How to Travel the World for Work
Do you want to travel to work and you don't know how? Read our article and discover a lot of jobs that will allow you to make your dream come true.
For many people, traveling around the world is a bucket list item. People save for years until they have enough money to travel to their dream destinations. But while some people spend years working hard and rallying until they feel like they have enough money to afford a vacation, others make the dream of touring the world a profitable reality.
You don’t need to be a millionaire or wait to retire to live the dream of traveling around the world. It’s amazing how many job opportunities allow you to travel wherever you want. There are plenty of ways to earn money while traveling abroad and even some types of work that directly pay you to travel. Fascinating right?
If you are someone who loves to travel, see new places, and be in touch with different cultures, this post is for you! In this article, we will talk about how to travel the world for work, some of how you can make money regardless of your geographical location, and what you need to make this dream a reality.
Pros and Cons of Traveling the World for Work
Like all things in life, traveling for work has perks and setbacks to deal with. Depending on the type of job, where you are in the world, and a few other factors, the pros and cons of traveling for work can vary. Some of the pros and cons of traveling for work are:
- Get to know other parts of the world: This is the most direct benefit of traveling for work, especially for people who dream of knowing different parts of the world.
- Knowing and experiencing other cultures: When you travel to different countries and cities, you expose yourself to new customs, new traditions, new food, which without a doubt can enrich you as a person.
- Expand your horizons and your vision of the world: When you leave your comfort zone, your world vision expands, and you can even see your own life from another point of view.
- Meet new people and make new friends: Traveling the world is an excellent way to meet new friends, exchange ideas, and establish solid bonds by exploring new places together.
- Boost your self-confidence: Traveling will most likely put you in situations in which you will have to solve problems, be aware of yourself, and test how capable and self-sufficient you are. This will consequently increase the confidence you have in yourself.
- You will constantly have to leave your comfort zone: While traveling, you will often find yourself in situations that may be somewhat uncomfortable. You will possibly have to accept jobs that may not be related to your profession or not what you are used to. But keeping a flexible mindset and a willingness to adapt can help you develop skills that you may not have imagined before.
- Learn new languages: There are plenty of non-English speaking countries where it can be effortless to find people who speak English fluently enough to get around. This makes short trips easy to navigate, but traveling as a career means you can spend more time in the destinations you love and take the time to learn the local language.
- You will create life-long memories: Traveling often means experiencing new things and creating unforgettable memories that you carry with you for life.
- Strengthen your character: Facing difficulties, solving them, practicing resilience, and staying in a positive mood through your travels leads you to strengthen your character and learn to overcome situations.
- You will learn to better deal with stress: While you travel, there may be moments that raise your stress to peak levels and you may find yourself learning new ways to manage these emotions. Constantly practicing this can make you learn to handle stress much better and react calmly in times of pressure.
- Travelling can be expensive: This is one of the main reasons many people hold back from making their dream of traveling around the world come true. Of course, you need money to travel, but there are many ways to find a solution to this and even make money while traveling. The purpose of this article is to help you find which options might work best for you. Keep reading, and you will find several alternatives that might be useful to you.
- You constantly need to find accommodations: Getting a roof over your head and a safe place to sleep becomes a priority when you are a nomad. Fortunately, there are many inexpensive ways to solve this, and some don’t require money.
- It can be exhausting: Constantly moving around or traveling for many hours at a time can be pretty exhausting, in addition to the stress that difficulties when traveling can generate, which can be a draining lifestyle.
- Communication problems: There’s no guarantee you will be able to communicate effectively wherever you go. Especially if you choose to go to remote locations or areas where finding someone who speaks your language is difficult.
- You can get in trouble: It’s a good idea to take the necessary precautions and try to be aware of the laws and customs of the places you go so as not to offend anyone or break any laws without being aware of it.
- You can get sick: If you don’t take the proper precautions, you can potentially expose yourself to illness. When you travel to different climates, your immune system takes a while to get used to the new environment and the antibodies needed to keep you from getting sick can take time to develop fully.
- You can get lost: If you’re new to a destination and want to get to know the place better, it is preferable to do so with a guide or someone who knows the area to avoid ending up somewhere you shouldn’t be or end up getting lost completely.
- You can get stuck in some places: This is a possibility, especially if you travel on a very tight budget or depend on the money you make online to keep moving.
- Getting lonely: As incredible as it may seem, traveling from one place to another could make you feel lonely. Especially if you travel without company or if you consistently change locations. Sometimes there is no time to create a deep or real connection with other people, which can generate a feeling of emptiness or loneliness. To avoid this, try to stay in contact with the people who are important to you and who make you feel fulfilled regardless of physical distance.
