“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain

The great American writer and humourist Mark Twain knew a thing or two about travel.

Although perhaps best known for his 1885 novel the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain’s travel book, The Innocents Abroad, was the bestselling of his works during his lifetime, and one of the bestselling travel books of all time.

The Innocents Abroad tells the story of Twain’s journey to Europe and the Holy Land—a voyage he called his “Great Pleasure Excursion”—and cemented his belief that travelling to new and exciting places broadens the mind.

Fast forward 150 years and Twain’s words continue to ring true, especially when they’re applied to education.


Educate and challenge yourself with travel

There’s an argument that travel itself is an education: it teaches you about economics, politics, history, geography and sociology by transcending the textbooks and putting you in a different classroom every time you visit a new town, city or country.

It also gives you a new perspective. When you’re away from home in a faraway land, meeting new people from other cultures will give you a fresh take on the way that you perceive the world (hint: your viewpoint is likely very different from the next person).

It can open your eyes to new ways of living; it can reduce your narrowmindedness; more importantly, it can save you from, as Twain put it, vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of your lifetime.

Of course, travel is an undoubtedly powerful educational tool, but it’s not the only way to learn on the road.


Study via distance learning

Studying while travelling can be an overwhelming thought.

When you’re trying to get to grips with airports, dodgy hotels and a dodgier stomach, burying your head in a textbook seems like the most unnatural thing in the world—but distance learning is a different proposition.

Using a provider like Anglia Ruskin Distance Learning means you can still travel to a new country, but you’ll gain your degree over the web, allowing you to study where and when it suits you. In an Angolan airport? Study online! In a Hawaiian hotel? Study online! In a Taiwanese taxi? Study online!

You get the picture.

And whilst you may not get quite the same educational experience as you would studying at a bricks and mortar university, the upshot of a degree (combined with travel), regardless of where it’s obtained, will open many new doors in later life.

What do you think?

Have you managed to cram in a degree or further education travelling to a new country? What are the biggest challenges? Please share your experiences with our readers in the comments section—we’d love to hear from you.