There appears to be hope out there for those that want the work/life balance and the chance to make a living out of travel. I have read many blogs with titles such as ‘The Top 10 Travel Jobs’ that include everything from travel blogger/photographer to tour operator or TEFL teacher, that claim to be the ultimate in dream jobs that pay you to travel. But are they really all they’re cracked up to be? IS there a danger that some of these jobs could actually kill that ever lingering travel bug!?
If you’re anything like me, you see ‘traveling’ a new country as immersing yourself in the culture, meeting the locals, trying the foods and exploring the depth and breadth of the country. For me, I like to travel a country intensively and expansively so that I can feel I have truly got a feel for a country and admittedly this isn’t always possible. Sometimes I do have to settle for two weeks of jam-packed, non-stop, get up and go! But that’s just life when you don’t work in in one of these ‘top 10 travel jobs’. However, for these reasons here are a few travel jobs that are out there that I believe should be looked at with caution before making the switch…
Social media and the web is currently full of enticing advertisements to “work and travel the world at the same time” as a travel consultant. Personally I could not think of anything worse than searching tirelessly for the best deals on flights and accommodation (if you’re really getting the best deals with a travel agency that is!?) for anyone other than myself! Planning all these awesome trips just wishing you were tagging along too. Whilst I understand that the pull to the job is the incentives – the encouragement to use your leave to travel, the discounts, the odd ‘all expenses paid’ tours or trips for you to ‘try out’, but the truth is you are still working a 9-5 desk job, staring at a computer screen and working on commission wishing you were anywhere else in the world – pretty much like any other sales and marketing job out there but with a pretty crappy base salary! But I get it, if you are passionate about travel then you should really enjoy making those sales…. Me? I would just be jealous!
This one I would struggle with for a number of reasons. I can definitely see the attraction with the job description, jet-setting all over the world in glamourous attire, away from a computer, meeting new people and landing in new countries. But when you look at it more closely, it sounds like torture. Are you really ‘experiencing’ a new country or are you just touching down in a new city for a night or two, heading to the bar with the crew, grabbing some dinner and stocking up on Duty free items!? It would just be one big tease to me, like “oh hey here’s Japan, you have 32 hours in Tokyo (if you’re lucky), off you go”. How on earth would I cope? I mean I need to watch a sumo wrestling fight, try a local sushi restaurant, locate one of those awesome noodle vending machines, see Geisha’s in real life, ride the bullet train, visit Mt Fuji… the list goes on! While I understand that it’s a great taster and motivation to return to said country, I’m not sure I would have much motivation to do anything other than sleep after a long shift as a glorified waitress high up in the sky with a messed up body clock.
Corporate jobs requiring travel
This one takes the biscuit for me! Just about everything in the Corporate world scares me, the pressure to not only do good but to look good, the pretentious work parties (although I can’t say I would refuse freeze booze!), the large businesses, the huge offices, the competition etc. Whether its in sales, marketing or business, being required to travel all over the world to attend conferences, seminars, expo’s or meetings in a nicely pressed suit only to be put up in a hotel for the night and board the plane again the next morning sounds like hell! Even if you have a number of those events to attend and a little more time in the country you are travelling to, most of your time will be taken up with company meet and greets and dinner parties with high achieving businessmen and women… erm no thanks!
I can’t quite believe I am writing this one as it would be my absolute dream job, to be paid to travel the world and write about it at the same time. However, I can see why it wouldn’t be everyone’s cuppa tea and needs to be thought out carefully. Firstly, you can’t just apply for a job as a travel blogger and unless you are an incredibly sought after travel blogger there is going to be down time, times when you are not working on a project and times of uncertainty and limited income. Some people may even have to juggle travel blogging with another job to keep the dream alive. And those times you are on the road and writing can be tricky too. Unless writing comes naturally to you, it can be incredibly time consuming and spending the majority of your trip looking at a computer screen while you write and dealing with the inevitable wifi inconveniences of less developed countries or regional areas whilst on strict deadlines could be stressful.
Of course every job is going to have it’s pro’s and con’s and at the end of the day it’s all down to preference and what you perceive ‘travel’ to really be about. I personally see the attraction to jobs or professions that allow you to work all over the world for short and long periods of time. These could include things such as tour guides, SCUBA instructors, SKI instructors, TEFL teachers, AID workers etc. This way you could really get to know a country and even call it home for a while, all whilst planning the next adventure!
Either way, however you work and travel… the choice is yours and the world is your oyster!