Finding a job that allows you to travel the world while also getting paid is a dream for those who can’t shake that pesky wanderlust. Imagine knowing that bills, rent, food and the odd savings are being taken care of, plus you’re slowly filling up the pages of your passport – this is what travellers’ dreams are made of!
I am an advocate for traveling around a full-time job – I’ve had a variety of jobs that stretch from the fun to the mundane, the stressful to the carefree, and the creative to the ‘I-hate-my-life’, but I have always ensured travel remains a strong theme in my life. But if you’re ready to throw the towel at your boss and run away to a life abroad, have a look at the different kinds of jobs you could do which involve you going far and wide. Toss out what you thought a regular, grey, routine-stricken career should look like, and see if one of these jobs has got you aiming high and going for career that will whisk you around the world! Remember ladies; work hard, play hard.
20 Jobs That Let You Travel The World
Lets begin with something simple. As long as you can work hard, be prepared to run around a lot and get sweaty and can keep a friendly smile on your face, then waitressing can take you around the world. When I lived in Melbourne I only had hospitality experience under my belt, but because I had so much of it, finding jobs was quick and easy!
2. Mixologist or Barista
Have you always had an interest in cocktails and coffee (making, not just drinking)? Yes, it runs quite closely to waitressing, but these skills are always attractive in the hospitality industry. Can you make a mean Negroni? Can you make the most awesome latte art? Can you take long and arduous orders from customers? Then you should take flight with these skills and see if you can sling a cocktail together in Singapore, or froth together a mean beverage in Berlin.
3. Flight Attendant
Talking of taking flight, why not join the cabin crew that you have always taken for granted on your flights! With 30 – 50 hour weeks, flying near and far on a regular basis, getting to relax and kick-back at destinations in-between flights, and meeting passengers and other crews from all walks of life, it would be a great way to work and travel! As long as you can stomach plane food and the whole flying thing, then you’ll be fine.
4. A Boat Life
If you have the strong stomach of a sailor and wish to sail the seven seas with a rum in hand, then perhaps a job on the water would suit you well. But what kind of boat would you like to be in command? Choose the gargantuan cruise ships that dominate the horizon and you’ll be swept away in the razzle dazzle of luxury. You could be a bar tender, a singer, a waitress, a hospitality manager, a cleaner, the captain (why not?) – the list goes on!
Or if you fancy getting your hands on the wheel of a small and speedy yacht that darts atop warm seas, you could join a fleet of yachts in Croatia. Be trained whilst under the baking hot sun, and then whisk a group of travellers to a far away island for fun and adventure.
5. A Hotel Life
If you prefer dry land, then look into international chain hotels. Find an established and respectable hotel chain and see if there’s a role that appeals to you – be great at your job, move up the ranks and you may be able to transfer to a new destination! Today may see you working in London’s Soho venue, but who knows about next year? You could find yourself in one of the tallest hotels in Dubai, wondering how you got so lucky. From catering to customer management, these large hotel groups have an abundance of choices… just keep an eye on whichever you like the most and jump whenever a career opportunity appears.
6. Hotel Inspector or Photographer
Oooh now this is a sought after job! Travel accommodation companies, such as, Airbnb or Sawday’s, have places that have been individually inspected and photographed. Imagine going on an European tour and meeting plenty of potential new owners, or journeying to new accommodation places to photograph them for the website – it is quite the job in the travel industry!
7. Tour Guide
Sharing knowledge and educating newcomers to your favourite town or city in the world makes for a fulfilling job. If you have the confidence and the drive to take a group of strangers out and about, making them feel welcomed, being friendly, exploring the local history and showing hidden secrets of wherever you’ve chosen to call home, then try it out. The few tour guides I’ve met have been successful because they genuinely love the place they’re living, so if that’s you then you’ll be ace! Interested? Read a behind-the-scenes account of being in this world.
8. Translator or Interpreter
Not a day goes by where I damn my mother for not teaching me Malaysian, her native tongue, when I was young. If you have the talent of speaking two or more languages, then you could work for the government in translating departments, at embassies abroad assisting fellow travellers, translating copy for websites, interpreting for international businesses, the list is endless! Not only will you get to see the world, but you’ll exercise your languages and make a real decent wage.
9. Government Employee
This doesn’t sound like the most exciting role in the world, as it conjures visions of pushing paper in a white windowless office, but don’t jump too quickly to these conclusions! I met a few US embassy workers in Thailand who were travelling on their weekend or over a national holiday, and life was treating them pretty darn fine.
Working with the foreign office will really educate you in the culture of the new country, but who knows where you’ll end up. It could be paradise or it could be somewhere pretty tough – it certainly will be an eye-opening experience.
10. The Import / Export Route
I’ve worked in the marketing department of an export company, and as the business dealt with international consumers, it involved a touch of travel. However, in my role, I didn’t get to travel for the company much at all, but the directors got to fly out to meet suppliers and other export business all over the world. From India to Japan, these business trips kept relationships alive and well… but the moral of this story is, if you want to travel in the import/export business, aim high and get to the top.
