At some point, most of us have sat at work and dreamt about all the adventures we’d love to be having in various different places across the globe. And ever since the recent pandemic, this wanderlust has only intensified. But realistically, most of us only have one or two weeks a year when we’re able to fulfill that ambition by going on holiday.

But what if you could turn that on its head and find a career that allowed you to explore new cities and immerse yourself in new cultures – all while earning money?

These roles might just offer up some inspiration…

1. Flight Attendant

looking out plane window

Fancy delivering great quality customer service with wings? As a Flight Attendant, you could quite literally make your way around the globe whilst you work, giving you a fantastic chance to tick off all the countries on your bucket list!

Flight Attendants are responsible for making sure that passengers are both safe and comfortable throughout the duration of their journey. Whether someone is travelling to a top holiday destination, visiting family, or making a difficult journey to lay a loved one to rest – you’ll be there to make sure that their journey is as pleasant as possible. The beauty of being a Flight Attendant is that you can leave your house and shut the front door behind you and then be checking into a hotel halfway across the world just 15 hours later.

So how do you get started? The best way to get on board as a Flight Attendant is to apply to an airline directly, who will then put you through an intensive training schedule over the course of a few weeks. Although you don’t have to have any previous experience working with airlines or at airports, it will help if you have some customer service experience you can draw on.

2. Overseas Nanny

If you’re great with children and you’re keen to get out there and explore another part of the world, then it’s worth considering a role as an overseas Nanny.

Nanny’s abroad basically do the same thing as Nanny’s in the UK – the only difference is that you usually live with the family you’re working for – and most opportunities are full-time. Your main responsibility will be looking after one or more children while their parent(s) or carer(s) are away from the family home. This includes everything from dropping them off at school to cooking for them, to listening to their worries and helping them with their homework.

Because the work is abroad and will take you outside of your comfort zone, it will help you get settled into your new home much faster if you are already fairly confident in your nannying abilities. Many Nanny agencies recognise this and do ask that you have some experience of working with children or nannying before you apply. 

During the screening process, they will usually ask that you undergo a criminal record check, and may also ask for a couple of references from parents or guardians of children you’ve cared for.

The corner of the world that you choose to work in (whether it be Europe or the Caribbean!) is totally up to you – and you’ll get the chance to chat with prospective families via Skype before making formal arrangements to go and live and work with them. The salary and conditions attached to any job offer will vary depending on which family and country you’re working in, so make sure that you have formally agreed on these before packing your bags.

3. Work on a Cruise Ship

working on a cruise ship

If you’d prefer to spend more time at sea than in the air, then a cruise ship lifestyle could be the right fit for you. You might be surprised to learn just how many jobs are available – from admin and childcare jobs, through to guest service roles. A cruise ship is like a miniature city and has a huge range of opportunities on board. One of the best things about working on one is the people you could meet and the places you could visit along the way.

The first thing to do before even considering which role may best suit you to is to think about whether a life at sea is what you want. For those who experience bouts of sea sickness or struggle being away from home for long periods of time, it’s unlikely that cruise ship work is for you. However, if you’re someone who doesn’t like staying in one place for too long – and you love the idea that every day could bring new possibilities, then a career on a cruise ship is definitely worth considering.

There are a range of professional and entry level jobs available – and you may even find that you end up doing a role similar to something you’ve done in the past, with the difference being that you’re now at sea (and get to explore new territory). Or you might decide that you want to completely step outside of your comfort zone and try something completely new – the decision is yours!

4. Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)

Do you love the idea of teaching? Are you looking for a unique and interesting career opportunity that could take you on the adventure of a lifetime? Then why not spread your wings and see where a career teaching English as a foreign language could take you?

The role involves helping non-native speakers of English to either learn English from scratch or work on their existing English language skills. English is a valuable language that is widely sought after by countries across the globe, so teaching opportunities are vast, and they’ll always be someone in the world who could benefit from your language skills and experience.

To get started as a Foreign Language Teacher, all you need to do is take an accredited TEFL course that will teach you all the basics you need to be able to support your students with their language learning. You’ll then be able to apply for jobs worldwide – so you could soon be sunning yourself in exotic locations such as Mexico or Costa Rica, or seeing the sights that Central Europe has to offer. The world is your oyster, and it’s important to take advantage of everything that it has to offer!

5. Freelance Travel Writer

You might think that getting paid to visit beautiful destinations around the world for free – and then getting paid to write about them – sounds a little too good to be true. But it is possible – and there are plenty of people out there who do it. 

However, it’s right to say that becoming an established Travel Writer doesn’t happen overnight and can be a bit of a slow burner – so the role would be best suited to someone who is able to spend a little bit of time wiggling their way into their dream career. Employers will have different criteria for the writers that they decide to hire – but above all, they will want to see that you can write well and are enthusiastic about what you do.

