Our Honest Experience with Boundless Life (Boundless Life Review)

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This post was not paid for by Boundless and contrary to our standard disclaimer above, contains zero affiliate links. We paid full price and this is our honest Boundless Life review.

A couple of years ago I texted Alyssa a link to a company I’d found called Boundless Life. Some friends of ours had recently gone through their inaugural cohort and the concept seemed interesting. At the time, Boundless Life had two locations in Greece and Portugal. In each spot, you could enroll your kids in a school, get access to a coworking space, and be surrounded by like-minded families.

It kind of sounds like the dream, right?

As I looked at Instagram photos and reels of people sipping wine in exotic places (while their kids were safe & happy in school), I couldn’t help but be jealous.

“I think we should try this when Eli is old enough,” I told Alyssa. He was only a few months old at the time.

We’d always dreamed about the idea of a year abroad with the kids, but the logistics felt daunting. Where would we stay? What about visas? Would the kids be able to make friends? How would we find childcare? Boundless Life seemed to solve these problems.

Since Eli was a baby, we put it on the back burner. However, the seed was planted.

Over the next year, we followed along with Boundless Life updates. We followed families on Instagram who shared their daily experiences. With each post, we got more excited. They announced new locations like Italy and Bali in the meantime.

Finally, last spring, I pulled the trigger and set up a call with their sales team.

On a Zoom call with a Boundless Life employee—a mom with kids in the program—we immediately connected. She told us about their experiences raising kids abroad and how impactful the program had been for them. We told her about our adventures with the kids across Europe, Japan, and New Zealand and how we missed community while we traveled.

We got off the call and knew we had to do this. We signed up immediately and put down a hefty ($5,000+) deposit to secure our space.

We would join their Portugal cohort in the fall 2023 semester.

Side note: We decided on Portugal because it was their first and most established location. Other locations had been spun up more recently, so we liked the idea of dropping into a place that should have more routine, processes established, etc. It’s what all the Boundless crew recommended to us Whether or not this was true was TBD.

Why am I writing this article?

I haven’t seen a long-form Boundless Life review (outside of Instagram). My goal isn’t to promote the company or put them on blast, but to share our honest experience with enrolling our kids in Boundless Life. The real stuff, not the Instagram highlight reel.

I’ll share what we paid for the program, what we liked about it, and what we didn’t like. I’ll also share my thoughts on whether I’d recommend it to others or whether or not we would do it again.

And last thing to note, I am not an affiliate for Boundless Life nor were we comped in any way for the program. We paid full price. This is just a Boundles Life review from a family who has gone through the program.

What is Boundless Life?

Boundless Life is a venture-backed startup focused on providing world schooling experiences for families. They currently have locations in Italy, Greece, Portugal, and Bali (currently expanding to Montenegro). They have three-month cohorts in the winter, spring and fall and shorter (4-week) summer cohorts.

In exchange for the cohort fees, you receive a family-friendly apartment, Montessori-style school program, coworking space, and community activities for families.

Boundless Life was catered towards digital nomad families as a way to travel long-term with kids (I say was because they’ve changed up some of their marketing and our experience was mixed on whether “digital nomad” most accurately describes the target customer).

What I Liked About Our Boundless Life Experience

We will start with the good. 🙂

The ability to travel long-term with kids.

Over the past two years, we’ve traveled to over 12 countries with our kids (2,4). We’ve camped in rural Japan, hauled them on a long-distance flight from New Zealand to the US, and driven an RV all over Europe.

We’ve created amazing memories together, but only on short-term trips. We would travel for a month or two and then go back to our “normal life” in Colorado. The kids would be in daycare where they had friends and we’d work during our time stateside. After doing this for a couple of months, we would get restless and plan another trip.

This life was amazing, but we wanted to see if we could create a more sustainable way to travel long-term with kids. This way, we could create a more blended solution. Some travel, work, and life all mixed together.

For us, long-term travel would have a few components:

  • The ability for Alyssa and I to work 20-30 hours per week
  • Kids are in a childcare we feel comfortable with
  • A sense of community for the kids and us

Enrolling in Boundless accomplished these goals for us.