- Your current worldview may change completely: Expanding your view of the world as you know it can make your old conceptions seem obsolete. In certain people and only in some cases, this can generate existential crises or make you rethink everything you previously knew.
What Skills Will You Need to Travel the World for Work?
You don’t necessarily need a university degree, a doctorate, or knowledge of ten different languages to be able to travel the world successfully. Of course, something like that would help.
However, there are simpler skills to practice that can help you out wherever you are in the world. It doesn’t matter what category of work you fall into. You will be able to stand out in whatever you do if you master and practice the following skills:
Communication: When you have the opportunity to travel to another country where English is not the native language, it allows you to learn a new language. However, it’s best not to wait until you travel to another country to learn its language. We recommend that several weeks before your trip, you begin to familiarize yourself with the primary language of your destination. While you don’t have to be fluent before you go, learning essential words and phrases can be very helpful. Phrases like:
- Hello, my Name Is…
- Good morning, good afternoon, and good night.
- Excuse me, where is (the place you would like to go)
There are several different ways to learn new languages. It may be that you want to hire a private tutor in your community, as immersion is one of the most effective ways to learn a foreign language. If you are a quick learner and disciplined enough, there are even some apps like Duolingo or Mindsnacks that can help you learn practically any new language you need on your own.
Another crucial aspect of communication to consider is body language. Understanding the nuances of body language can help you bridge any communication gap. Getting to know what certain gestures mean in the place you plan to travel to is essential since body language can get lost in translation. Depending on the culture, it can change the whole meaning of a conversation.
A good set of soft skills: Success in the workplace is not just a matter of technical knowledge. While hard skills or specialized knowledge of the industry you do business in are very important, a good set of soft skills such as effective communication, independence, and adaptability within the work environment can make a big difference.
While working and traveling, and even in a fixed work environment, you are more likely to be successful in your career when you master soft skills like teamwork, attention to detail, and dependability in yourself as a worker. It’s likely your employer will even choose you as a candidate to travel or to move up the promotional ladder if you are a reliable, honest, and self-motivated employee.
Having a good set of soft skills can be vital in a travel work experience. Changing locations can generate culture shock, and the ability to adapt to those cultural differences can mean the difference between failure and success.
Leadership and adaptability: Adaptability and flexibility are such important traits in humans that they are a big part of what has made us successful as a species over time.
The traits that helped our ancestors prosper and become the dominant species globally are the same traits that create great leaders. Traveling from place to place while working and supporting yourself in every way often puts these leadership skills to the test. Positivity and self-confidence are key pieces of adaptability, while negativity and rigidity are the antitheses of this.
Adaptability involves being prepared to handle both the positive and the negative. For traveling to work or starting any business, it is essential to be aware that we must always leave room for trial and error. Sometimes, the methods that work in one place may not be effective in another and unexpected obstacles demand a flexible approach.
Basic writing skills: Communication within the work environment can be verbal or written. Writing is most likely part of your workload, no matter what field you work in. You don’t have to be a professional writer to make yourself understood, but you will need basic writing skills to be successful in almost any career.
Cultivating writing skills can certainly give you an edge when traveling for work. You most likely need to send memos or proposals to your team or external or internal audiences. Maybe you need to compose some emails as part of your job. This type of writing is known as professional or business writing.
Suppose you need to communicate in other languages during your travels and are concerned about the language barrier. In that case, it is entirely worth considering investing in professional help for the local language or even translation software. At the end of the day, having effective communication is the most important thing.
Budget and monetary management: You will probably have some free time from work to enjoy and ply your mind during your trip. It is crucial to have your finances under control to take advantage of your trip and not end up in debt or stuck somewhere due to money.
No matter how long or short your trip is, it is vital to budget properly before leaving for your destination. Exchange rates can be confusing, and it can be easy to overspend. It is best to determine how much your total expenses will be during the entire trip and calculate how much you can spend realistically. Then distribute that amount of money evenly among each day of your journey. You may also want to save some extra cash for emergencies.
Ideas of How to Travel the World for Work
We already talked a little about the pros and cons of traveling for work and certain general skills that can help you be successful in your career regardless of where you are in the world. But if you still don’t have that source of income that allows you to travel anywhere you want, and you are still looking for that job that will enable you to make your dream of traveling the world a reality, you are in the right place.
It is important to note that if these jobs were all easy to find, perhaps everyone would have one. Most of these types of jobs, like any other job, still require commitment, specialized training, talent, and above all, passion. There is no magic way to make a lot of money while traveling. And for those jobs that don’t require this kind of commitment, the pay is usually not that great. The truth is that becoming an independent nomad takes effort, hard work, and some sacrifices. However, it is entirely possible to work and travel and here are some ideas of how you can do it:
Expat Traveling Job
Expat is the abbreviation for expatriate and refers to those types of people who, being citizens of a country, choose to live and work in a foreign country. This type of work is just a job that involves traveling and not living in your home country. Depending on how long your work visa lasts, you may not be fully nomadic and live in another country for months or years.
