Around the World to learn about education and upbringing



3 years ago, my girlfriend and I started traveling while working. What was just an idea to try to combine adventure with working on our own companies, quickly became an experiment in living. We wanted to live in different countries, cultures, near the ocean, in the mountains, in the World’s biggest cities, in small villages, in small cabins, and in fancy apartments.

With knowledge and experience from different ways of living, the idea was that we would be able to create the right home for us. To just live as our families or closest peers seemed silly, so we wanted to search wide and far to find the right way for us.

Now, we’re in the happy situation to be expecting our first child. Personally, I’ve been thinking that getting kids was getting closer for the last few years, but with that feeling came some worrying about education and traditional way of bringing up kids. I’ve written a long post about why I don’t want my kids to go (a normal) school, you can read it here.

In short, I think schools are a one-size-fits-all system, build for another time. I think there is a big risk of kids not thriving in schools, I don’t think there is enough focus on important issues (like learning through playing), I think there should be much more self-directed learning and I don’t think schools build the skills we need in the future.

After searching for different ways of doing it, like homeschooling, worldschooling (families traveling and learning through experiences) and schools that do things in a different way, I have found many concepts, people, and small communities online. I have also expressed my views and concern to a lot of people that I admire and learn from and found that quite a lot of some of the same thoughts.

After 3,5 years living 2-90 days in each location, we will return to Denmark in March 2018 for a longer period (minimum 6 months), to be with family before and after the birth. We are very excited about that (we have only lived 10 months in our home country the last 5 years), but we have of course already talked about our first trips, when we are not just two, but three and a small family.

What we want to do, is to travel 3-6 months, as a family, but with a goal too. We want to travel around the world to meet teachers, researchers, parents, and kids who are doing things differently. We want to learn as much as possible and get a wide view of non-traditional education and upbringing. We want to sit down and talk to people, visit schools and see things firsthand, to build and improve our own philosophies.

Here are some of the ideas so far:

I got a lot of ideas from the community called Worldschoolers. If you’re a member of the group, you can find the post with ideas here.

But, unlike what the title of this post says, it doesn’t have to be non-traditional. There is a lot to learn from methods, philosop, ies and traditions created over many years, so learning about cultures way of schooling and upbringing, would be very meaningful to do. I’m sure there is a lot to learn, for example from how tribes and traditional nomads live as communities.

We hope to start this journey in late 2018 or in 2019. I would love to hear your ideas on who to meet, schools to visit, cultures to explore. I plan on posting more about this idea as it develops.

Image credits: John Hardy of The Green School


  • Camilla Butchins

    Hello there Nikolaj
    you’re post was very inspiring and I wonder if you’d be interested in coming to visit us here in Israel! We live in the small desert town of Mitzpe Ramon, on the edge of a large, breathtaking biblical crater, and our children go to the first Forest Kindergarden in Israel, called Gan Keshet (Rainbow) – you can read about it here. or watch a film about us (starring me and Omri ) on TV in Hebrew here to feast your eyes:
    Happy to ellaborate if you wanna – so feel free to chat 🙂
    and Congratulations !

  • Nikolaj Astrup Madsen

    Hi Camilla,

    So sorry for the late reply. I should have know a bit before, I was in Israel in December 2017 🙂

    I would love to visit!!

  • Louise

    Hi! I don’t know where you live when you stay in Denmark, but we are a lot of people who feel the same as you do about schooling. And as a result Den Grønne Friskole was started on Amager, Copenhagen about four years ago. The school is based on different alternative learning theories and views on children as different and with different natures and ways of learning. The school is green (as the name indicates), and it wants to teach the children to be respectfull to nature and the environment. Also the teaching is based on projects instead of the traditional way of teaching through subjects like math, language and sports. It’s all mixed and becomes relevant and the children learn hands-on about how for example you build a model sized house to understand geometry. If you are interested, check out the schools webpage:

  • Nikolaj Astrup Madsen

    Hi Louise,

    Sorry for the late reply. I know a lot of things are happening in Denmark and I’m excited to learn more. Are you involved with the school? Would love to visit!!

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