Not only were we able to work while traveling, but the kids were well taken care of in the Boundless school. The kids and us both made amazing new friends (some whom we’ve met up with since leaving Boundless already) all while experiencing a new place.

Two kids in front of Boundless Life school in Portugal
Excited for their first day of school!

We’ve only traveled in Europe since Ellie was born. Walking around our town or training into Lisbon for the day as a couple was such a luxurious feeling. We could explore just the two of us while our kids were safe in school.

The Boundless Apartment

With each location, Boundless provides fully kitted-out apartments for families. This means you’ll have plenty of kid-friendly plates, cups, and bowls. Plus, the apartment feels very much catered to families.

Sometimes we book an Airbnb that says it is family friendly but we are immediately met with a giant china cabinet. Boundless Life does a great job of making these spaces feel like home for families.

(Note: Boundless does not own these apartments. They have secured long-term leases with building owners and then rent them directly to Boundless families.)

With each Boundless location, you will be able to walk to the education center and coworking space (the only exception to this from my understanding is in Bali where families are taking a car or scooter).

Our apartment was a 7-minute walk to the education center and a 15 minute walk to the hub.

At first Ellie didn’t love the walks to school, but once she realized we got to walk next to friends that all changed.

The actual space itself was updated, modern, and very nice. Best of all, we were right underneath our friends Brooke and Tyler who had kids the same age as ours. Being so close to friends meant spontaneous hangouts, leaving snacks on each other’s doorsteps, and tossing up and down supplies for each other. We loved this (and so did the kids).

Our unit was a 2 bedroom, but it’s possible to book anything from a one-bedroom to a three-bedroom with Boundless.

When you’re on the Boundless website, you’ll notice they have standard spaces and then something called “home plus”. Effectively, these are spaces that Boundless has determined are nicer and cost a little more. With a home plus, you might receive a bigger balcony, a yard, or something extra with your space.

What we loved most about our Boundless lodging was the weekly house cleaning.

Not a luxury we are typically accustomed to, but quickly embraced. House cleaning days were like Easter and Christmas morning all rolled into one. No dirty dishes and fresh sheets and we didn’t have to lift a finger? Yes, please (I’m being over dramatic but it truly was great! We miss it).

If you sign up for Boundless Home Plus, you will get twice-a-week house cleaning versus only once.

You don’t have to stay in a Boundless apartment, but most people do. (A few people who were in Portugal longer term did have their own apartments.) When I say we loved our apartment, I mean we loved it. It was beautiful, modern, recently remodeled, and had everything we needed it.

The Daily Walks to School

Of all the things I enjoyed about Boundless, I think the walks to school were one of my favorites. Each morning the kids would go out the door and immediately see their friends. They would be so excited to walk next to them or hold hands. Not to mention, there is a large castle at the top of that mountain that we could see as soon as we stepped out of our door every morning.

This type of experience was the complete opposite of how we were accustomed to dropping the kids off at school. Previously, we would drive them for 10 minutes, drop them off at a door, and say goodbye. It would be rare for us to see other parents, let alone see them long enough to engage in a conversation with them.

With Boundless, we walked with other families every day. We would congregate after and talk about our plans for the day. Sometimes we’d spontaneously go get coffee or a meal.

This is the type of community experience we had hoped for with Boundless. The ability to spend our days with other people in a similar stage of life.

The Community

A big reason we wanted to do Boundless was to make friends with other families who had similar values.

For nearly five years, we would host a conference for RV Entrepreneurs. We’d spend an entire month camped next to other nomads & entrepreneurs. We’d find ourselves going on random hikes or grabbing coffee with strangers. It was an accelerator for making friends with like-minded people.

Our hope was for Boundless to be similar and it was.

Every day there were opportunities to connect and hang with new friends.

On Wednesdays, we would have pizza parties at one of the houses while the kids played in the yard. On Fridays, a group of us played Padel (a racquet game I fell in love with and dearly miss).

One of my favorite memories was going to a neighbor’s house for dinner. They’d prepared dough for the kids to make pizzas and we spent the evening laughing and having a great time. To have these types of community experiences while in a new country was magic.

Making pizza with new friends.

The Hikes

Technically this should fall under the community section, but I’m making it its own thing. Every other Thursday Boundless coordinates a hike with team members, weather permitting. They were a huge highlight for both Alyssa and me.

