There are a number of life lessons you learn while travelling like how to budget and how to be happy and comfortable in your own company. Your travels may also teach you more philosophical lessons such as “sometimes you need to get lost to find yourself”, or “the grass is greenest where you water it”. But what if you want to learn something practical like coding, graphic design or playing the guitar? Of course, you could look for a class locally, but if you're in a country where they speak a different language, you may feel hesitant. Besides, if you're working with a limited budget, a physical class may be a luxury you cannot afford.
But don't worry, it's all good. We live in the digital age which means you can learn pretty much anything you want, from the comfort of your smartphone!
Here are 10 free resources that will help you to continue learning no matter where you are:
ALISON is a global online learning community where you can access free courses to help you to develop essential certified workplace skills. Every online course is standards-based and certified. Some popular free courses include psychology, project management, human resources and business management.
Envato Tuts+ offers free video courses and written tutorials to help you learn creative skills in design, illustration, photography, video, web design and more. The website offers both free and paid courses so remember to use the filter at the top of the course search to see only the free courses.
MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course. A MOOC is an online course, often similar to university courses that can be accessed for free online. MOOCs enable you to take courses delivered by top universities such as Harvard and Oxford. MOOC List is a directory of MOOCs being offered by across the globe and you can search for courses by topic, category, university, countries and language.
Codecademy offers courses on a number of coding languages absolutely free. Courses offered include HTML, CSS, PHP and Ruby as well as courses on how to make a website.
Highbrow’s aim is “to make you just a little more knowledgeable than you were the day before” by offering free 10-day courses, divided into 5-minute lessons and delivered to you by email each day. Courses cover a range of topics including art, history, languages, psychology, science, technology and more.
Reedsy is identical to Highbrow (mentioned above) except the courses are specific to writing and publishing. Again, they offer free 10-day courses (taught by experienced authors and publishing professionals), divided into 5-minute lessons and delivered to you by email each day.
Mind Tools can help you to learn new career skills such as communication, team management, problem solving and decision making, for free online. You’re also able to test what you’ve learnt and track your progress via a learning plan.
eHow is an online directory with millions of articles and videos offering easy to follow step-by-step instructions on how to do literally anything from turning your old leather jacket into a bag to building a salad garden on your balcony.
No matter how advance technology gets, I don’t think we’ll ever stop turning to books as a source of knowledge. Project Gutenberg gives you access to over 50,000 ebooks, most previously published by “bona fide” publishers. The website also has links that give you access to even more ebooks and resources.
TED Talks, YouTube and Podcasts
We’re lucky enough to be living at a time when we have access to free knowledge from the world’s leaders and inspired thinkers. TED talks enable you to learn from experts and are a fantastic resource for continuing your learning in an informal way.
YouTube and podcasts give you access to information, talks and tutorials on any and everything you can imagine. Informal, self-directed learning can sometimes become overwhelming and chaotic, especially while travelling. It can also be a challenge to track your progress if you’re using multiple resources and following your own freestyle curriculum.
However, I recently discovered Degreed which for someone like me who needs everything to be organised, is a gift from the Gods. Degreed is an online platform that enables you to track and measure all of your learning in one place, whether you're learning in a traditional or self-directed way. It helps you to find and track books, articles, courses, TED talks and more and you can use it whether your studies are academic, professional or informal. And it’s absolutely free to use!
As you can see, while being a digital nomad you can still continue to develop your skills no matter how small your budget or where in the world you happen to be.
Leanne Lindsey is a freelance blogger, qualified careers adviser and certified life coach who loves inspiring and motivating women to live happy, healthy lives they love by sharing simple and practical insights on self-care and wellbeing. She is a native Londoner who is currently trying out life the beautiful island of Tenerife. You can connect with her in The Self-Love & Wellness Lounge, at her website www.leannelindsey.co.uk and on IG @leanne__lindsey.