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It takes a [nomad] village!

Without question, travel is the best way of education that we can give to our children.

Traveling to unfamiliar environments and exposure to different cultures, lifestyles, languages and experiences encourages adaptability, empathy and diversity in a child and helps mold the global-minded people they grow to become. Research shows that kids, who experience travel in their early childhood overall become smarter and more successful in life.

It's no surprise that more and more families decide to make travel their lifestyle and enjoy the benefits of a location-independent life together with their kids. But family nomadism does not come without challenges!

Living a nomadic family life doesn’t mean being on holiday all the time. Instead it is just as much about completing daily responsibilities and maintaining a family routine while being in motion. This requires a tremendous amount of discipline, organization and motivation to keep the work-play-balance in check and ensure everybody's well being. Kids need to be educated, entertained and socialized while traveling and this can require a vast portion of the parents' time, money and energy.

Surfing nomad dad with child on the beach
Surfing dad with baby on the beach

Social bonds of nomad kids

When traveling with their parents children have the unique opportunity to enjoy valuable family time and together create one-of-a-kind memories that last for life. However, their social needs are often dropping behind. Family and friends are left behind in the home country and kids have been taken out of their social circles and favorite activities in order to start the nomad journey. The problem is, kids are not designed to be alone or with grown-ups all the time. They are pack-animals and being part of a stable social community of peers with set routines, rituals and activities is indispensable for the development of social and interpersonal skills. Kids have a natural need for stability, consistency and steady relationships to help them establish trust and confidence in the world and themselves. Public playgrounds or local kids clubs are great occasions to find play buddies and spend time with other kids, but they are not communities. They are collections of strangers in the same place at the same time, and your kids might make friends if they are outgoing or lucky. However, they are not designed to create the strong bonds and daily contact of a community to belong to.

Getting work done as nomad parents

Having kids in the house is wonderful; it lightens up your day and fills every room with energy, joy and laughter. It means you are present in your kids' life and create shared memories, which is the best way to bond for parents and kids.

However, if you are a remote working parent, having kids around you is also extremely distracting and results in lost productivity. A task of 2 hours focused work can easily become a project for a day, if the baby doesn't nap at the time you need him to nap and the kids will burst into the office for constant interruptions to ask for a snack, to show a picture they finished coloring, to announce a toilet visit, to revolt because you are not available or just for a quick hug. Patience will grow thin, if the only thing you really want is to finish one complete thought and get things done. Especially when both parents are working remotely it is downright impossible to manage the kids-work balance without a rigorous schedule. Most nomad families have had hard-earned experience to learn what schedule and routine works best for their family. Getting up at 5 am, taking shifts with the kids, escaping to a coworking space with child care or hiring external people to help with babysitting or household are just some of the solutions you might come up with. While finding your own family balance is very beneficial in general, most of the solutions are not ideal and only good for a while.

The schooling question

As globally-minded parents you want your kids to grow into future-ready, thriving people and for this a progressive education is the core critical foundation to develop cognitive and social-emotional skills. So what are your options?

When slow-traveling and staying multiple months in one location you might think about registering your kids at local schools. Finding a school that meets your educational expectations and at the same time your desired location and budget requires a lot of research and administrative work and will narrow down your options of places to visit in the world. Registering kids at local schools means adapting to a new environment, learning method, and language. And once your kid successfully settled in it is time to leave new friends and school behind, as you move on traveling. The personal learning path is left and restarted every time you change location.

International schools are by nature more frequented with temporary students and thus the overall culture and language is often one that makes it faster and easier to adjust as a traveler. However, the downsides remain the same,

Homeschooling might sound like the better option for families that want to achieve maximum mobility and flexibility. As parents we naturally teach our kids an enormous amount of things in all different dimensions of life - all day every day - especially when traveling. But homeschooling goes far beyond that. Homeschooling really means to transfer the concept of an academic curriculum and structured learning into your home. This requires a vast responsibility, time and energy from parents. The success of homeschooling depends on a number of factors, including the personality and learning style of your child as well as your relationship to them. Most importantly though the success is driven by the skills and motivation of the teaching parent to make sufficient time and energy available and putting oneself into the teacher's role. Especially when younger siblings are in the house and parents are also working remotely this can be extremely hard. One aspect remains unaddressed when homeschooling: It often ends in social isolation for the kid, while it is clear that kids simply learn better when they have a community to belong to.