I decided to skip one of the hikes along the coast and then everyone came back and said it was the best hike of their lives (I did not miss any more hikes after that).

The Boundless Teaching Staff

I’ve never felt great about dropping Ellie off at daycare. Back in Colorado, it felt like her teachers were there for a paycheck. Turnover was constantly happening in her school with staff. It was a job for young people, not something they genuinely wanted to do and the level of care reflected that. It was a nagging feeling for me every day.

With Boundless, I didn’t have this feeling at all.

Instead of someone showing up for a paycheck, their teachers were in it because they loved what they did. Teaching was purposeful for them.

Throughout our Boundless cohort, we experienced some interpersonal problems with kids (typical stuff you’d encounter at most schools), but I felt great about the Boundless teaching staff.

The Location

Sintra was walkable and very hilly, but a beautiful setting. It has a lot of history and beautiful palaces.

Before arriving I didn’t realize just how much of a tourist hub it was. Every day we’d watched hundreds of people get off the train to explore the castles and palaces. The center of town was bustling for almost our entire cohort (it did calm down in November a little bit, but we were surprised at what a major destination it was). It’s one of the most popular day trips from Lisbon.

Family eating pastries in Sintra, Portugal with backdrops of historic and colorful buildings
Eating some pastel de natas in downtown Sintra

While the town of Sintra was pretty, what we loved most was access to the coast. Specifically, we fell in love with a town called Cascais. It was a 20-minute Uber ride for us each way, but worth it.

Family with two young kids with picturesque light house and ocean in background in Europe
Family pic in Cascais

Cascais is an expat hub with a coastline that looks just like the Pacific Coast Highway (minus all the traffic). It has a lot of great restaurants and one of the best parks/playgrounds we’ve ever been to.

White capped ocean water circulating underneath a cave-like opening and gap along a rocky coastline
Cascais Coast Line

Toward the end of our trip, both Alyssa and I mentioned how we could easily see ourselves long-term in a place like Cascais. If Portugal hadn’t changed their golden visa requirements while we were there, we would’ve considered buying a house there.

The Boundless Leadership Team

One cofounder and two team leaders came to visit Sintra during our cohort. They met with many of the individual families to hear feedback and ideas on improving the program.

To me, this spoke volumes about the Boundless team and their willingness to continuously get better and improve the vision for the business.

What I Didn’t Like About Our Boundless Life Experience

Before diving into this part, I want to share a disclaimer.

Each of these items I share below was first brought to the Boundless team while we were on-site in Sintra. They were all addressed and brought to resolution during our time there.

Further, since our cohort ended, we’ve seen Boundless work to implement this feedback across all locations.

My approach when giving critical feedback is always to go first to the source and then, if necessary, share publicly (via a review like this one). I intend to not knock Boundless down a peg but share my genuine experience with the program. I feel it’s important to share the good and the bad for all families who might be considering a large investment of time and money to participate in Boundless.

The Wifi at Coworking Space

Boundless Life offers a few core services (not all listed here): apartments for families, an education center, community activities, and a coworking space.

A critical component of a coworking space is usable internet.

For the first several weeks of our cohort, the internet was spotty and intermittent at the coworking space. Most days it was completely unusable.

Several days during this period I watched other cohort members pack up to leave because they couldn’t work. We skipped out on hiking up to the coworking space for events like yoga because we couldn’t stick around after and work in the space and we knew it would take 30 minutes just to hike there and back.

This was confusing because we were not the first cohort in Sintra. I would have thought this would have been prioritized and figured out in a previous cohort.

I later learned they have cycled through various internet companies trying to get better wifi into the space to no avail.

The coworking space itself is a beautiful building. However, it’s older and the walls are dense. Local providers haven’t been able to deliver fast internet consistently.

Some days the internet worked okay, others it did not (it often depended on how many people were there). During our cohort, Boundless changed providers and this did improve the internet. However, because of the initial experience, most people ended up working out of their apartments.

This was a bummer because part of the experience was getting to work alongside other families. On a typical day, there would be 2-4 people using the space.

I spoke with a family in the Pistoia cohort (Italy) who said they’d had similar issues with the coworking space. He said on days when there were a bunch of people there, the internet was incredibly slow. I don’t know about the Greece or Bali location.

