8 Jobs for the Travel Obsessed

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Whenever I type into Google, “jobs that allow you to travel the world”, I always feel a mixture of disappointed and intimidated. I’m disappointed because I see so many sites that list jobs such as “bartender, backpacker, street-performer, travel agent, cruise ship worker”. While there is nothing wrong with those jobs (don’t hate on me), I find those jobs unsustainable. I feel a tad intimidated because I see jobs such as consultant, freelancer, and I realize just how much skill and online presence you need to do these jobs well and reap the rewards. It’s not as easy as it seems. 

Recently I decided to research jobs that would allow me to travel either as a requirement or have that option. I also selected jobs that I would actually consider doing one day, even if I have to work up to it. Nothing frustrates me more when I read people’s articles that say “just quit your job, buy a ticket and never look back”. 

No.

It requires planning and building up skills that businesses and entrepreneurs would be willing to pay top dollar.  Here’s my list of jobs that the travel-obsessed would be interested in doing:

Foreign service officer

This is probably the easiest and most structured of all the jobs on this list. It also caries a bit of romanticism and glamour as you can live anywhere their is a consulate office of your country and an opening with your skills and expertise. You could live in Dubai, in Tokyo, almost anywhere. Often these positions re-assign you to different locations around the world. Lots of exploring is in order!

The range of jobs include working for international development causes, administrative, assisting the diplomatic core, and many more. Some positions require a foreign service exam. 


Slight side note, when I graduated from my Political Science program at UBC, I was convinced that this would be an awesome job. Somehow I never got around to starting the process….


Travel writing for magazine such as National Geographic

Oh this sounds so many degrees of awesome. However, before you or I get too excited, this requires plenty of work experience as a travel writer. Have you seen their magazine?! It is filled with quality writing and not to mention overly breath-taking photos. They even say they want the best experience people on their website. I checked.  Despite the steep professional learning curve, I don’t mind working up to this one day. 

Social media consultant

This is another job that allows you to travel provided you have a masterful work flow, a strong grasp of the industry and proof to show that you have successfully run and/or advised social media accounts for clients.  

From what I have read, the best way to acquire this job is after you have slowly taken on more opportunities and developed skills while you work a stable 9-5 job. Then, and only then, do you stick it off on your own. 

As listed by Sprout Social on this very topic, some additional skills to have in your arsenal are:

      • Searching for clients and having people find you

      • Sending out a proposal of your services and goals

      • Creating and negotiating a clear and mutually beneficial contract

      • Being paid on time and through an easy and secure method

Ever wonder what social media platforms you should offer consulting services? I did. I have listed some platforms below from Buffer based on monthly active users (MAUs) since January 2019.

      • FaceBook —> 2.23 billion MAUs

      • YouTube —> 1.9 billion MAUs

      • WhatsApp (yes even the messaging service!!) —> 1.5 billion MAUs

      • Instagram —> 1 billion MAUs

      • Twitter —> 335 million MAUs

      • LinkedIn (It’s more than where you put your resume online.) —> 294 million MAUs


Remote work

This is becoming a fast-buzz word in today’s every-changing work environment. It is also possibly the less drastic of the jobs on this list, as you could work for the same employer. As long as you and your employer both have ironed out deadlines, workload, check-ins, salary and other requirements, this could be a successful and painless solution to working anywhere. Of course you still have to like the type of work you are doing. 

Online Translation Jobs

With bilingual/native proficiency in another language, companies are willing to hire translators to produce their materials or products in a foreign language. 

According to an article on Expert Vagabond, the highest paying languages are:

      • English to Arabic

      • English to Chinese

      • English to Japanese

      • English to Danish

The best advice I have found to be able to be successful as a translator are:

  • choose a niche that you love (e.g. travel) and read about it in both languages 

  • live in the country of that language is a useful experience to have  

  • study creative writing, 

  • if you choose a specialized niche such as technology or medicine, it is useful to have a degree in that field.


Freelance travel photographer

I will admit that I am working up to this job, brick by brick. I think what is key in this job is to be able to differentiate yourself from everyone else. 

Stock photography is no longer a profitable route as there are an over-abundance of images. Showcasing a photography product such as photography workshops/courses and tours will substantially help you reach this goal. Another great method to be able to live off your camera and travel the world is leveraging your social media account to acquire brand deals. 


Online virtual assistant (VA)

This position is one I first heard of when I first started exploring this whole “work for yourself” goal. According to the Balance Small Business, a VA is essentially a personal assistant that works remotely. I’m listening.  This is a very helpful role to businesses that need help but don’t want to bring on a new staff member for whatever the reason. Another positive is that it allows business owners to focus on tasks they are actually good at and are essential for them to get involved, rather than doing everything themselves. 

What I especially love about the virtual assistant role is that it is not limited to administrative tasks such as helping people organize their emails. VAs can offer marketing, PR, and other support.

Digital nomad with affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is focused on receiving a percentage of sales of an item that a company allows you to advertise or mention on your site or social media platform. You have to be very transparent and clear about this, otherwise it can come off as dishonest. 

Trust is a huge component in being successful with affiliate marketing - both in disclosing that something is an affiliate link and that the item is actually quality.

I literally love all these travel friendly jobs! Researching and getting clear on the skills and requirements makes the jobs seem less intimidating. You can now begin the journey to getting one or more of these jobs!