How to leave the Rat Race and Travel the World with your Family
Are you tired of the weekly grind, commuting to work and school, with no family time? Daniel Prince and his family have ditched the rat race to spend more time together and travel to unknown places. Daniel shared with us his thoughts and experiences during the process.
If you're remotely interested in travel, or worldschooling, listen in for tips and insights from Daniel Prince. These new ideas for family lifestyle enable a different way of thinking about education and life in general.
Daniel Prince, author of Choose Life: Hacks to Travel the World, answered some of our burning questions.
Inspire your family to start worldschooling
The right words, in the right book, at the right time, can change a person’s life completely.
In his book, The Four Hour Work Week, Tim Ferris says “Being able to quit things that don’t work is integral to being a winner”
Daniel Prince read these words when he realized that his life didn’t work. Inspired by what he read, he created a life that does work for him and his family.
Daniel built a successful career in the finance sector, which had taken him and his wife to Singapore, where they were raising their 4 children.
While ostensibly successful in material terms, Daniel was feeling a growing discontent in his life. While he was stuck in the office and on business trips, his wife took care of their children. He knew that there had to be more to life; he wanted a better work life balance, and more time with his family.
A friend recommended Tim Ferris’s book, and it changed Daniel’s life. And the life of his family.
Showing him that a new way of life was possible, Ferris’s book opened his eyes to a new way of thinking, along with a whole new set of fears and questions.
Tim says, “What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do”, and Daniel and his wife certainly experienced fears around making changes to their life.
But they also recognized that they are not alone, and that there are others who have felt those fears, pushed through them, and could help them find answers….
Why they took their kids out of the educational system
Daniel and Clair weren’t comfortable with the rigid, highly pressured focus of the Singapore school system.
They realized that children were being judged purely on their mathematical ability, rather than other skills. more worrying, they saw there was no emphasis on creativity.
The pressure to perform and succeed that they saw being applied to even very small children felt wrong. It was not something they wanted for their children.
Some of their biggest fears while transitioning to worldschooling
Making a big change in life is always scary. Especially when that change impacts your children’s future, or possibly involves financial risk.
When Daniel and Clair began to consider embarking on a world schooling life, they had many sleepless nights and many worries. Their biggest fears centered around the financial implications of their decision… as Daniel puts it “are we gonna go bankrupt and end up living under a bridge?”... and making such a profound change to their children’s education.
Daniel had built up an 18-year career, it seemed risky to throw that away. And were they going to mess up their kids’ future by taking them out of school?
These are the same fears that anyone who is considering embarking on a world schooling life would face. It is natural to worry about these things. As Daniel points out, no matter how we educate our children, we always worry if it is right for them. Even if they are in the mainstream school system.
And, as Daniel wisely points out, is 18 years too long to spend on a career to throw it away… or is it long enough to commit to something to be sure that it isn’t what you want?
The fears that Daniel and Clair faced are shared by all who make big changes in their life. Daniel recommends learning from those who have already done the thing you want to do, rather than listen to the fears of those who have never tried it. He was struck by the realization that his friends and family who had no experience of world schooling told him he shouldn’t, while those who had done it had the opposite view.
By listening to their fears, and learning from others, Daniel and Clair were able to make well-informed decisions, and within 5 months of reading The 4 hour work week, they were on their way!
Talking to your partner about worldschooling
Daniel didn’t have any need to convince his wife of the benefits of worldschooling. She was already unhappy with the education their children were receiving.
Reading the Tim Ferris book woke Daniel up to what she was already considering; that their life wasn’t working and they needed to make a change.
Together, they began to explore alternative ways to educate their children, and Daniel began to reach out to families who were doing what they wanted to do.
They found a wealth of resources online, from blogs, supportive online communities and online learning resources for their kids, and together they started to make their plan.
Daniel challenges the idea that any parent needs to be ‘clever enough to teach their children’, and reminds us that we teach our children all the time.
Some of the resources Daniel mentions in this video include:
Brandon Pearce’s blog post on Tim Ferris’s site
Sir Ken Robinson’s Ted Talk - Do Schools Kill Creativity?
Seth Godin’s Ted Talk - What is School For?
Sal Khan’s Ted Talk - Let’s Use Video to Reinvent Education
Finance hacks to travel and worldschool
One of the big dilemmas facing anyone who wants to embark on a worldschooling life is how to finance it. Daniel and Clair were lucky that they had savings, and an investment property they bought some years ago. They were able to stay in this property when they first started traveling, but when they were ready to move on, they were able to put it to other use.
They discovered a large, and growing, community of people who are active in the sharing economy, who want to share their homes. They listed their property, and were able to ‘swap’ that with other people. This means that they were able to stay in homes all over the world, and build their travel itinerary around where they were able to find accommodation.
You don't need to have your own home to make use of the sharing economy for your travels though. Sites such as helpx, wwoof and workaway matches travelers with people looking for help in exchange for food and accommodation.
Many of these hosts will take families, and offer tremendous opportunities for families to travel and learn together, while requiring very little expense.
Daniel shares what freedom means to him along his worldschool journey
What does freedom mean to you? To Daniel, it means remembering that you have a choice, and you don’t have to follow the script that society provides us with.
The choice to travel, or settle in one place.
To send your children to school, or educate them in an alternative way.
To choose homeschooling, worldschooling, unschooling, hack schooling, cyber schooling… or any other method of educating your kids that works for your family.
To work for an employer in an office, or to work for yourself from your laptop.
To make one choice in one moment, and know that you can make another choice when it feels right.
Arming yourself with the knowledge of what you want and what is possible, so you can look at the choices you make, and know that you are making them for the right reasons.
Being able to take you and your family out of the pigeon holes that society would otherwise put you in…
This is freedom.