Our wifi at home was great and we never had any issues with it, so we often worked from home—me from the desk and Alyssa from the kitchen table. On days when the weather was good, we’d set up outside. We had no problem working from Sintra, just some trouble working from the actual coworking space.

The Kids’ Extracurricular Activities

Before arrival, Boundless sources a handful of extracurricular activities for the kids. If there are enough students who sign up, they coordinate the activity. Some of these included surfing, which was a big hit within our cohort for adults and kids alike.

Another activity being offered was soccer.

We’ve always felt bad that our traveling meant missing out on group sports for Ellie. She’s so energetic we knew she would love soccer. We had no idea that Boundless coordinated all of these extracurriculars, but glad they did.

Excited to try something new, we signed up Ellie. Unfortunately, she was sick during the first day so she missed this practice. We noticed several students dropped out after the initial practice, unimpressed or not enjoying the first class. But we opted to send her anyway.

Since Ellie had never played before, I was excited to go and watch her learn. Growing up, my dad went to every one of my practices and games. It was always a fun bonding experience.

However, Boundless discouraged parents from attending. They didn’t explicitly say not to go, but it was more like parents shouldn’t go with a look that said “why would you want to go, you helicopter parent!” A few parents were still going, not eager to let their three and four-year-olds travel by car to a sports arena they’d never seen with coaches they’d never met in a foreign country.

I also learned beforehand that a Boundless staff member or teacher was not riding with them to practice. Boundless had contracted with a local transportation company to drive the kids (10-15 mins away).

This didn’t sit well with us or other parents.

A random person whom none of these kids know is going to load them up in a minivan and drive them somewhere they’ve never been. Even though this was a vetted and preferred travel partner, it made us feel uneasy.

Nerves aside, we learned our friend would be taking an Uber to the field to watch the practice, so we opted to trust Boundless’ process and let Ellie attend anyway.

After all, we were here in Portugal because we trusted Boundless and wanted to push our comfort zone. I didn’t want to be an overbearing parent.

Then I got these texts from our friend.

“It feels very uncomfortable.”

“They just walked into two new coaches who didn’t introduce themselves and hardly speak any English and the kids have no idea what they should be doing.” (The coaching staff changed from the first class to the second, so these coaches were new to every kid.)

“Ellie just needed to go to the potty and I’m so glad I was here to help.”

“It’s absurd that no one from Boundless is here.”

“Ellie is not comfortable participating yet. I am trying to help her at least play with the ball. The coaches are not engaging her at all. Zero percent. No attempt to help her join them.”

Then we received this picture.

Ellie is at one end of the field lying on a ball. The coaches on the other.

I immediately felt angry, frustrated, and sad.

Sad for Ellie.

Frustrated at myself for letting this situation happen.

Angry at Boundless for dropping the ball.

I immediately hopped in an Uber and went to the soccer field. I showed up as it ended. Then I rode back with the transportation company and one other parent who attended. In the car, she messaged me:

“I think it will be better to find a coach ourselves and bring him to our yard.”

Later on, I learned that when Ellie needed to go into the bathroom, our friend took her and none of the lights worked. She used her phone as a flashlight. If she hadn’t been there with Ellie, would two strange men whom she just met and couldn’t communicate with her have taken her into a dark bathroom?

The whole situation felt frustrating.

I think what hurt most of all in this scenario is the loss of trust we felt with Boundless. We are here in a foreign country and trusted them with the most important humans in our lives.

The story in my head is that they didn’t do a very good job vetting a soccer club partner nor did they think through the experience overall. In what world would it make sense for three and four-year-olds to ride in a van with a stranger, no parents, and no Boundless staff members?

On our ride back to the education center after the failed soccer practice, a three-year-old asked me to open her snack because she couldn’t do it by herself. This is just one of many reasons why there should have been a staff member with the kids.

After this, every remaining kid dropped out of soccer. Boundless apologized and tried to source another soccer partner, but not enough students signed up after the initial experience.

To be fair, the business Boundless Life has chosen has a LOT of logistics. Balls will inevitably get dropped. But when the ball is your child that is not acceptable.

