Finding careers in long-term travel

Recently, I got a travel question from a Florida reader named Justin Cecil, who wrote:

I have just graduated high school and will attend college at the end of August. One of my goals in life is to travel the world — and I plan on backpacking through Europe within the next few years. Ultimately, I would like to be able to travel all of the time. Do you have any advice for people who want to vagabond until they die? What type of careers or jobs would be available? I’m trying to figure out what to do with my life and would greatly appreciate any advice.

This is what I told Justin:

Traveling full-time is definitely something that is possible to do — but first I’d recommend just traveling for six months or a year or so to see how you like it. Regardless of what I tell you now, that initial vagabonding journey will teach you most everything you need to know — not only about traveling for the rest of your life, but also about where your passions and interests lie, and where you want to go next. As you travel, keep your eyes out for people who are traveling full-time as a career. These people include safari guides, divemasters, overseas English teachers, international traders, IT workers, health workers, NGO administrators, and all manner of fascinating professions. If you decide to tackle college (and it’s not a bad idea, since it will increase your employment options anywhere), you might try Peace Corps when you’re done — as this agency has taught many people how to make life into one ongoing journey.

As you begin to plan and think about these travels, you should get a subscription to Transitions Abroad magazine, as it is perfect for providing resources and putting you into the mindset you want to achieve.

Posted by | Comments (2)  | November 29, 2006
Category: Vagabonding Advice

2 Responses to “Finding careers in long-term travel”

  1. Deryck Says:

    That really is good advice. If Rolf doesn’t mind let me suggest a good book about the Peace Corps.
    President Carter’s grandson joined the Peace Corps in South Africa and wrote a fantastic and detailed book titled “Power Lines: Two Year’s on South Africa’s Borders”. It was very good and discussed the joys and pains of being a Peace Corps Volunteer.

  2. Mark Hodson Says:

    Good sense. When you’re 21 years old you can keep travelling easily, working bars and picking fruit, but if you really envisage yourself doing it indefinitely you’ll need some sort of expertise you can sell globally. Who wants to marry a 40-year-old deadbeat with no possessions and no skills?

    Surprisingly, the obvious ideas aren’t always the best (photography, for instance. The bottom is falling out of the market). You’re better off with IT skills, or a degree in marine biology.

    Remember that we’re all also moving into an age where, in theory at least, you can live anywhere and do all kinds of desk-based jobs, whether it’s web design, marketing or even journalism. Currently, many employers have an irrational resistance to using a globalised workforce, but that is likely to change in the near future.