If you’ve always dreamed of seeing the world but believe a dream is all it will ever be, there is hope. No longer is joining the circus the only way to work and travel. Here are five ways to ditch the cubicle job for a lifestyle that offers the freedom to travel and earn money at the same time.
1. Cruise Ship Worker
Cruise ships offer a variety of services and activities for guests, all of which require staff. To work on a cruise ship, it helps to have hospitality experience as most of the jobs involve guest services. However, back-of-house jobs are also available.
Jobs on a cruise ship include crew workers, waitstaff, entertainment artists, cleaning staff, casino staff, kitchen staff, fitness trainers, medical staff, childminders, retail staff, office administrators, and IT technicians. The list is endless.
Working on a cruise ship is no picnic, though. You’re expected to follow a strict protocol while on duty and schedules are demanding. Contracts typically run from 2-9 months followed by 2 months off. While on contract, you’ll work long hours seven days a week.
On the positive side, it pays well and because accommodation comes with the job, you can save most of your income. Life on a cruise ship is never dull and you’ll interact with people from all walks of life. When the ship docks, you can step onshore and explore the area.
2. International Aid Worker
If you have a humanitarian heart, you can become an international aid worker. International aid workers respond to crises caused by natural disasters, war, unrest, political instability, disease, and famine.
This job takes you out of your comfort zone. Adaptability and tenacity are a must. Poor conditions, extreme weather, language barriers, and exposure to human suffering can take a toll physically and emotionally. The trade-off, however, is an immensely rewarding career. You’ll work with like-minded passionate people, discover fascinating places, and help make a difference in the world.
Starting a career as an international aid worker isn’t easy. Most organizations, like the United Nations (UN), require a bachelor’s degree. Because many UN staff move around often, when applying for a job at the UN, you may also be required to take a medical examination.
Other aid organizations include the Peace Corps, International Committee of The Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), and various NGOs and religious groups. Many of these organizations offer voluntary or intern opportunities that can help you get your foot in the door.
3. Teaching English as a Foreign Language
Teaching English abroad has become a popular way to travel. The demand for teachers is high in many Asian, Middle Eastern, South American, and European countries. Many schools pay handsome salaries and some also provide accommodation. That frees up money to explore the area.
To teach English abroad, you don’t have to be a qualified teacher. The main requirements are that you are a native English speaker and hold a bachelor’s degree. If you don’t have a degree, there are some countries, like Mexico, Cambodia, Argentina, Spain, and Russia, that employ teachers without degrees.
The one requirement all countries want is a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate. Find a reputable TEFL trainer, like International TEFL Academy. Complete their 170-hour online course and you can start looking for jobs immediately.
4. Foreign Correspondent
Most of us have watched the news and envied the foreign correspondent journalist. Being paid to live in a foreign country and report news seems like such a glamorous lifestyle. Working as a foreign correspondent is a cool job, but it has its challenges.
While on assignment, you get to spend months, even years, settled in one country before moving on to another. This allows you to fully immerse yourself in the country, make local friends, and soak up the culture — and that’s pretty cool!
On the flip side, if you’re reporting from a war-stricken region, it can be dangerous and stressful. There are also time zones to take into account. You may have to be wide-eyed and bushy-tailed at 3 am in China to do a report that’s broadcasting at 3 pm in New York. That’s the not-so-glamorous side.
5. Travel Writer
These days everyone wants to be a digital nomad. Travel writers and bloggers are living that dream. They travel the world, blog about their experiences and make money in the process. Successful travel writers earn a good income from selling their stories. Some are even offered free flights and stays in swanky hotels in exchange for reviews.
Many top bloggers are approached to do sponsored posts. That means someone will pay you to mention their brand or link to their website. This doesn’t happen overnight, though. Building a successful blog takes time. In the beginning, you won’t make much, if any, money. As your blog grows and starts to attract Google’s attention, only then can you start monetizing it.
If you think outside the box, you’ll find plenty of ways to earn money while traveling and say goodbye to the mundane 9-5 job for good.