I will reiterate that after this experience we sat down with the Boundless Operations manager and went through this experience in detail. Apologies were given and steps were taken to prevent this situation from happening again. It is my understanding that moving forward Boundless staff members will be attending these activities with the kids.

Communication with Local Boundless Team Members

There were several situations where a communication ball was dropped, either with us or other families. Without giving all the details, we saw this a little too often.

Families had to switch apartments at a moment’s notice. A family went without electricity and internet (they didn’t have a fridge for a week!). In another situation, a family had to move out and book (more expensive) lodging in a nearby town because of a black mold issue in their space.

In each of these situations, the circumstances weren’t the primary issue (though mold is bad). In my opinion, it was a lack of ownership and responsiveness to address them in a timely and helpful manner. The story in my head is that there wasn’t a leader stepping in to really own these problems and bring them to resolutions quickly and effectively. We saw it happen again and again.

We were told the team lead in Sintra left before our cohort started. Someone was promoted to fill that spot and she quit (or was fired, we don’t know) before the end of our cohort. I believe some of the turnover likely led to these communication gaps (again: this is just my perspective as a customer and Boundless family).

Boundless boasts their “concierge” service, but this was something I don’t believe they lived up to. We lucked out with only minor problems that we needed to address like the peephole in our door broke and fell out. It took about three weeks and some gentle reminders to get it replaced, meanwhile, there was an open hole in our door. We were told it took so long because the person who handles maintenance was out of town. I wonder if this was also why someone didn’t have electricity for a week?

For us, this was a little thing, but perhaps indicative of how all communication and incidents were handled.

The Lack of Community Facilitation

*This point is more subjective and more so something I think can be improved (versus something that went wrong). 

Boundless coordinates a lot of community events— potlucks, happy hours, etc. These are a great way to connect with other families.

However, it felt like a missed opportunity for the local Boundless team to engage more with the community. Typically, a Boundless team member would open the coworking space for the event and we wouldn’t see them again. It was like, “Here’s the key, enjoy your meetup.”

For these events there was often no introduction or context given for the night, it was just a space provided for the families to do their thing. Some games were sitting on a table and a TV turned on to YouTube if people wanted to sing along to videos. (But no actual karaoke machine, much to everyone’s disappointment since karaoke was listed as the activity for the evening.)

I think Boundless team members could have done a better job of engaging with these events. Kicking off the night with a few words, spending time with the cohort, etc. We left the cohort feeling like we didn’t really know or often see the team running the show.

Note: Boundless did a great job at their opening and ending “connections” times. These were times when the Boundless team members actively participated and engaged with our cohort. I believe some of the in-between events could have been better facilitated though.

What Surprised Me About Boundless Life

I thought there would be more digital nomad families (aka families who were running a remote business and/or job while traveling).

Many of the families in our cohort were taking a leave of absence from work, had sold a company, or were on an early retirement with their kids. Of the ones who were working, many had not traveled before outside the US. Even fewer were the families who had been traveling and working remotely.

This isn’t a good or a bad thing, it just surprised me.

On the Boundless Life website, they have communication around “Who is a Boundless Life family” and in this language, they use the term digital nomad. This made me think we’d be surrounded by other working & traveling families. This wasn’t really the case (and will differ with each cohort I’m sure).

Many families were using this time as an extended vacation while the kids were in school. Not a knock on anyone (we skipped out on work several days and hit up the beach or a hike), but it was just different than what we’d thought it would be.

We still made a lot of great friends, regardless.

How Much Does Boundless Life Cost?

We paid $7,112.29 per month for our three-month cohort. In total, it was $21,336.87 for the Boundless program. The pricing is changed often and will depend on whether or not you sign up for multiple cohorts (where you’ll receive a discount). They also charge prices in Euros, so you’re subject to the exchange rate at the time you pay.

What we paid included our two-bedroom apartment (with weekly housekeeping), coworking space, and education center for both kids. This price did not include the extracurricular activities or extra Boundless coordinated trips, which incurred additional fees.

At first (and second) glance, Boundless seems pricey, because it is. However, when I added up our monthly expenses to live in Colorado I realized it wasn’t too far from what we were spending in the US.

