How to Travel Instead or in Spite of Work
Looking for a job that will allow you to travel the world? Me too! Luckily, I know of some great ways that will allow me to either put off the real world, travel as a career, or travel in my spare time.
The first three items on the list are ways to put off the “real world” and spend lengthy amounts of time somewhere else around the globe. These three methods of travel are not set for longevity, but each will give you ample opportunity to travel the world and experience personal growth.
The next five are travel type careers. These positions are not for everyone but will give you the option of incorporating travel into your career.
The last five types of travel are things that can be done with a full-time or part-time career in the States. These types of travel are short but still give you the opportunity to explore the world and get out from behind the desk.
The Working Holiday Authorization (WHA) is available to Americans between the ages of 18 – 30. We are allowed to get a working visa for one year to either Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia. The stipulations are different for each country. Ex.: The visa to Ireland can only be obtained within one year of college graduation. The visas to NZ and Oz are obtainable until you’re 30. With the WHA you can work pretty much anywhere and travel all over the place! The only downfall is that the visa lasts only one year.
Similar to the WHA, a Gap Year is one year taken at any point in life to spend time traveling the world, volunteering, or learning about yourself. Many people take a Gap Year between high school and college. They take this time to figure out exactly what they what to do in life. The downfall here is that you aren’t always making money, but monetary options are out there!!
Woofing is a great way to slowly travel the world and make some cash. Just be sure that your hosts are not scam artists. Volunteer opportunities look great on resumes! It shows you are comfortable in new situations and that you are passionate. Volunteer opportunities range from being a teacher’s aide to building housing to being a camp counselor.
In August I begin the two-ish-year-long process of becoming a Master in Public History. In my personal life, I will be going to school part-time and working full-time. Please pray for me. I included college in the list for two reasons.
- Short-Term Study Abroad: If you want to experience life in another country but don’t want to move away forever, short-term study abroad is your ticket! I studied abroad in Scotland for eight weeks during which time I traveled all over Scotland, to Ireland, and to Switzerland. My sister studied abroad in Germany for four weeks. And there may or may not be study abroad opportunities for me during my Grad program…
- College in Other Countries: For some, a semester abroad isn’t enough. They choose to receive a full degree from a university in another country. When I lived in Ireland, three of my friends were Americans studying at universities in Dublin. Just like American universities, you’ll have holidays and time off to travel. Depending on your program, your time in the host country could be anywhere from one to four years. Be sure to do some research on how your degree received in the host country will be accepted in America.
Teaching English Abroad
The TEFL and TESOL certifications are priceless!! These two certifications allow you to move anywhere in the world and teach English. Native English speakers are in high demand and make bank in certain countries. Many of the people I’ve met have spent some time teaching English abroad, and I almost moved to Vietnam and Thailand to teach English. I chose to stay in the States and do the “real world” thing. Rolling my eyes…
Depending on who you ask, the best country to teach English in is South Korea, but there are arguments for each country. While teaching, you receive pay and sometimes room and board. You also get national holidays and time off. Like any other time off, you can travel!
Teaching English in other countries can be a life-long career! Many people chose to live in their host country for the rest of their lives while other people chose to spend one to five years teaching English. It’s purely up to you.
Flight Attendant/Cruise Ship Employee
A few of my friends on FB are flight attendants or work on cruise ships. Their photos are awesome! They pop up in South Korea, Hawaii, the Bahamas, London, etc. Basically, they are all over the place all the time. From their photos, the downfall I see is that they are not always in one place for very long. They don’t have the opportunity to really dive into the culture of the places they visit. I prefer a slower form of travel.
Sending people around the world brings me great joy! I love to share my travel adventures and get others excited about their adventures. Travel Agents have the unique opportunity to both travel and send others to travel. Usually though, being a travel agent requires at least a semi-desk job. You have to answer a lot of questions via email and phone. Not to mention the sheer amount of time and research that goes into the process of booking a trip for other people. At the same time, to be able to best sell a trip, you should have first had experience. Nothing sells better than your stories.
