One of the perks of traveling as a backpacker, journalist and adventurer is all the different places you get to see, different cultures lifestyles you experience and the incredible people you get to meet. Whether it is embarking on boat trips across the Greek Islands, taking a train across Egypt, climbing the Himalayas in Nepal, or visiting medieval villages in Italy or Spain, traveling can be a novel and exhilarating experience.
However, one of the hitches to traveling continuously is that be are often are stuck in a place you don’t want to be! Be it a ancient bus across Africa, an airport for more hours than you car to count, or even a shitty hostel with no WIFI, days go by and time seems to pass faster than ever. One question I used to ask and struggle with, especially when studying for my Masters degree while travelling in Kenya was “How can I successfully study, while traveling?”
Well, I think we have an answer to that now. One of the fun things about technology is that you can convert travel time to study time, without any loss in quality. With Wi-Fi on board many cruises, buses and even planes (thanks Emirates!) you can simply hop on the internet, and decide you would like to write essay online or do some research for your thesis. The bane of my existence!!
From my experience doing my masters and travelling at the same time, here are some tips on how to make study possible, while traveling the world. Internet is a must, so get that sorted first!
How to Study While Traveling
Find a decent work space in each city
The novelty of traveling is going on adventure, sightseeing and making new friends while on a trip. However, if you would like to actually get down and do some studying, you’re going to have to find a place with few distractions and preferably no window to let you gaze out and see what you’re missing! Even now as a digital nomad I always need to get work done wheile others are having fun so I either lock myself in y hotel room or find a decent co-working space.
You obviously don’t want to miss out on all the top sights and events in the city you’re visiting just because you have study or work to do, so plan what are the must-see places and things to do and work out time to see them, maybe in the morning or evening, and study for the rest of the day. There needs to be balance!
Block out study time
It’s really important to block out study and work time each day when travelling. other wise it all builds up and , if you’re like me, you’ll become totally overwhelmed!
Figure out blocks of time when you work best, be it the morning or evening, and make out a schedule each week around this. Write a list of things that need to get done during the period and stick to it as best as possible.
Make use of waiting times
Your flight is delayed, what do you do? Stuck in the airport? Stuck on a bus? Try to bring your Kindle, iPad or even your phone with you ate all times and make sure its charged. You never know when an extra few hours will pop up that you can use to work or study. Some of my best articles have been written in airports or on long bus rides when I’m in a pensive mood!
Get a Kindle
I know there are other gadgets that do the job just as well, however for me, a Kindle has got to be one of the most revolutionary gadget for the incessant traveler. While my smartphone is glued to my hand, the battery is always dying and sometimes looking at the scree gives me a headache.
The advantages to opting for a Kindle are these:
- Longer lasting hours.
- Comfort in reading for a lengthy duration
- The ability to buy books, wherever, whenever, without having to lug lots of physical books around.
The Kindle device is truly priceless for the would-be traveler, or the veteran traveler. You have access endless of books for studying, work and pleasure and it keeps me entertained for hours.
- Bookmark regularly visited pages
Getting familiar with using bookmarks to save web pages will save you a lot of time and will help if the internet is poor, which is often the case. I bookmark interesting articles, important websites and anything I need access to on a regular basis. Not enough people make us of this tool!
- Be sure to have downtime
Seriously, what would be the fun of going around, if you don’t enjoy the trip? It would be like “sitting at home” but . So, do make sure to remember to enjoy the trip all the way. As you blog about your trips and visits to different places, you could also, maybe, start a blog or a group on Facebook, to discuss with others with similar ideas, and keep you on track with your study goals.