In the US, I calculated we spend roughly $5,000 for some of our “core life costs”, such as our mortgage ($2,000), childcare ($2,000), car/insurance/gas, etc ($1,000).

We calculated that we’d be spending a couple thousand more per month, but it wasn’t as bad when compared next to each other. We wouldn’t be paying for gas, mortgage, or utilities while in Portugal because we rented out our house.

Plus, I later realized that the costs of groceries and eating out in Portugal are roughly half of that in the US (or less).

In general, I feel the value of what Boundless provided for the cost was fair.

Would I Do Boundless Again?

This is a question friends and fellow cohort members have asked us.

The answer, despite some of the missed expectations and setbacks, is yes.

Here are a few reasons why:

#1 It’s the only real turn-key solution for digital nomad families (at least for now). 

If Alyssa and I want to travel to a new country and stay for a few months, we have a lot of logistics to figure out. Where should we stay? How can we find a family-friendly accommodation? Could we invite friends along for the adventure so we aren’t alone? How could we get some work done while also still exploring the new place?

Boundless takes care of all of this. Effectively, being a logistics provider is the primary service that Boundless provides. They vet an area & then figure out everything so you don’t have to.

Could we just travel without the schooling component and coworking and community? Sure. And we do. While I write this we just wrapped up a month near Austin and plan to spend several more months traveling this year.

However, each new destination we plan comes with a lot of things to figure out (what neighborhood to stay, childcare, work, etc).

Boundless solves a pain point for long-term family travelers. It creates a viable option to build community AND work while you travel.

#2 I believe the Boundless Life experience will keep getting better.

While I shared some of our less-than-stellar experiences above, one thing I will reiterate is that Boundless actively listened and responded actively through all those scenarios. Not always as fast or clear as we would’ve liked, but action was always taken.

Several leaders from the company visited Sintra during our cohort and actively met with as many families as they could. In listening to Boundless share their priorities and initiatives moving forward, I believe they are willing to address problems and get better. We tuned into their recent forum and heard the staff talk about how a team member will always transport and attend extracurricular activities, which was one of the biggest problems we faced during our time in Portugal.

#3 The overall experience was positive.

Despite its ups and downs, the overall experience with Boundless Life was positive.

Our kids became close with other families from all over the US (and the world). A few days ago Ellie Facetimed with her friend from Israel who she misses dearly. She tells me all the time about her “best friends forever” from Boundless.

Eli (our two-year-old) went from saying a few words to saying everything. He made a best buddy in class and they spent all day playing cars next to each other.

I learned how to surf and got to explore Lisbon and the surrounding area with Alyssa and new friends.

We got to travel to a new country together as a family and learn about the culture, the food, and the people. Most of all, we got to do it alongside others in a new and beautiful setting.

My Takeaways About Boundless Life

Boundless has hit on a big need. They are not only serving the growing community of remote working families looking to switch it up but also the many Americans searching for alternative education options. A place where they feel safe sending their kids.

The future cohorts are booking up quickly and demand is high. What the Boundless team has built is impressive given their short time in existence.

When I think about some of the shortcomings we experienced, I don’t chalk them up to Boundless being a bad company. I think they are a startup with some growing pains, a lot of logistics, and ambitious growth plans. Alyssa and I are following along closely to consider booking future cohorts with them (we have our eyes on Spain, which we hope will open this year!).

If you made it this far in this post and have any more questions about our experience with Boundless, feel free to comment below. I’d be happy to answer any of them that I can.

FAQs

What are the Boundless Life alternatives?

While there are quite a few co-living types of companies catered towards singles or couples, I don’t know of another one catered towards families at the moment.

Is Boundless Life legit?

Yes, Boundless Life is a legitimate hospitality and educational company. They provide lodging, a Montessori-style school program, and coworking for digital nomad families.

Is Boundless Life worth it?

For us, Boundless Life was worth it because of the overall experience and the people we met. The costs are high, but fair and we have great memories of our experience.

Where does Boundless Life have locations?

Boundless Life has locations in Greece, Bali, Portugal, and Italy. They are currently expanding to Montenegro and Spain.

Is Boundless a good first school for my toddler?

Many parents in our cohort had never put their kids in a daycare or school before. Older kids adapted pretty quickly, though there were always the good bye tears. Younger kids often did half days or a couple days a week to adjust.

