There are many strategies for obtaining the resources for traveling the world: perpetually working abroad, working a lot at home and then traveling sans work, making a lot of money and then retiring into a life of travel, doing a bunch of short trips on vacation from work, working terms abroad and then traveling in between work commitments, choosing wealthy parents, volunteering . . . .
But one of the best ways I found to acquire the resources to travel is to study. I went to Global College, formally the Friends World Program, I was able to turn scholarships, grants, and financial aid into travel. I would either study at one of their centers abroad or study independently on my own wherever I happened to be.
This was a good strategy, I would use it to travel whenever I went broke and did not feel like working or whenever I would pick up an obsessive interest in a subject or place. I ended up learning a lot, and taking out a B.A. degree in anthropology all while traveling.
It is common to study abroad, but I have met few other people outside of my university who have regularly used study to travel as a lifestyle. Recently, I received a travel question from a reader who is proposing to take this strategy to another level:
She is living off of financial aid and traveling wherever she wishes by going to an accredited online university. She wrote the following:
I will be admitted to a University approved study abroad program in Italy for 2 months (June/July). My home university (Seattle, WA) offers a degree that is completely online. Recap, this is me! –> I do my business degree online with exception of the upcoming two months of study abroad in Italy.
Do you see where this is going? I TOTALLY want to stay in Italy after my language emersion courses are finished. If I love it there (as much as I think I will), I want to stay the duration of my online degree until May 2012. I recieve student loans to pay my living expenses and have around $1000/month.
This is an amazing way to travel the world. Online universities are often viewed with the same status as brick and mortar ones by the financial aid institutes. If you are poor enough, work hard to get the scholarships, and go to a cheap school, it is possible to receive enough money to pay for your education and living expenses in full — And if you spend this time traveling in a cheap country, it will pay for your travel as well.
Travel is the perpetual practice of connecting the dots — both from place to place across a map and in acquiring resources to get across the map. Without a good strategy to obtain what you need to survive, the traveling road can be harsh. With a little leg work, it is possible to travel the world — at least temporary — by going to online college. This is a good travel strategy.