Our January 2017 program was the first of it’s kind ever to run. As such, there were a lot of unknowns for us and the brave new Edumads that joined us.
We were confident that we could organise a 12 week trip for a group of young and fun 20 somethings. That would always be simple for a team that had travelled extensively in the locations on our itinerary.
But what we didn’t know was how best to combine those adventurous experiences with a great environment in which to study. This was the part that nobody had done before, the part that we were pioneering, and definitely the part we learnt most about. Here’s some of the most valuable lessons we learnt:
Education must be the priority
We had an Edumad leave after our first destination, simply because she realised that travel and exploration was her main objective, and education was secondary. The way in which we travel means that if you want to maximise the amount of places you see, then you’ll be left frustrated. Having said that, we do pick locations that have plenty to keep you busy over the 4 weeks we spend there, and you’ll definitely have plenty of opportunity to explore them. But if you want to explore further afield, you’re better off not being tied down to one accommodation for a month.
Stability and routine is vital to productivity
We had brief periods throughout the trip where we were travelling more like Backpackers than Edumads. We were moving between locations and staying in hostels rather than our own private rooms. In these periods our studies essentially came to a standstill. I was aware of this from my own attempt to study whilst travelling, but it was good to know that it wasn’t just my self discipline that was to blame!
Coworking spaces aren’t essential for Edumads
Our approach to study spaces has been experimental on this first trip. The initial plan was to use coworking spaces to study from. They have everything we need, fast internet, desk space and are geared towards quiet productivity. However, they’re also very expensive, and we were unsure how necessary they were for Edumads.
Although fast and reliable internet is important, it isn’t quite as important to us as it is to our Digital Nomad cousins, who depend upon it for their livelihood, so the lightening fast speeds, 24 hour access and back up generators that many co-working spaces boast are a bit of an overkill for our needs. Another reason why coworking spaces come at a premium is the community that they bring together. We had our own community ready made, and didn’t quite fit into the one you find in co-working spaces.
In India and Bali, we didn’t have access to a coworking space so instead used local sim cards, and restaurants and cafes to build our own makeshift ones. These were more than adequate for our needs, and saved us a lot of money.
We’ll speak more about this in the future, and continue to experiment with the perfect solution for us. What we’ve learnt is that we can be flexible with this aspect of our programs, meaning we can take trips to more interesting places, and save significant money, by not using co-working spaces.
In the end, what really matters is the people
As those of you that have travelled extensively in the past I’m sure will agree, as important as the places you travel to, if not more so, are the people you travel with. This aspect of a trip can turn it from an interesting experience into a life changing one that fundamentally alters who you are and the path of your life. I don’t think places can really have that kind of affect on you, but people can. It was a true pleasure to spend 12 weeks with the brave souls who were crazy enough to join us on this journey. Thankyou for being so amazing, and most importantly paving the way for an Edumadic revolution!