As someone who has had kids in multiple daycares and childcare options, I would say Boundless will spoil you for taking your kids to school. The teachers are amazing, meals and snacks are provided(!), class sizes are small, and they take the kids outside often. It shines compared to all of the places we’ve had our kids.

Our son was nearly two when our cohort started and he celebrated his birthday at school. (Everyone got cake and sang to him, so so sweet!) We put him in a summer daycare program leading up to Boundless so he would understand the concept of school before our time in Portugal. Personally, I think this worked out amazingly and he adjusted to school in Sintra very quickly.

Alyssa’s Brief Boundless Life Review

Since you’ve heard from me a lot, I also wanted to include a brief review from my better half. Alyssa also echoed most, if not all, of my sentiments above.

Before attending Boundless, we never heard a bad word about the company or anything slightly negative online. We felt it was too good to be true. Certainly, some things weren’t so Instagram-worthy (which is why we wrote this Boundless Life review!).

Like all experiences, there were ups and downs. No wifi at the coworking space was frustrating considering we were paying for a coworking space we couldn’t use. Feeling like our daughter was put in a dangerous situation was horrifying (forever grateful for the mom who attended soccer practice and could fill us in on what was happening). The way the staff handled things was just okay, even though we knew they had a lot on their plates.

There’s more I could say, but I know that even though it wasn’t perfect (nothing is), we would 100% sign up again. We actually did sign up for cohorts for 2024, but we’ve got a family wedding that’s tying us stateside for a couple of months.

If you’re considering Boundless, here are a few things to consider:

  • Have you traveled outside of your home country before? Will you be able to adapt to the cultural differences that come with moving to a foreign country for three months?
  • Do you want to slow travel and live abroad, or do you want to hop around Europe? Boundless is built for slow travelers, though many in our cohort used it as a home base for traveling to neighboring countries. (If you want to hop around more, Italy would be the location I would choose since it’s more central to all of Europe.)
  • Will you be working abroad? Is this okay with your employer and will you need to keep US hours? No one wants to take a 10 PM meeting on a Friday night in Portugal (shoutout to our friend Tyler though for taking these in stride and joining us for wine afterward).
  • Do you have at least one child to enroll in Boundless’s education center? At least one child in your household must be enrolled. I recommend enrolling all of your kids, if they are old enough.

For more information about Boundless Life, including current costs, dates, and locations, check out their website. There were good and bad parts, but I would do it all again.

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  • I love coming along vicariously with you and your adorable family!! This review felt very well-balanced and I hope will benefit others who are considering this experience. What a tremendous gift you are giving your kids. And what a wonderful gift you are giving to the world – to raise children who understand that life is not the same in other countries as it is in the United States. This was a prime motivation for me to take my daughter abroad as much as I could. Good on you! Cheers!

  • This was so good and honest. It is exactly what I have been looking to read concerning Boundless…because up until your post I was basically going off of it all looking too good to be true and I was skeptical.

    • So glad it was helpful. At the end of the day we’d still do Boundless again (and are planning on it!), but wanted to paint a realistic picture of our experience as well :). Happy to answer any more questions if that could be helpful.

  • Thank you for this honest review. I’m considering doing Boundless with my son. He’s 18-months old now & I wonder if it’s a good time or I should wait till he’s a bit older to make some friends.

    Were the kids in your cohort mostly preschool age (5 & under) or elementary school (6-10) or middle grade (11-13)? I know it will differ between cohorts, just wanting an example. Thanks!

    • I think it really depends on the cohort. During our session they encouraged some of the older aged kids to go to Greece. There was at least one younger kiddo in our son’s class and several who had their second birthday during the cohort. 18 months would be on the younger end but after our experience I would feel fine with an 18 month old in the program to be honest. At least with Sintra there was a separate area for the younger kids and an extra teacher and I felt it was great for our son’s development.

  • Heath and Alyssa, really appreciate your honest review! We are signed up for the summer cohort in Greece and *fingers crossed* hoping it goes so well that we will sign up for a 3 month cohort in CR or Spain! Maybe we will cross paths. I think Boundless is really meeting a need and has such an opportunity to support traveling families if they can get this right.