11. Teach English Abroad
Sure, this is a pretty popular one for people who aren’t ready to settle down, but are in need of some money to continue their travels. Just because it’s so widely done, it doesn’t mean it’s an easy-as-pie job. You’ll be teaching classes or individuals a foreign language and this does mean patience and confidence is needed. Make sure you do in-depth research into the training courses and schools, and enquire at your embassy if you have any questions regarding contracts that schools wish you to sign.
12. Humanitarian Work
Giving something back to the world that has treated you so well is incredibly fulfilling. Humanitarian work will allow you to help those in need and also give you the opportunity to absorb new cultures and get a first hand look into the lives of others on this big ole planet.
Our travelette and friend, Elisa Fourt, is one lady who gets to traverse the world for her job and she has invested her energies into assisting refugees and retelling their important stories: “When people talk about travel, they usually tend to see it only as a leisure activity. But traveling to other countries never made more sense to me than since I took on this mission. I travel to listen to the stories of people who seem to have been forgotten, the people who don’t get to have a voice and live generally in terrible conditions. I travel to put my skills at their service, to raise the media’s, the public’s and the donors’ awareness about the way they live.”
Photograph courtesy of Elisa
If that isn’t an inspiring way to live, work and travel, then I don’t know what is!
13. Nurse, Dentist or Optician
With medically skilled jobs like these, you can be sure that there’s a place in need of you. You could migrate to Australia for a change of scene and begin an Aussie life in a new hospital with the sun and surf everyday? Or you could join a charity team and go out to help combat serious affairs, like Ebola. These skilled jobs are needed far and wide – where will you go?
14. Yoga Teacher
With brilliant courses available all over the world, from India to Bali, you can learn the art of yoga from the best and come away with a certified qualification. Where to next? Find a far off place that’s in need of a yogi, or work for a company that runs regular yoga retreats abroad. If you don’t fancy being pinned down to a company and wish to live a nomad life, I’m sure you could earn a few bucks by running sunset yoga on a nearby beach!
15. Scuba Instructor
With quick and affordable PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) courses available all around the world, if you like to float in the deep then this could be a brilliant job to look into. Flee to Koh Tao or other stunning places with clear, turquoise seas and shoals of glittering fish. Learn how to dive, breathe with apparatus and flip around like you weigh nothing, plus meet a whole new gang of friends in your diving school. When you’re a certified teacher, the world is quite literally your oyster.
16. Au Pair or Nanny
An Au Pair or nanny is a popular job that allows you to work overseas. From looking after the kids outside of school hours to taking care of the house, and from cooking meals for the kids to tutoring them with their homework – the duties are various. You may have to undergo some training and an application process to join an agency that will screen the families for you, but if you love working with children, then this job will bring a smile to your face.
I actually have a degree in archaeology and while travel is an appealing aspect of the job, you shouldn’t go into this just just because it involves travelling. It’s damn interesting if you’re a history boffin (guilty!), but don’t let Indiana Jones or Lara Croft fool you. There’s less whips and hidden treasure, and more scraping in the dirt on your knees for 8 hours straight. Maybe I’m bitter because a dig in South Dakota left me empty-handed whilst everyone found a few dozen arrowheads… but hey, I got to live in South Dakota for a month which was totally fun! Plus, I of course got to learn about the deep history of the location.
18. A Marketing Whizz
Get some top class marketing experience behind you and it can lead you around the world! Many lists of ‘best jobs that let you travel’ involve jobs that actively have you wandering, but if you manage to get into the right company with a darn good skill, then it could still lead you all over the globe.
Marketing skills can be applied to a wide variety of positions; from content strategy to copywriting, from social media marketing to email marketing. Get a golden marketing position with a travel website or travel clothing brand and see where you’ll end up in your long career!
Now onto the plethora of jobs that can be done as a freelancer. To go freelance is the ultimate ticket to go around the world, earning money, being your own boss, and dictating what projects you take on and what projects you turn away.
To be a freelancer, it takes a bunch of balls to make the leap to self-employment, a huge load of self-motivation to get the shit done and a strong work ethic. If you’re guilty of being a severe procrastinator or if you’re someone who likes routine, then you may find this vocation pretty tough to handle. Especially when there’s a couple of hundred beaches on your doorstep beckoning you into the surf.
If you are skilled and you know you’re darn good, then throw caution to the wind and give freelancing a whirl! Get decent equipment, the means to hook yourself up to fast WIFI and give it a crack whilst sipping on your coconut.
Travel guide writer, freelance writer, reporter, graphic designer, photographer, videographer, journalist – reach out to contacts or set-up an UpWork account (formerly elance) to get hired by companies if your contact list is a bit sparse. If going freelance is something you’re thinking about now, knuckle down in your current job and collect those valuable contacts and skills that your workplace can still teach you – prepare for the future that you are focused on: the life of a skilled freelancer that can earn money while travelling the world.
20. Travel Blogger
Boom! Fancy being a travel blogger, eh? It can be a long and slow road to getting your blog to the point of greatness that pays your bills, but if travel, writing and photography is your passion, then why not give it a whirl? Do it for the love of travel and the fun of sharing, don’t start out doing it solely for the money. Work hard at it and who knows where it will be this time next year.
Are you inspired for your future? Knuckle down, think ahead and get ready for a life of travel which won’t leave you skint.
All photographs by Sophie Saint, unless otherwise stated.