Online schooling offers the great opportunity to stay flexible in terms of your travel destinations, outsource the academic role and curriculum to certified teachers and provide your kids with a virtual learning community. Learning online, including the ability to build relationships in the virtual world, is a vital part of future-ready education. As a stand-alone solution it might work well for older kids that have already established fundamental academic skills. For learning beginners though it can be very challenging to start their educational journey in the virtual realm without a physical learning community. For the parents it requires to sit next to them, help out with technology but also supplementing screen time with offline exercises. Unless you find an online school that delivers live classrooms adjusted to different time zones you might find yourself in a situation where your kid has to learn at a very inconvenient time of the day, depending on where you are in the world. Also keep in mind that not all areas of education and development can be addressed online, especially when it comes to human interactions, physical, motor and sensual skills etc.

Finally, there is the unschooling concept, Unschooling suggests that kids are in control of their own learning process and not following a set curriculum. It is a form of learning through life, which follows the child's stage of development and personal curiosity in their own time. The decision to unschool is often born out of the downsides and shortcomings of the other alternatives mentioned above but also from a desire to learn in different, more practical and creative ways while giving attention to the child's interests and individual pace of learning. The problem though is that too much openness in the education process often leads to disorientation, lack of focus and motivation and can be just as counterproductive as too rigid structure. The early years of education are a core critical period to develop efficient learning techniques, self-discipline and resilience. These competencies will help kids become confident and happy life-long learners and succeed in any field or engagement they will choose in life - no matter if they decided to become an artist or astrophysicist.

It takes a village to raise a child!

From the earliest days of humanity community living was a given. Our brains have been programmed to live in close proximity to others to socialize, share resources, exchange ideas and support each other. However, somewhere along the way of our constant busyness, self-fulfillment and moving around different geographies, we have lost the village that we need to raise kids in a nurturing, safe and creative way. A redefinition of connectivity and friendship through social media has also contributed to the "heroic" image of families wandering alone through this world and juggling family life, work and school all by themselves.

As a result, families are missing out on social experiences and much needed support systems. In the end, many parents feel isolated and alone in their struggles, and kids don’t have the opportunity to engage with a group of people and personalities to build lasting relationships. After all, it takes a village raise healthy and happy children!

Making friends as worldschoolers
Jumping nomad kids

Imagine that village being nomadic and traveling along with you!

We at Nomadville offer exactly that: We transfer the concept of the "village" from a brick and mortar location into the world. Nomadville is a tribe of like-minded families, united by their lifestyle and core values. We slow-travel the world together and take our community and travel school around the word. By teaming up location-independent families we create synergies, share resources and satisfy the social appetite of kids and adults.

Nomadville offers a completely new perspective for nomad families and reinvents how travel - work - learn & play are organized in the most satisfying and effective way for the entire family. We empower families to enjoy the freedom of full-time traveling and exploring the world with the comfort of belonging to a stable community.

We add a sense of belonging to your nomad family's journey.

Nomadville offers a unique education concept, where a cutting-edge curriculum meets location-independence. We take the best elements from the world's leading learning practices and build a forward-thinking education system that is driven by holistic well-being, critical thinking, innovation, and growth. We educate the minds and hearts of nomad kids helping them develop into confident world citizens being able to succeed in all of life’s complexities with adaptability, creativity, and emotional balance. Kids grow and learn within the same group of friends and educators, following a consistent learning journey while discovering different countries, cultures, lifestyles, histories and societies.

While changing locations and facing new challenges can be stressful for kids, a stable community gives them a sense of security, comfort and consistency. Knowing what to expect gives children the chance to master change and increase independence and self-esteem. A child finds calmness through certain elements of stability. When children feel this sense of trust and safety they are free to play, explore and learn.

Nomadville follows a breath-taking itinerary, staying about 2 months in one location, which allows for deep, life-changing experiences and cultural immersion. Kids are educated, entertained and socialized around the world - enjoying meaningful learning experiences and strong social bonds at the same time.

If this sounds like the opportunity you and your family were waiting for, then don't miss out and apply today!


Julia C. Lautenbacher, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Head of Education at Nomadville

Nomadville is a slow-moving tribe of nomad families with travel school



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