Kevin works diligently: 6 days a week, 8 hours a day and 12 months a year. With multiple trips to the coffee machine between work and a cubicle near the window, Kevin is satisfied. It’s not like he has some exciting job; it’s the same old nine-to-five. Nevertheless, it has its perks: like the dental coverage and five days of paid leave every year.
But, when Kevin looks at pictures of his friends holidaying in Koh Samui, his sense of achievement goes out of the window. Kevin doesn’t just love to travel; he was born to travel. The cubicle now feels like a cage; the allowance stupid (he has perfect teeth, anyway) and the five days of leave seem ridiculous. If only he could inherit a great fortune, ditch his job and set out to explore the world. Do you sometimes feel like Kevin, too?
Like Kevin, if travelling is your passion, then we have some good news for you. You can ditch that blood-sucking job right away and you don’t even need to be filthy rich. All you need is wanderlust and a little patience.
Here are 6 careers in travel that will pay you to see the world:
1. Be a part of a Cruise Ship’s crew
Unlike flight attendants who have to spend most of their time inside cramped flights, people working on cruise liners get to see all the exotic places that their guests see but without having to pay for them! A cruise ship’s crew consists of people with many different talents: entertainers, culinary artists, support staff, customer service staff, managers- take your pick.
Basically, unless you’re prone to violent sea-sickness, the opportunities on luxury liners are abundant! If you’re into hospitality and love waking up on different islands each morning then working on a Cruise ship is pretty much your ideal job.
Pre-requisites: Good communication skills, cheerful disposition and a love for the sea.
Check out this interview for a first-hand account of what it’s like to work on a dream cruise.
2. Become a travel writer
Combine your love for travel and the written word by penning down your experiences. Though it isn’t as smooth as it sounds and you’d have to struggle a lot to create your own niche out there, with a little patience and a lot of hard work you’d get there eventually. Start by getting your basics right.
You might have written diaries or personal blogs but if you want to turn this into a career, you need to know the difference between Facebook walls and glossy professional magazines. Research, talk to respectable names in the field and most importantly, start writing. Pitching ideas to digital publications can help you break into print but keep in mind a few pointers before you start bombarding editors with ideas.
Pre-requisites: Strong writing skills, perseverance and a penchant for quirky perspectives.
Need inspiration? Read about how Nellie Huang, an engineer, went on to co-create a top-notch travel blog and now gets paid to travel or follow her on Instagram.
3. Become a photojournalist
A photographer is practically a nomad, wandering with his equipment from one assignment to another. The competition out there is tough but if you can tell powerful stories with your pictures, then a career in photography can be oddly satisfying. Photojournalists capture images that make an impact.
A degree in photojournalism may even land you jobs at organisations like National Geographic. Aspiring photojournalists should look up to mentors like Stephen Alvarez, a National Geographic photographer and expert in caves who has led expeditions to some of the most inaccessible places on earth.
Pre-requisites: Guts, an eye for detail and a camera for a spouse.
Scared to take the plunge? Give it a try by joining the National Geographic Your Shot community, a platform where you can share pictures, contribute to stories and give your talent the right exposure. What’s more, if your shots make the cut, you have a chance to be featured in the magazine!
4. Become a diplomat
Every nation has its representatives in several foreign locations in the form of embassies. People who work as a part of the Foreign Services tend to serve at various locations around the globe and even interact directly with the heads of those states.
Working as a diplomat is a great way of serving your nation while exploring different cultures at the same time. However, successful candidates tend to be highly educated and specialised in fields like economics, international relations, etc.
Pre-requisites: Tenacity, multiple foreign language proficiency, and an interest in what’s happening around the world.
Want to know more? Take a sneak peek into the life of a diplomat.
5. Become a nature scientist
If the thought of being cooped up in research labs is stopping you from being a scientist then consider this: experts in natural sciences such as Palaeontology, Geology and Biology work more in the field rather than inside labs. These men of science travel to some of the most remote places on earth in search of natural marvels.
High commitment, low remuneration and limited opportunities often discourage people from taking up pure sciences as careers, but this is just another half-truth. From working as highly respected professors to being a part of major expeditions, nature scientists have a plethora of options. If you’re a globetrotter beneath the epidermis of a science geek, then this one’s for you!
Pre-requisites: Scientific temperament, patience, and a Ph.D.
6. Be a Travel show host
Paid to stay at The Hilton; paid to savour exotic French Bouillabaisse; paid to wander around the Alpes- travel show hosts truly define the term ‘ideal job’. If you have a basic educational qualification in broadcast media and don’t freak out in front of the camera then you’re almost halfway there. Being a pretty face helps a lot too.
But do travel show hosts really have such a great life? Janet Hsieh, a television host who has appeared on TLC and Discovery tells us the inside story here. Spoiler alert: Rejoice, it is just as cool as it sounds!
Pre-requisites: Being comfortable in your own skin, having a great sense of humour, and connecting with the viewer.
There you go! If travel is really close to your heart and if you’d rather be chased by wasps in the Amazon rainforest than be bored in air-conditioned conference halls, then these are some careers that would love to have you on board.
Comment and tell us which one you think is the best. We’d love to hear from you!