Opportunity, historically, used to be almost exclusively local. Unless you were affluent or an adventurer, there was what you could walk to and that was about it in terms of life experience.
Revolutions in mobility and communications have practically disintegrated the longstanding geographical and cultural barriers separating humanity. This has enabled people to not only travel to faraway places but also stay in touch with loved ones back home. It also gives us the ability to exchange thoughts and ideas with people we may never meet but whom we connect with on a personal, professional, or academic level.
Combining 21st century communication with modern mobility equals the chance to experience strange and exciting parts of the world without losing progress in personal affairs. Students and professionals alike are increasingly using the Internet to stay learning and working regardless of geographical location.
The amount of information available on the Web is mind boggling. Even more so when you factor in the amount of knowledge being almost seamlessly passed directly from one human to another. For example it’s not uncommon for aspiring musicians to seek a guitar teacher or piano instructor providing their lessons online. Travelers can take advantage of these Web-only opportunities while moving about from one place to another and still receive familiar tutelage on a weekly basis.
This of course applies to traditional academia as well. More and more of the world’s leading universities are enabling students to enroll in online coursework. You can be exploring Crete during the day and bone up on your knowledge of classical antiquity at night. Or archaeology, economics, philosophy, or physics. The options for online learning are growing every year.
There’s also growing opportunity in terms of employment regardless of geography. Millions of people work strictly in virtual environments when it’s all said and done. These individuals can theoretically conduct their day-to-day functions wherever there’s an Internet connection. It’s simply a matter of whether or not their company policy allows for working remotely. Sometimes there are practical factors for keeping a workforce united geographically. When there aren’t, employees are resenting the need to herd into the office day in and day out.
Companies are getting the message: employees are happier and more productive when they’re given the chance to work where they want. This is allowing would-be world travelers a way to put their dreams into action on an extended basis. Is a two-week trip through Europe going to satisfy decades of desire to see the continent? People need more time than that to truly appreciate new cultures. Being able to work while you see the world allows us that seemingly frivolous opportunity.
The ability to fly halfway around the world in under 15 hours and web chat with grandma 6,000 miles away before leaving the airport is a modern marvel most people don’t appreciate let alone take advantage of in life. If you have the means and the access to explore the world – do it – and don’t hesitate to stay in touch with home base along the way.