Travel Agents at the corporate level spend about 90% of their time booking for other people. Agents at the private level can spend around 50% behind the desk and 50% on the road. It depends on internet and phone service. If you want to travel the world (slowly) and help send other people around the planet, this is your best option!
As a Tour Guide you are the person telling people about what they are seeing. “Look at this piece or art. The artist wanted to to think about the subjugation of women in…” “Check out the choice of hieroglyphs on this temple wall. Remember what the falcon represents? Yes, Horus…” etc. Tour Guides are your historians, the art studiers, the architect lovers. They bring the world to life with choice of word and enthusiasm. As a guide, you can be based locally in town or region or be hired to lead a group through an entire country.
A Tour Director is similar, but directors tend to focus more on the logistics of a tour. They work with the tour companies and guides to make sure the trip runs smoothly. They confirm bookings at this museum and that restaurant. They follow local politics to make sure you’re safe. Directors meet you at the airport and see you off when the trip is over.
A life as a Tour Guide/Director is a busy one. You’re almost always on the road traveling leading groups. But, it has the major advantage of seeing and exploring the world. To be a Tour Guide/Director, you do have to go to school! You must be accredited with the proper documentation. In the States, two different Tour Guide/Director schools are in existence. One is in California and the other is in Colorado.
Many people dream of being the next featured writer in Nat Geo, but I’m here to tell you travel writing is a tough business to break into. In today’s world, there are many bloggers like me who pay for a self-hosted site writing content just waiting on one of them to go viral for some sort of attention. #JustBeingHonest
The reality is this. Travel Writing can be very profitable, but it takes a while to build a credible site and following. From there, it comes down to time and effort into pitching your writing ideas to travel websites and magazines. Rejection emails are common and acceptance emails are rare. But! When you do make it big into travel writing, many of your trips will be partly or fully paid for. The reward is great for those who get in there and stick it out. Even if the professional world of Travel Writing doesn’t work out for you, you’ll still have a great log of your adventures around the world.
In the “real world,” we don’t always have time for travel outside of those two glorious days at the end of the work week. Weekend get-aways can be just what we need to be away from the office! In 2015, I took weekend trips to Washington DC twice, Colorado, Jekyll Island, NYC, Disney World, and Panama City Beach. Each of these trips took place from Friday night to Sunday night. I may have been super tired when I returned to work Monday morning, but it was worth it!
Depending on your closeness to an airport, weekend travel is totally doable! I live about an hour from the Atlanta airport, the busiest airport in the world, so I have plenty of opportunity for travel. Plane travel is expensive but gets me where I need to be fast.
For all of you teachers out there, you have summer vacation! Lucky bastards. I never realized how much I loved summers off until I graduated from college and had to work. One of my FB friends is in Southeast Asia for the summer backpacking through Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam. Her pictures are fantastic! If you have summers off, please take advantage of them! Not all of us are given eight weeks of vacation each year.
Most of us have to take the time to plan travel into our lives. Scheduled trips give us something to look forward to – gives us a reason to keep going to work and make money. Planned travel can take place over a weekend to a month depending on how much time off you are allowed.
There are countless ways to plan travel. You can book a cruise, go on a group tour, plan your own trip, backpack, etc. However you plan to travel is up to you! With today’s technology, you don’t have to have a travel agent do it for you. But if you’d like to, give me a holler! 😉 I’m always more than willing to help you plan your next big adventure.
Then there’s those who decide to randomly hop a plane to train to a faraway destination. You get the urge to just go away for a little while, so you do. I remember one time in Ireland, I randomly booked a trip to the Arctic Circle in Norway. I had no plans, no place to stay, nothing. Just an urge to go. So I bought the plane ticket. That trip to Tromsø ended up being one of the best trips I’ve ever taken!