The best way to get started as a Freelance Travel Writer is to start your own blog or online portfolio that will help you construct an online presence – and you might also want to take a short course to widen your skillset and boost your confidence.

If you’ve got any holidays coming up, then this is the perfect time to practice your travel writing skills and jot down everything about the place you’re visiting – what you enjoyed, what you didn’t, places you’d recommend visiting, any local tips and advice, etc. Once you’ve done this, try to choose an element of the experience that stood out to you to write about in depth. This should be something that you are particularly passionate about passing on to others who may be considering visiting the place themselves.

If you haven’t got any holidays coming up and you’re short on money, then you can also try visiting easy-to-reach places in the UK for day trips (e.g. coastal areas or famous sites) and documenting your experiences. To stand out from the crowd, it’s best to try and focus your writing on one particular area of travel, whether this is deserts, hiking or all things Italian!

Once you’ve established an online presence, try contacting editors or producers of publications that you admire and who might be interested in the opportunity to feature your work. Your ultimate goal is to create and nurture relationships with people who might be willing to give you a regular outlet for your work – and act as a springboard to opportunities in the wider world.

The reality of a career as a writer is that, even if you know you’re a good writer – you will still have to convince others. People won’t just pay to send you to exotic places to write without a high level of trust and confidence in your ability first – and this can take quite a bit of time and effort to build up, but the rewards can be well worth it.

6. Scuba-Diving Instructor

Most of us have seen nature’s underwater world on TV documentaries, but only those who have had their own personal scuba-diving experience will be able to appreciate the true beauty of what lies beneath. Those who have done it often describe it as a mesmerising experience – one that they’re keen to talk to others about. But what if you could help to show others just what they are missing? Well, the good news is that you can!

Scuba-Diving Instructors work in stunning locations all over the world and get to witness people have their eyes opened for the first time to the beauty that lies both above and below the water.

If you’re interested in becoming a certified Diving Instructor, then you’ll need to make sure that you have the following PADI certifications under your belt (which you can gain at a range of dive centres and resorts around the world, including here in the UK):

Open Water Diver course – teaches you the skills you need to become a competent diver.

Advanced Open Water Diver course – focuses on specific elements such as deeper diving and navigation.

Rescue Diver course – enables you to become more confident in your diving ability and manage problems in the water. You’ll learn how to help other divers in an emergency situation.

Divemaster course – teaches you how to lead and motivate others on dive trips while assisting instructors.

Open Water Scuba Instructor – this course will be the final chapter in your journey to becoming a Diving Instructor (if you want it to be!), and will gain you a PADI instructor certification.

Although getting your PADI instructor certification requires a lot of training, it can all be completed in less than a year, and you will then be free to travel the world, working where you please.

7. Photographer

travel photographer

Would you love to turn your passion for photography into a job? And even better – would you love it if that job allowed you to travel the globe? There are plenty of overseas photography opportunities out there, depending on what it is you like to photograph – and whether you’d like to work for yourself, or an employer. Either way, you’ll need to create a portfolio of your work (it’s best to have both a hard copy and online version) that you can show to potential employers or clients. You may also want to take a course to boost your skills and increase your confidence in your own ability.

If you choose to become your own boss, then things like freelance travel photography or destination wedding photography are popular options. Freelance travel photography will require you to learn the art of selling – as you’ll be taking photos of interesting and beautiful destinations abroad and trying to sell them to companies who specialise in travel. Wedding photography will require you to find clients who are getting married abroad and are willing to pay you to accompany them and take photos of their special day. However making friends with some local wedding planners might also be a good way to start building up business!

Or, if you’d rather work for an employer, then a couple of the simplest routes to doing this abroad are to apply for photography roles at resorts or on cruise ships.

Whatever career route you choose to take, photography can be an exciting career that allows you to see the beauty in things that many of us take for granted every day.

An extra opportunity for people interested in volunteering...

Make a difference in the lives of people around the world

Volunteering abroad is the perfect opportunity for a refreshing change of scenery whilst contributing to a good cause – and you can pretty much do it anywhere in the world. Plenty of charities and organisations host a wide range of volunteer trips for older adults from conservation work in South Africa to sports coaching in Fiji.

One of the great things about volunteering abroad is that you can choose the amount of time you wish to be away for – whether that’s one month or a whole year. So why not make this a year to remember by exploring a new part of the world?

As you might expect, it’s not all a free ride. Unlike volunteering locally, you may need to pay for flights, some travel expenses, and sometimes even limited costs towards food and accommodation. But for those who have the time and can afford it, your experience abroad could be adventurous, unforgettable, and life-changing.

Did you find this page helpful? Do you have any other suggestions for combining work and travel? We’d love to hear from you! Join the conversation over on the Rest Less community forum or leave a comment below.

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