Wanderlust is real, and sometimes we wish we could just escape the drudgery of our normal working lives and travel the globe.
How about if we could find a way to combine the two and have an income while exploring the world?
The good news is that there are several careers that allow you to do just that, and with ‘working from home’ becoming the norm for many, why not make your home somewhere more exciting – at least for a while?
There may be some extra paperwork involved, such as a working visa, and other practicalities to take into consideration – vaccines, appropriate qualifications, maybe the need to know the language. But, there are also plenty of jobs that won’t necessarily need any of those.
This might be the simplest option if you are already in a job you enjoy and/or are a freelance worker and can just move yourself and your business to anywhere in the world. The internet and the explosion of video call packages such as Zoom, Discord and Microsoft Teams allow many jobs to be conducted virtually, from the comfort of wherever you happen to be.
Roles such as web or graphic design, data entry, working as a translator, customer service and sales all offer the opportunity to work remotely, and can be done from any country in the world. Research shows that remote workers are happier, more productive, and have a higher average income than their non-remote peers. Many of these positions offer more flexibility than on-site roles, and pay that matches more traditional jobs.
Working on a Cruise Ship or Airplane
Perhaps the most obvious choice of career for those who want to travel is to actually work in the industry. Becoming a pilot or cruise captain takes years, but is certainly worth looking into if either appeals. Yet, there are plenty of other jobs you could undertake.
Cabin crew get to fly around the world and will often have layovers in the countries to which they have travelled, but time to actually go out and explore may be limited. It is definitely worth considering working on a cruise ship as a more desirable alternative.
Cruise workers often get to spend their time off visiting the countries to which they have sailed. “Working in travel will always be an attractive prospect for graduates,” says David Smith, Marketing Director at The Cruise Line. “Those with the necessary passion and dedication will find few industries offer so many ways in which to discover the world at a young age.” Most of the work is done while the ship is actually moving, with restaurant and bar staff, entertainers and concierges all mainly looking after guests in the evenings, providing plenty of time to go ashore when the ship docks.
Gratuities are also a highly-recognised aspect for cruise travellers, so your basic income can be supplemented quite considerably.
Journalism and Copywriting
Travel blogging and writing review features are a great way to combine experiencing new countries, seeking out hidden gems, and getting to know the locals. Holidays often only scratch the surface of what a place has to offer, but by doing in-depth research and conducting interviews you will more than likely discover fascinating facts and areas off the beaten tourist track.
It can be a difficult field to break into, and it goes without saying that you have to be able to write well. Peter Grunert from Lonely Planet Magazine spoke in a travel journalism Q&A conducted by The Guardian, and said: “I also feel that anyone with a specialism has an advantage. Are you based in a particularly interesting location? Can you bring fascinating travel insights from the point of view of someone who has great knowledge of art, motoring, history, sports and so on?”
All good angles to bear in mind if you want to go down this route.
Hospitality and Events
One of the easier ways to get paid to travel is to work in a hotel, restaurant or bar, or at events. The hospitality trade often employs casual staff on short contracts, which may allow you to try several different countries or areas within one country before deciding if there is somewhere you want to make a more permanent base, or you are ready to return home.
When working in the hospitality industry abroad you will be exposed to a fast-paced environment that lives and breathes the local culture. Not only will you be surrounded by local regulars, but you will also serve as a guide to other international travellers, allowing you to become an expert on the city in which you work.
English speakers are particularly highly sought-after, as it is becoming a popular universal language to deal with travellers from all over the globe.
Teaching English Abroad
If English is your passion, a common career for anyone who wants to work abroad is to teach English as a foreign language. This can be either to children or adults, with short TEFL qualifications available to study before you go, either full or part-time or as a distance learning course.
The National Careers Service also says: “You could get experience as a paid language assistant in schools abroad. You do not need Teaching English as a Foreign Language qualifications for this, but you’ll need to have completed at least two years in higher education.”
The flexible working hours for this sort of role make it highly desirable for people who want to make the most of their time to explore their surroundings too.
Researching where you might want to go and what opportunities are available to work in those areas is important. You don’t want to just turn up, hope to get a job, and then run out of money before you get the chance to do the travelling you desire. But, good preparation and planning means you could be jetting off or setting sail to foreign climes sooner than you think.