    • Costa Rica, Spain, and Greece are all on our lists, so I’m sure we will cross paths somewhere! 🙂

  • Thank you for the detailed review – both the good and the bad. We’re also considering Boundless Life Sintra and also have 2 kids (4 year old and 1 year old) and wanted to ask how easy was it for the kids to get used to the schooling system?

    And the safety issues you noted regarding kid activities – do you see any repeats or have they been addressed? Similarly for the communications issues.

    • Hi Wei!

      Sorry for the delayed response.

      We put our 2 yr old in summer daycare prior to going to boundless to acclimate him to a school day before we went and I think that helped. They both adjusted pretty quickly. Also, we went to England for a couple weeks prior to starting school and I think that may have helped because then they weren’t dealing with jet lag PLUS starting school during same week.

      As for the issues addressed — they’ve been really responsive and taken steps for each of the areas I’ve outlined. We haven’t been back yet but I do think they’ve worked hard to improve them.

  • Excellent post with great detail on the boundless life experience! Considering a shorter summer stay in Sintra with them. Are all of the Boundless apartments in one building, or are they scattered in different areas? (Regular, not +) If scattered, is there a particular location you find preferable?

    • They’re spread out over town but most buildings have like 3-4 families. If you have young kids then close to the education centre is probably a good fit. We stayed next to the train station in casa mar and it was modern and nice and more settled a little outside of the main tourist area which was nice. Honestly thought most of the housing was great. You will get your steps in no matter where your house is as it’s super hilly!

      • Thanks for such a great and thorough review. I’ve been tracking this company since it started but hadn’t yet read a review of this depth. Really appreciate it. Do you think this experience would be suitable for families with older kids? Mine are 9 and 11 and I get the sense that most families bring much younger kids. Also curious how much your cohort interacted with the local community – does that happen, or do you mainly live in a Boundless Life bubble?

        • Curious about the same for our 11 yr old. I know they’ve recently started a “middle grades” program so I’m curious to learn more about that!

        • Hey Lucien, we had a few friends with older kids who were in the program. The general consensus was that many of the families with older kids felt like their kids had fallen behind in their studies (or relapsed a bit on things), but at least they’d made new friends and had some cool life experiences so to say. I think for younger kids like ours (2,4) who are mostly learning how to be kind, share, etc it felt solid. Our friends gave feedback to the company about the educational piece and apparently it is a focus to keep improving this moving forward.

          As far as local community — I’m not sure I 100% understand but will try to answer. Sintra itself is very touristy, so that in and of itself is what it is.

          I think this is largely up to the family and how you’d like to spend your time. For instance, we got out a lot and went to a nearby town where we met lots of locals. We also made friends with the owner of the restaurant next to our house and ended up meeting his family and staying in touch now that we’ve left (to me, these are cool “Local experiences”).

          We’ve done a bunch of trips to countries by campervan and go to rural and off the beaten smaller towns which is fun and offers up genuine experiences. I think a lot of times the town itself colors how “local” it feels. Sintra is a touristy spot so you end up hearing people from all over the world versus just people from Portugal.

          Not sure if that helps or answers your question 🙂

  • Thanks for this. I’d read about Boundless – though it’s out of our price range. I appreciate the kids activities component, but I really wondered about the idea of being part of a non-local cohort. We want to travel to immerse ourselves in the local culture.

  • Thank your for the review! It is the first time I have read a balanced take on boundless so I really appreciated it. You mentioned that some of the people in your cohort had never been out of the US – were most families in your cohort American? Or it is more of a mix of cultures?

  • Thank you so much for your very detailed feedback and review. We are considering doing the 4-week program with Boundless Life and this was very helpful in making our decision. I appreciate your time in sharing all of this information.
    Kindly,

    Cassie

  • Great review! It felt too good to be true and I’m worried about having to switch around apartments or things like that. That’s also part of traveling, unforeseeable issues.

    I’m curious how did boundless work with the 90/180 rule for the schengen countries? Did you guys go anywhere before or after the program? or just back to Colorado?

  • Heath, thanks so much for the very insightful review. It was really helpful. We are currently traveling around Spain and starting our 3 month Pistoia cohort in September. Where are you from in Colorado? We are from Denver.

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