed entirely over the internet. Because of this, they are able to live anywhere in the world that has a stable internet connection, often while collecting a western-level income. This phenomenon means that they can exploit geo-arbitrage to live in absolute luxury.
I didn’t quite fit into this community either. My budget was probably less than half of what most Digital Nomads live on. And although the work ethic of this community better suited my ambitions, personal connections were much harder to come by, and when they did, were never quite at the depth of those you find among backpackers.
And so I found myself bouncing between these two communities each having it’s endearing qualities but neither quite fitting what I needed. I wanted the deep connections and good times that the Backpackers had, as well as the purpose and work ethic of the Digital Nomads.
And so the idea for Edumadic was born.