As an ex-pat worker, you can be an English teacher, provide some foreign service, a babysitter, editor, work in the tourism industry, marketing specialist, and sales, among other options.
As the adjective suggests, a digital nomad works digitally, usually from a computer. This makes the location unimportant as long as they have internet. As a digital nomad, you can work from coffee shops, co-working spaces, hotels, or from your home if you wish. Being a digital nomad allows you to travel whenever you want. You’ll just need your laptop backpack and computer, your digital skills, a change of clothes, and you’ll be good to go. As long as you do your job, you can earn money to continue your adventure. Blogging is within this category, online business, social media worker, freelance designer, among others. If you want to know more about everything you can do to become a successful digital nomad, you will find all the information you need in the digital nomad book.
Even the most independent backpacker needs a source of income to support their trip. A backpacking job can be some type of job that doesn’t require a college degree or a computer and can be geared more towards manual labor. Musicians, jugglers, artists, or manual labor such as farmworkers, and street vendors, could be classified as backpacker jobs. Have a look at our article on the Best backpack for work and travel.
Travel Industry Jobs
Although not all jobs in the tourism industry involve travel, some do. The travel industry offers the opportunity to apply for jobs that pay you to travel or where travel is just another part of the job. Generally, some of these jobs require some preparation, but it is not impossible to obtain them, and some allow you to travel around the world while generating a good income. Flight attendant work is a good example of this type of job, though it takes training to become one.
Freelance Writing Job
Freelance writers work as freelance contractors for one or more organizations. Unlike part-time or full-time employees, a freelance writer often works for multiple clients simultaneously. A freelance writer can write content for various channels and publications such as press releases, blog posts, websites, emails, proposals, or newsletters.
For a freelance writer, it is necessary to have good verbal and writing skills and a good understanding of content creation for traditional and digital channels. You must know how to write well, edit content, and adapt to the tone and image of the different brands you write for. Freelance writing falls into the digital nomad category as you generally only need your computer and internet access to get your work done.
Online Teaching Jobs
Online teachers provide a virtual instruction service for students around the world. To be an online teacher, you don’t necessarily need to be in a fixed location. Nevertheless, some companies have a physical space prepared for teachers to teach from. However, this is not the most common as you can be an online teacher from anywhere in the world. You just need to be prepared to create a safe and nurturing environment for your student, be ready to formulate and deliver virtually conducted lessons, and be aware of external factors that may affect your students’ progress.
Freelance photography consists of taking photographs by contract as a self-employed person. Usually, a freelance photographer works under specific contracts for each client, and they market themselves through professional portfolios, websites, and social networks to attract new potential clients. For a freelance photographer, location is not very important. You can work with local clients or with the photographs that your clients request from a distance as long as it does not involve them, a landscape, or a product far from you being in the photo.
Work on a Cruise Ship
Without a doubt, working on a cruise ship is one of the coolest jobs out there for traveling, exploring exotic places, and making money in the meantime. When you work on a cruise ship, food, transportation, accommodation, and insurance are covered by the cruise. Therefore, it is a great way to save money as well. Many of these jobs also provide long vacation times to enjoy independently. There are different positions available on a cruise, such as a ship entertainment, engineer, tour manager, housekeeping, kitchen staff, and much more.
Online Translation Job
An online translator knows how to interpret spoken or written material in one or more languages, maintaining the meaning and context of each word and phrase, creating glossaries of terms and dictionaries, having specific knowledge of several languages, and working for individual clients or corporations. Online translators can work from anywhere in the world, similar to that of a freelance writer. You only need your computer and internet access to carry out the work.
Of course, volunteering is not a job as such, but functionality is the same. You work in exchange for reduced travel costs while having life-changing experiences. Volunteering is one of the most meaningful ways to travel. You exchange bed and food for work while gaining experiences and knowledge while making a difference. This may be one of the best backpacking jobs.
There are many volunteer options out there, like WWOOF, an organization that connects traveling workers with organic farm projects and agricultural projects worldwide. Other platforms like Workaway, offer another wide range of work options in addition to agricultural projects. Worldpackers, which offers many alternatives. Peace Corps provides truly meaningful volunteering options that bring unforgettable experiences while doing something for the world’s most needy. And many more options. Just type “volunteering (your destination country),” into your search engine and you will indeed find several options to choose from.
Slow travel is a way of traveling that focuses on generating a deeper connection with the local people, food, music, and the culture of the place where you are going. It is based on the idea that a trip is made to educate and impact the present moment and the future while remaining sustainable for the environment and the community.