by Maria Popova
Graphic by Deanna Klima-Rajchel
When vacations roll around, we count down the days until we get our passports stamped, until we step onto the lands of unfamiliar tongues, until we get to glance at life far away from home.
We are willing to spend time and money on traveling, but what if we were paid to eat this piece of cake? What, if traveling became an inseparable part of your job?
This might sound too good to be true, yet it is possible. Choosing a career with traveling at its core might not ensure you endless hours available for strolling at tourist sights, but it certainly would immerse you into the life of a country you are visiting.
What can be better than an insider’s experience, especially when it comes along with a paycheck? Besides, the choices are countless and can be tailored for any educational and professional background. For this article, let us focus on those that university students could obtain during the summer or shortly after their graduation.
Those for whom English is their first language can rejoice: there is an insatiable market demand for teachers who are native speakers.
“The globalization of business and the influx of immigrants to the U.S. have both driven the growth of English language learners and the need for educators who are skilled in teaching this unique group of learners,” says ESLteacherEDU.org.
The minimum requirements for the job include a completed Bachelor's Degree (typically in English, writing or education), attending a statewide ESL teacher training session and obtaining the ESL teaching license. To teach abroad, one would also benefit from speaking skills in another language.
“Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is a unique career choice for anybody who would like a career that involves world travel and learning about new cultures, all while helping people in other countries master the English language,” according to ESLteacherEDU.org.
According to Boston Language Institute, one of the training center in Boston, the license can be obtained in as little as 4 weeks (or in a 12-week part times course).
For individuals who like baby-sitting, being an au pair is a good opportunity that would not only allows you to travel abroad, but also to become a part of a local family environment.
As defined by AU Pair World, “An au pair is an unmarried young adult aged 18 to 30 years, who has no children and travels to a foreign country for a defined period of time to live with a host family. The au pair is considered as a full member of the family during the entire stay.”
The boarding rules vary depending on a program and a country, but typically an au pair resides at a family house, shares meals and gets paid a humble sum for childcare and cleaning services.
For example, Inter Exchange provides the following rules for a host family, “Au pairs can work no more than 45 hours per week or 10 hours per day. As a part of the program requirements, you must provide the au pair with a private bedroom, and food sufficient for at least 3 meals per day. The au pair can only do work related to the children.”
There is a multitude of different matching platforms that help hosts and au pairs find a good match for their specific needs.
Travel writing is no doubt the ultimate dream job for those who appreciate both components of its title. While it may not be as glamorous as it seems and the competition goes through the roof, the job grants a writer with freedom and this nomadic lifestyle that can inspire thousands of novel pages in the future.
There are a number of approaches to this career path. First, one could work for a publication. The industry is insanely competitive as the leading companies are looking for both skilled writers and favor those who have some geographical academic background.
For example, an internship opportunity at the National Geographic lists that candidates must be Geography, Cartography or GIS majors in good standing with no exceptions.
Another path is to become a blogger. One would have to dedicate a fair amount of time to write travel pieces for free in order to build a portfolio and a reputation. This is difficult, but not impossible, if your writing is engaging and compelling. Just take a look at those who made it, for example Nomadic Matt or Margo and Me (the latter also focuses on fashion, lifestyle and décor on top of traveling).
With healthy lifestyles becoming more of a trend, a dedicated sports and fitness lover can build a career out of it. Given an exceptional physical shape and preparation, successful fitness gurus usually also have fitness license and educational backgrounds in nutrition and physical education.
Just as important is a constant social media presence: before and after pictures, workout videos, healthy eating guides and the like.
A good example is an Australian personal trainer and the author of BBG (Bikini Body Guide), Kayla Itsines. Kayla has achieved enormous success and now is constantly traveling around the world to teach her boot camps.
These are just a few of the many careers that require traveling. Perhaps, with the right mindset and an ardent desire to travel the world, one can find ways to include traveling in almost any career. This is a blessing of our era when digital and remote work becomes more and more prevalent. Travelers, make sure to take advantage!