Author: Sean Keener

MBA vs. RTW – Questioning Traditional Education

If you had to choose one of the following 2 educational paths, which one do you think would provide the most value to you and the world?

1. Traditional education (Classrooms, High School, College/University, standardized tests, grades etc.)


2. A long-term indie travel experience (2+ years traveling, learning, volunteering and experiencing the world – you could still learn on your own via online educational courses like Treehouse and Khan Academy)

The world is in a constant state of change, but most traditional attitudes about education are not.

See Seth Godin’s free e-book on the broken educational system that describes how our current system was engineered to produce factory workers instead of creative thinkers who have the broad understanding and experience of the world our Indie Travel Manifesto upholds.

The solution?

Many professionals, entrepreneurs, and regular folks are taking themselves or their families on the road for extended travel, taking the classroom with them and educating themselves and their children in a non-traditional manner.

Taking kids out of school and educating them on the road is a growing trend as the world becomes more connected. It’s now realistic for regular, middle-class families to travel for long periods of time, working remotely and educating their children on the road.

This is not the Jetsons – long-term family travel is actually happening in increasingly greater numbers as the world and online connections become more accessible.

Learning at Machu Picchu
BootsnAll is and has been a huge proponent of using long-term travel as education since 1998, whether that means summer trips to Central America to learn Spanish, gap year trips after high school or college, pulling the kids out of school for a year-long RTW trip, or selling everything for an open-ended adventure around the world.

The trick of it all is that travel gets you with sights, sounds, and food, but it’s like a game. It is FUN, and you learn in a deep, meaningful way.

Boots-on-the-ground learning is perhaps the best way to get a “real education.”

With the average cost of college rising to around $25K PER YEAR (USD) now, is there a better way to invest in yourself and your kids (if you got ’em of course) than long-term indie travel?

A year-long RTW can be comfortably executed for under $20K/year (USD).

Is this a better value than the first few years of university, spent sitting in large lecture halls, memorizing stuff you can learn via Kahn Academy or on your own?

I am asking that question myself. If I could do it again, would I still go to university? I went 20 years ago when it was cheaper, but I’m not sure anymore, as tuition costs climb to 100K+.

We’ve dug into this topic many times in the past few years; here are a few feature articles that discuss the value proposition:

Will you share your answer to the following questions? Tweet us or let us know on our Facebook page.

  • Do you think traditional education is the best educational option today? Why/why not?
  • If you had to choose between traditional education and a long-term independent travel experience – which one would you choose for yourself and your kids?
  • What hesitations do you have around international family travel?

Photo credits: tinou bao, hxdbzsy